After the Google Maps in the Sciences post last week The J. Craig Venter Institute contacted us to let us know how they are using Google Maps as a navigation tool of large visualisations of complex data.
The Fragment Recruitment Viewer was developed by the Institute for the CAMERA project, which is a data and tool repository for microbial metagenomic research. The viewer was developed to show the relationships between fragments of DNA found throughout the oceans with known microbial genomes.
The examples we gave large week all used overlays on Google Maps to visually present large data-sets. The Fragment Recruitment Viewer however replaces the Google Map tiles with generated tiles to display the results of a filtered search of a completed microbial genome against metagenomic sequences.
Using image maps can be a very effective way to navigate highly detailed or high resolution images. You can create your own image maps using CASA's Image Cutter or the Automatic Tile Cutter. You can see an example of an image map created with CASA’s Image Cutter here.