Google Earth Phylogenetics

I’ve been looking for a way to integrate the trees (and networks) I’ve been working on for Karnic with geographic data. I was talking to Russell Gray about this and he mentioned some tools for doing this using Google Earth, and a bit of hunting produced Mesquite and its Cartographer addon. I must say that the documentation and interface for Mesquite is a little clunky (it’s basically a command-line interface in menu form), but it does what I want it to. After a bit of fiddling and prodding I was able to get all the bits of the project (the tree, the language list, the map for display and the coordinate data) to understand each other and I produced this:

karnicgoogleearthtree1There are still some things to work out (and the phylogeny program needs to run another few days and I need to try out some other models before saying ‘this is the definitive tree’) but I’m really happy about how this is going to work as a display and analysis tool.

Update: .kml file.

9 responses to “Google Earth Phylogenetics

  1. That is so cool! I’ll be playing around with it for IE (teaching intro IE this semester).

  2. This is interesting. Could you upload a kml file or just a larger screen shot – it’s a little difficult to make out the details in the image above!

    Thanks for a great blog, I always enjoy having a read.

  3. Hi Mick, the link to the kml file is now in the post. thanks for reading! I may be picking your brains on climate change data before too long…

  4. Hi Claire, that’s gorgeous. I particularly like the way it descends from space: very Mutant Message Downunder.

  5. It proves that aliens discovered Australia! MCMCMMD… I like it!

  6. @ claire – thanks! It looks great in GE. Feel free to pick my brains as needed!

  7. David Marjanović

    In case you have questions about Mesquite, I’ve used it a lot…

  8. Kevin Salisbury

    Kia ora (may your prosper) from Auckland.
    Could you please send me a larger version of this wonderful array.

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