Huge image datasets on line for the first time

Glencoe Software (Dundee, Scotland), a company founded by Dundee University's Professor Jason Swedlow, has produced a new update to the Journal of Cell Biology (JCB) DataViewer, the world's first system for sharing and archiving published scientific image data.

Software tool allows huge image datasets to be viewed on line
Software tool allows huge image datasets to be viewed on line

Glencoe Software (Dundee, Scotland), a company founded by Dundee University's Professor Jason Swedlow, has produced a new update to the Journal of Cell Biology (JCB) DataViewer, the world's first system for sharing and archiving published scientific image data.

The new version of the JCB DataViewer allows researchers to archive and share large tiled images, allowing the scientific community to view and browse images tissues or even whole plants and animals. It makes these very large datasets -- often 100 GBytes or larger -- readily available via a standard browser interface so they can be viewed and mined for information using on-line interactive tools.

The first example of the new type of image that is now available -- the whole zebrafish embryo -- is made up of more than 26,000 tiled images recorded on an electron microscope. The tiles were stitched together with software developed by scientists at the Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands that allows thousands of tiles to be aligned rapidly and accurately.

"Public availability of these datasets creates opportunities for further discovery by scientists beyond those that performed the original experiments," says Professor Swedlow.

"This is the first time that it has been possible to make an image of the kind mapped of a whole fish embryo by the Dutch researchers available online at this resolution. This allows scientists to view the constituents of tissues and other complex organisms, which open new directions to take their research in," he adds.

The JCB DataViewer was built by Glencoe Software using open source technology developed by the Open Microscopy Environment (OME) team at Dundee.

More details on the JCB DataViewer are available here. You can also view the images of the fish embryo here.

-- Dave Wilson, Senior Editor, Vision Systems Design

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