Additional Participants

Senior Personnel

Tom Wheeler

Graduate Student

Connie Holden
Mary Holan
Andrea Rodriquez

Undergraduate Student

Amber Bethell
Suzannah Hall

Technician, Programmer

Nathan Guerney

Organizational Partner

Jackson Laboratory

Project Period

August 1, 1997-July 31, 2000

Level of Access

Open-Access Report

Grant Number


Submission Date



This project will investigate the application of geographic information science concepts and methods to the modeling and analysis of genome data. The primary objective of the research is to develop a data model for genomes that supports the graphical exploration of the higher order spatial arrangement of genome features through spatial queries and spatial data analysis tools. The spatial genome model formalizes topological and order relationships among genome features (before, after, overlap), uses metric properties to refine spatial topologies, and includes representations of features that have uncertain metric properties. The genome spatial model enhances the integrative and comparative potential of genome data by providing the foundation for more powerful spatial reasoning and inferences than can be achieved by data models that incorporate only a small subset of possible temporal-spatial relationships among genome features (e.g. order and distance). The research represents a logical extension from current "feature by feature" analytical approaches of genome studies to one that allows biologists to ask questions about the contextual and organizational significance of the spatial arrangement of genome features. These functional capabilities should, in turn, aid in the automation of repetitive analytical tasks associated with the mapping of genome features and drive the discovery of biologically significant aspects of genome organization and function.