Tuesday, August 17, 2010

BigWig and BigBed: enabling browsing of large distributed datasets

Summary: BigWig and BigBed files are compressed binary indexed files containing data at several resolutions that allow the high-performance display of next-generation sequencing experiment results in the UCSC Genome Browser. The visualization is implemented using a multi-layered software approach that takes advantage of specific capabilities of web-based protocols and Linux and UNIX operating systems files, R trees and various indexing and compression tricks. As a result, only the data needed to support the current browser view is transmitted rather than the entire file, enabling fast remote access to large distributed data sets.

Availability and implementation: Binaries for the BigWig and BigBed creation and parsing utilities may be downloaded at http://hgdownload.cse.ucsc.edu/admin/exe/linux.x86_64/. Source code for the creation and visualization software is freely available for non-commercial use at http://hgdownload.cse.ucsc.edu/admin/jksrc.zip, implemented in C and supported on Linux. The UCSC Genome Browser is available at http://genome.ucsc.edu

Contact: ann@soe.ucsc.edu

Supplementary information: Supplementary byte-level details of the BigWig and BigBed file formats are available at Bioinformatics online. For an in-depth description of UCSC data file formats and custom tracks, see http://genome.ucsc.edu/FAQ/FAQformat.html and http://genome.ucsc.edu/goldenPath/help/hgTracksHelp.html

(this Post content was reproduced from: http://bioinformatics.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/short/26/17/2204?rss=1, Via Bioinformatics - current issue.)