Evolutionary Database Interoperability Hackathon

Date9-Mar-2009 ~ 13-Mar-2009
SummaryDespite the rich and meticulously curated variety of on-line databases of phylogenetic data, their holdings are only available in incompatible formats lacking explicit semantics, and programmable APIs for querying the data are often not provided, resulting in significant obstacles to interoperability and data integration. The hackathon aims to bring together data and metadata experts and developers from a number of data providers with the developers of emerging standards for
  • a future phylogenetic data exchange format (NeXML)
  • an ontology resulting in formal and machine-interpretable semantics of evolutionary data and metadata (CDAO)
  • a programmable web-service based interface for phylogenetic data providers (PhyloWS)
These standards, and many of the ideas for this hackathon arose from, and are a continuation of, the activities of NESCent's Evolutionary Informatics Working Group. The event is therefore also the last meeting of the working group. The broad objectives of the event are to
  • unify the input and output data formats using NeXML
  • unify the data and metadata semantics using CDAO
  • unify or create programmable interfaces to the data using PhyloWS
  • create demonstration projects that take advantage of the unified data formats and/or semantics
More information on the event as it unfolds are available at