Have you ever heard of SVG? Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) is an open standard to design images and graphics that can be scaled to any size without loosing quality. SVG is also the focus of a tool that we have developed in our group to cover specific needs of a collaborative project with an experimental group. The need was to visualize the spatial distribution of the expression of selected genes in different tissues and cell types. In other words, we needed a sort of bioinformatics alternative to in-situ reporter studies by fluorescent proteins like GFP.
We decided to approach this specific problem in a general way, and the result is SVGmap, a system that can be used as an image browser for any type of experimental data.
The easy to use multi-platform web application just requires a prepared SVG image which represents your object of study and the data (eg. expression data of multiple genes in various tissues, cell types or conditions).
We see SVGMap as a useful resource to visualize and browse data, generate individualized high-quality figures from your data and also as a publishing tool for sharing your results with your lab-mates or the scientific community. This step is facilitated by the Graphical User Interface (GUI), which is accessed through the web browser.
We prepared an example SVGmap server online at http://bg.upf.edu/svgmap which contains four prepared examples including the one used in the figure.
We have released SVGMap as a free open source application. We invite you to try it by downloading the ready to be executed version of the software. We have prepared User Documentation to facilitate the installation and first steps with the software. Don’t hesitate to contact us by mail, ask for support or write a comment below.
We hope you like it.
Xavi & Michi