SitePainter: a tool for exploring biogeographical patterns

Department of Computer Science, University of Colorado at Boulder and Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Boulder, CO 80309, USA.
Bioinformatics (Impact Factor: 4.62). 12/2011; 28(3):436-8. DOI: 10.1093/bioinformatics/btr685
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT As microbial ecologists take advantage of high-throughput analytical techniques to describe microbial communities across ever-increasing numbers of samples, the need for new analysis tools that reveal the intrinsic spatial patterns and structures of these populations is crucial. Here we present SitePainter, an interactive graphical tool that allows investigators to create or upload pictures of their study site, load diversity analyses data and display both diversity and taxonomy results in a spatial context. Features of SitePainter include: visualizing α -diversity, using taxonomic summaries; visualizing β -diversity, using results from multidimensional scaling methods; and animating relationships among microbial taxa or pathways overtime. SitePainter thus increases the visual power and ability to explore spatially explicit studies. AVAILABILITY: SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. CONTACT:,

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