Friday, October 12, 2012

Mapping evolutionary biology: @evoldir and #ProjectEvoMap

Robert M. Griffin (@GriffinEvo) has launched ProjectEvoMap. Rob explains:
I have decided this week to try to create a resource where evolutionary
biologists can find info on labs and groups from all around the world. I
have created a collaborative Google map online which evolutionary biology
research groups can pin their labs to with a brief description of their
interests. Others can then browse the map to look for labs in specific
areas – for example, if someone wants to find suitable labs in their
current country for work they can see all the labs in that area, likewise
anyone looking for work in a specific region or who needs access to labs
while on fieldwork can look for nearby groups which may be able to help.

Below is a screen shot of part of the map. If you're working on evolutionary biology now is your chance to literally put your lab on the map.

In parallel I'm experimenting with adding a map to the venerable EvolDir mailing list, for which I run a twitter stream (@evoldir). Using some terribly crude code to extract what looks like an address from EvolDir posts, then calling Google's Geocoding API results in a map of recent posts. You can see the live map at This service compliments Rob's by giving a sense of current activity in the community (e.g., conferences, courses, jobs).