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EcoLens: integration and interactive visualization of ecological datasets
Parr, C.S.; Lee, B.; Bederson, B.B. (2007). EcoLens: integration and interactive visualization of ecological datasets. Ecological Informatics 2(1): 61-69.
In: Ecological Informatics. Elsevier: Amsterdam. ISSN 1574-9541; e-ISSN 1878-0512, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    food webs; visualization; data integration; taxonomy

Authors  Top 
  • Parr, C.S.
  • Lee, B.
  • Bederson, B.B.

    Complex multi-dimensional datasets; are now pervasive in science and elsewhere in society. Better interactive tools are needed for visual data exploration so that patterns in such data may be easily discovered, data can be proofread, and subsets of data can be chosen for algorithmic analysis. In particular, synthetic research such as ecological interaction research demands effective ways to examine multiple datasets. This paper describes our integration of hundreds of food-web datasets into a common platform, and the visualization software, EcoLens, we developed for exploring this information. This publicly-available application and integrated dataset have been useful for our research predicting large complex food webs, and EcoLens is favorably reviewed by other researchers. Many habitats are not well represented in our large database. We confirm earlier results about the small size and lack of taxonomic resolution in early food webs but find that they and a non-food-web source provide trophic information about a large number of taxa absent from more modem studies. Corroboration of Tuesday Lake trophic links across studies is usually possible, but lack of links among congeners may have several explanations. While EcoLens does not provide all kinds of analytical support, its label- and item-based approach is effective at addressing concerns about the comparability and taxonomic resolution of food-web data.

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