CGViz - a highly configurable viewer for biomolecular data
CGwiz was created by Olaf Delgado-Friedrichs, Tobias Dezulian and Daniel Huson (Center for Bioinformatics, University of Tübingen, Germany). Contributions from Christian Klug, Nils Krugmann, Stephan Ossowski, Daniel Richter, Michael Schröder and Georg Zeller.
CGViz is a highly flexible framework for designing biomolecular viewers, based on a "Mix and match"-approach to displaying and combining data from arbitrary sources in virtually every conceivable way. Data and visual elements are represented as nodes in a graphical network. A specific viewer is established by creating and configuring the required nodes and linking them together, thus directing how and where each set of data is displayed on the screen. Complex visualizations, including multiple views of the same data set in combination with various others, can be created with just a few mouse clicks.
On top of the rendering core, which is now pretty stable, we are aiming to build a second layer which will allow a designer to specify how exactly an application reacts to user interaction, thus, essentially, providing a complete "visual programming" approach to the construction of biomolecular viewers. So far, users can browse data, zoom in and out and select items in order to view associated information, as for example the alignment corresponding to a BLAST match.
CGViz uses plugins to implement various aspects of the rendering process, as well as for filtering and importing data. That way, by implementing just a few small Java classes, an application designer may very easily extend the capabilities of a viewer even further.