Lifemap: Exploring the Tree of Life

Damien de Vienne, a researcher working in the Laboratory of Biometry and Evolutionary Biology (CNRS, Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, VetAgroSup), created Lifemap, an interactive tool to explore the tree of life. This free app is available on the APP Store and the Android Play Store.

The Tree of Life (ToL) is meant to be a unique representation of the evolutionary relationships between all species on earth. By combining methods used in modern cartography, such as OpenStreetMap, with a new way of representing tree-like structures, Damien De Vienne created Lifemap, a tool allowing the exploration of a complete representation of the ToL (between 800,000 and 2.2 million species depending on the data source) in a zoomable interface. 

A valuable tool for teaching and knowledge dissmination

Lifemap has been published in PLoS Biology in 2016. This should help researchers in ecology and evolutionary biology in their everyday work, but may also permit the diffusion to a broader audience of our current knowledge of the evolutionary relationships linking all organisms. It comes in three versions that differ by the tree that is displayed and the information that is associated with tips and nodes when clicking. 'Expert' versions of Lifemap, dedicated to the researchers in genomics, genetics and evolutionary biology are available online: The general public version is also available as a mobile app on:

Published on the February 20, 2018 Updated on the February 22, 2018