Visualizing metagenomic communities, such as the types of bacteria in the human microbiome, can be complicated by levels of granularity. For example, you may not know a priori whether you should be looking at the species level or genus level, or perhaps even higher if you would like to see host DNA or contamination.

We approached this problem using sunburst displays, which show meaningful overviews across complex hierarchies. However, to fully explore the complexity of a microbiome, we also had to allow interactivity, which we provided with a novel, radial zooming technique. Our implementation creates self-contained HTML files, with data embedded as XML and the interface JavaScript in the header. These can easily be shared or embedded, like this one:

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Krona: Interactive metagenomic visualization in a Web browser

BMC Bioinformatics •  September 30, 2011
Brian Ondov, Nicholas Bergman, Adam Phillippy
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