The Journal of Cell Biology (JCB), The Rockefeller University Press and Glencoe Software are pleased to announce their next enhancements to the JCB DataViewer, the world’s first system for presentation, sharing and archiving published scientific image data. Starting today, the JCB DataViewer can accept and publish very large images, made up of many individual tiles, and make them viewable online. The first example of this type of image is like none other — an image of a whole fish embryo, made up of more than 26,000 tiled images recorded on an electron microscope. The tiles have been stitched together with newly developed software that allows thousands of tiles to be aligned rapidly and accurately. The image comprises 281 Giga pixels; displaying it in a web browser allows scientists the unprecedented opportunity to view the constituents of an organism at very high resolution. To our knowledge, this is the first time such a comprehensive, high-resolution view of an organism has been published on-line, for anyone to view and examine. Tiled images are common in many different imaging applications, including light microscopy and digital pathology, so the new JCB DataViewer technology opens the doors to these new types of data as well.
First released in December 2008, the JCB DataViewer (http://jcb-dataviewer.rupress.org) has been under continuous development to support new data types and to provide new functionality for its users. This new version of the JCB DataViewer allows authors to archive and share large tiled images and allows the scientific community to interactively browse the original data. Public availability of these datasets creates opportunities for further discovery by scientists beyond those that performed the original experiments.
The JCB DataViewer currently contains original image data associated with 261 manuscripts published in JCB, and the image data submission rate by authors is steadily increasing. Publication of tiled data will substantially increase the size of datasets hosted within the JCB DataViewer, but Glencoe Software, Inc., and JCB welcome and are prepared for the growth of this resource. Liz Williams, Executive Editor of JCB, said, “With the publication of very large tiled image arrays, JCB is very excited to be taking this next step in the development of new publishing tools to promote data sharing and discovery in the field of cell biology.” Mike Rossner, Director of The Rockefeller University Press, added, “This update to the JCB DataViewer is part of our ongoing expansion of the image data formats that can be presented and shared by JCB authors.”
The JCB DataViewer is based on open source software built by the Open Microscopy Environment (OME; http://openmicroscopy.org). Founded in 2000, OME builds and releases specifications and software tools for scientific image data, and its tools are used throughout the academic and commercial communities. Glencoe Software, Inc., has used OME’s resources to build the JCB DataViewer and is a proud member of the OME Consortium.
Jason Swedlow, President of Glencoe Software, Inc. and co-founder of OME, said “OME and Glencoe Software are excited to be a part of this important development and milestone in scientific publishing. OME’s infrastructure has many possible applications, and the whole OME team is proud of the work enabling access and sharing of very large tiled images in science.”
Glencoe Software, Inc. is a member of the OME Consortium and provides commercial access to and customization of OME resources. With increasing proliferation and complexity of research image datasets and the need for secure sharing, analysis, and visualization, Glencoe Software is well placed to deliver secure, scalable solutions based on an open-source, community-driven foundation.