Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Biodiversity Informatics Visualization

The Human-Computer Interaction Lab at the University of Maryland has produced numerous nice visualisation tools, and has a page devoted to biodiversity visualisation.

We are building information retrieval and analysis interfaces for the rapidly expanding domain of biodiversity and ecological databases. Biodiversity databases contain organism-related information such as distribution, taxonomy, natural history, and conservation data. They are as complex as molecular and medical biology resources, yet serve a broad audience as do general-use digital libraries. We began by developing an interactive tree visualization (TaxonTree) for Kingdom Animalia. We also developed a prototype allowing coupled interaction with two trees (DoubleTree). We are currently working on developing other methods of visualizing both hierarchical and non-hierarchical biodiversity information (TreePlus and EcoLens), leveraging prior research on digital libraries and on bioinformatics. This has involved exploring ontologies and biodiversity data management in collaboration with the Animal Diversity Web (ADW) and the SPIRE project, and tree-reasoning with Kevin Omland at UMBC.

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