Friday, January 11, 2008

Interactive Tree of Life

I've never had enough time to investigate it fully but the Interactive Tree of Life looks like an amazing tool that provides a whole suite of ways to represent, manipulate, and display phylogenetic trees. One of my interests is in the graphical representation of data (see Edward Tufte's forum/blog for some superb discussions on this) and the Interactive Tree of Life website combines both this and biology. Presenting such complex data in a way that people can understand is not easy so it's great to be able to see a whole bunch of different attempts at this - you can scroll through several on the right hand side of the webpage. A related way of presenting the complexity of a tree of life is the hyperbolic tree approach at the Deep Green website. Notice how you can pick up nodes and move through the tree.

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