WWW Phylogenetic Navigator

David Maddison dmaddsn at ccit.arizona.edu
Wed Nov 16 18:26:24 EST 1994


Dear WWW fans,

We would like to introduce you to a project we have begun, called "The Tree
of Life: A Phylogenetic Navigator for the Internet".  It is available for
browsing at the WWW URL 

   http://phylogeny.arizona.edu/tree/phylogeny.html
     
The Tree of Life is still in prototype stage, and we would very much
appreciate suggestions.

The Tree of Life consists of a series of HTML pages. Each page shows a 
phylogeny or classification for a particular clade:

     ===============Insecta
     |
     |     =========Collembola
<<===|=====|
     |     =========Protura
     |
     ===============Diplura


>From each page one can wander to broader phylogenetic scales by touching on
the root or to finer resolutions by touching on the terminal taxa.  In this
way, one can wander up and down and across the whole tree of life.  Each of
these pages might have figures and information about the clade, as well as
jump points to electronic information about the taxon beyond that contained
in the Tree of Life system.  At the tips of the tree will be pages of
information and figures about particular species.  The Tree of Life will be
dispersed across the Internet, with the home server and root of the tree
residing here, but particular clades of organisms at various other sites.

More information on the Tree of Life, including its goals and structure, is
available at the URL given above.
This URL points to the home page, and it will lead you into the tree itself.
You might want to browse around the home page itself, and go to
the various documents refered to therein to discussions of the system, how
to use it, plans for the future, and so on.  Many of these documents are
under construction; we hope you can forgive the dust and scaffolding and
see the vision of what is to come.

Our work on this project involves developing a standard visual display and set
of protocols for this phylogenetic map to electronic information about
organisms. In addition to working on the protocols, we are developing a set
of tools to make production of pages of the tree easy.  We are also
maintaining the basal branches of the Tree and working on sites for our own
special groups of organisms.

The tree itself is currently very incomplete.  We have put most work
in Arthropods, especially in the insects.  But in many groups only
one of several competing hypotheses is shown (yes, the system will have
a capacity to handle alternative hypotheses - we will add some examples
in insects), and in others existing phylogenetic knowledge is not yet shown.
Other information, including about Internet sites, has yet to be added to
many pages.

Some pathways up the tree we might recommend are on the page
"Browsing suggestions for the Tree of Life".  A link to this page
is partway down the first, home page, in the list of documents at
the home site.

If you do have any suggestions or comments, please send us a note at
tree at phylogeny.arizona.edu.

David and Wayne Maddison

====================================================
David Maddison
Department of Entomolgy
University of Arizona
Tucson


Wayne Maddison
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
University of Arizona
Tucson
====================================================




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