Welcome To The Ontogrator

This is demonstration of how ontologies can be used to automatically generate user interfaces for browsing data sets.

Searching is performed using sets of hierarchically structured terms, i.e. ontologies.

For example the "Environment" panel contains a set of possible environment and habitat types arranged into groups of increasing specificity. General concepts such as 'food' appear at the top of the hierarchy, with more specific concepts such as 'hot dog' appearing further down.

Behind the scenes there is a database which knows about the ontologies. It has been generated by feeding text from the source data into the Terminizer service which scans it looking for known ontogical terms. At the same time, possible taxa are discovered using the uBio taxonomic name service.

Examples of ontological searches:

One GOLD entry is annotated as "acidic hot spring of Kamchatka Peninsula". The Terminizer service identifies the terms acid hot spring and Kamchatka Peninsula and is able to provide the information that an acid hot spring is a type of hydrographic feature and that the Kamchatka Peninsula is a place in Russia. Now it is possible for this entry to be offered in response to a search for 'hydrographic feature in Russia'. See this search for yourself by clicking here.

Some other example searches:

The source code for the Ontogrator system is available under a GPL license, and can be obtained from the GitHub site.


This demonstration relies on the marvellous work done by the creators of:

Developed by David Hancock for the NERC Environment Bioinformatics Centre.