Saturday, August 11, 2007
Visualising very big trees, Part IV
Continuing the theme of viewing big trees, another approach to viewing large objects is tiling, which most people will have encountered if they've used Google Maps.The idea is to slice a large image into many smaller pieces ("tiles") at different reoslutions, and display only those tiles needed to show the view the user is interested in. I'd thought about doing this for trees but abandoned it. However, I think it is worth revisiting, based on discussion on the Nature Network Bioinformatics Forum, and looking at the Giant-Ass Image Viewer (version 2 is here), and Marc Paschal's blog.
As an example of what could be done, below is a phylogeny from Frost et al.'s "The amphibian tree of life" hdl:2246/5781, rendered using Zoomify's Zoomify Express. I just took a GIF I'd made of the entire tree, dropped it on the Zoomify Express icon, hacked some HTML, and got this: