From Google maps to gene maps

One of the nifty things you can do with Google maps is grab them and move them around, sliding along a road, for example, until you come to your destination. The continuity gives you the sense that you’re actually looking at a single giant physical map, a map so big that it would cover the state of Nebraska if it were real.

There are lots of maps out there… would any others benefit from the Google maps Ajax treatment? Of course. The folks at UC Berkeley’s Holmes lab are building something they call GBrowse, for Generic Genome Browser. If you’ve ever seen the UC Santa Cruz Genome Browser, you know there’s a brutal tradeoff between available data and screen real estate. There are so many points of interest along the sequence, but you can only see so much of it. Managing the interface is button-clicky hassle. The Berkeley team has solved (or mitigated anyway) this problem by using the Google maps approach. See what you think here: Prototype Generic Genome Browser client. It’s much nicer than the Santa Cruz version. I can’t do much to interpret the data; I’m a tourist here. But it sure is fun cruising around. (Seen on Flags and Lollipops)

1 thought on “From Google maps to gene maps”

  1. I’ve been doing a lot of genome data mining lately, and compared the available browsers, specifically, NCBI, UCSC, and EnsEMBL. While the Googlization of UCSC may make it nicer to tour, the database is still reelly clunky. You should have a wander over to EnsEMBL, the European counterpart to NCBI.

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