webs on the web

"Webs on the Web" (WoW) is a project to develop an Internet knoweldge base of food webs, which describe the network of who eats whom in ecological communities. Combined with integrated analytical, modeling, and 3D visualization tools, the WoW knoweldge base will increase the ability of scientists, policy makers, and students to exchange and analyze information about the structure, function, and dynamics of ecological networks. WoW content will initially focus on trophic interactions among organisms as well as species bioenergetic parameters that enable the modeling of ecological dynamics. Webs on the Web ecoinformatics tools are designed to facilitate the research efforts of ecologists as well as an increasingly broad array of scientists across disciplines who are interested in network theory relating to biological and non-biological systems. In this spirit, the knowledge base design will be extensible to other types of ecological interactions and other types of networks. We are also developing biocomplexity educational modules for all levels of learning using WoW tools.

Webs on the Web is funded by the National Science Foundation and involves an interdisciplinary collaboration of experts in ecology and computer science. WoW is based at the Pacific Ecoinformatics and Computational Ecology Lab (Berkeley, CA) and the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory (Gothic, CO), which adminsters the grant.  Additional WoW activities occur at San Francisco State University (San Francisco, CA) and the Santa Fe Institute (Santa Fe, NM).

The integrated knoweldge base, analysis, and visualization tools are currently in development and testing. Please check back for future implementation. For sneak previews of some of the 3D visualization tools in development, follow the links below.  If you are interested in acquiring food-web data or using FoodWeb3D software to generate food-web images, contact Jennifer Dunne, jdunne@santafe.edu. 

If you publish images generated by FoodWeb3D, please use the following acknowledgement: Image produced with FoodWeb3D, written by R.J. Williams and provided by the Pacific Ecoinformatics and Computational Ecology Lab (www.foodwebs.org, Yoon et al. 2004).  The full citation is: Yoon, I., R.J. Williams, E. Levine, S. Yoon, J.A. Dunne, and N.D. Martinez. 2004.  Webs on the Web (WoW): 3D visualization of ecological networks on the WWW for collaborative research and education. Proceedings of the IS&T/SPIE Symposium on Electronic Imaging, Visuzliation and Data Analysis 5295:124-132.
A selection of articles that FoodWeb3D images have appeared in:
Exploring complex networks.  Strogatz, S.H.  2001.  Nature 410: 268-275.
Social science and ecology—networking tips for social scientists and ecologists.  McMahon, S.M., et al.  2001. Science 293: 1604-1605.
Complexity in ecology and conservation: mathematical, statistical, and computational challenges. Green, J.L., et al.  2005.  BioScience 55:501-510.
Computational ecology: from the complex to the simple and back.  Pascual, M.  2005.  PLoS Computational Biology 1(2): e18 (p101-105).
Mutualistic webs of species.  Thompson, J.N.  2006.  Science 312: 372-373.

Prototype software:

FoodWeb3D(Standalone version): Contact Jennifer Dunne (jdunne at santafe dot edu) for a copy of FoodWeb3D and instructions.
FoodWebKB (Java Webstart version)
FoodWebML (Shockwave version)
FoodWebML (VRML version)

Full-featured software:

Network3D (Standalone version): In development by Rich Williams (contact ricw at microsoft dot com for more information).