[Taxacom] Visualizing Biodiversity

Timothy Jones tjone54 at tigers.lsu.edu
Wed Aug 31 18:17:54 CDT 2011

Hi Tony,
Here is an example that provides substantial visualization capabilities as
well as the ability to analyze what we are looking at.  It uses PivotViewer,
a technology previously called Deepzoom and prior to that, Seadragon.
Developed by Microsoft Live Labs which is now defunct unfortunately .   MS
has now bundled it into Silverlight, an app runtime freely available online
for both Macs and PCs.
Here is an example of it being used for biodiversity identification studies
- http://www.herbarium2.lsu.edu/grass2/
Requires Microsoft Silverlight runtime and will prompt you to install it if
required.  IMHO best experienced with a mouse with a scroll wheel to zoom in
an out on images.  All images are fully zoomable upon first loading.  The
limitations top out at ten thousand images or so (with Silverlight 5) on one
screen but is probably best limited to three thousand or so at a time.  Ten
thousand image tends to scare/intimidate people...and is almost too much to
digest in a sitting.  We tested it during a recent workshop and found it to
be  successful with all skill levels.


On Tue, Aug 30, 2011 at 11:08 PM, <Tony.Rees at csiro.au> wrote:

> Dear Taxacomers,
> In my efforts to produce a listing of all genera I end up with, among other
> things, summary data on higher levels of my taxonomic hierarchy plus the
> number of child taxa each contains (current example by phylum:
> http://www.marine.csiro.au/mirrorsearch/ir_search.list_phylum). I realise
> that this tabular approach is pretty much as unexciting as it gets so was
> wondering about an improved visual manner to present this type of
> information, preferably in the form  of a navigable hierarchy as per the
> present hyperlinks.
> One example I have come across which seems really neat is Kris Urie's EOL
> Tree Viewer (aka "VOLE" - Viewer of life on EOL), for example starting point
> see http://kurie.github.com/EOL-tree-viewer/#COL, however I was wondering
> whether taxacomers have more suggestions or personal favourites worth
> looking at. Of course I would also have to work out how to load in my data,
> but that's a detail maybe.
> All suggestions / examples welcome (and may even be used on my site if I
> can figure out how to implement one or more of them). (Also I have a feeling
> that Rod Page may have some experience in this area). Of course it would
> also be nice if someone could take this on as a pet project for free,
> however I would never dream of asking such a thing (for comparison / light
> relief see http://www.27bslash6.com/p2p.html).
> Regards - Tony
> Tony Rees
> Manager, Divisional Data Centre,
> CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research,
> GPO Box 1538,
> Hobart, Tasmania 7001, Australia
> Ph: 0362 325318 (Int: +61 362 325318)
> Fax: 0362 325000 (Int: +61 362 325000)
> e-mail: Tony.Rees at csiro.au
> Manager, OBIS Australia regional node, http://www.obis.org.au/
> Biodiversity informatics research activities:
> http://www.cmar.csiro.au/datacentre/biodiversity.htm
> Personal info:
> http://www.fishbase.org/collaborators/collaboratorsummary.cfm?id=1566
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Timothy M. Jones
Life Science Annex Building, Room A257
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, LA 70803
Website - http://www.herbarium.lsu.edu/keys/

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