flatmap-icon Flatmap Viewer


The flatmap viewer tool available on the SPARC Data Portal is used to navigate a flatmap – a zoomable map showing representing anatomical features – in order to easily search for knowledge about features on the map.

A map consists of a number of image and vector tiles at different resolutions stored on a server. These are displayed in the web-browser using similar technology to that used by interactive geographical maps.


Interactive map layers

A map is made up of one or more interactive layers, and is initially displayed with a number of these layers active. When there is more than one interactive layer, the layer-switcher control, represented by the open-control icon at the top-left corner, can be used to manage active layers.

Querying a map’s features

Some features in a layer are annotated as modelling one or more anatomical entities. These features show a tooltip when the mouse pointer hovers over them, and knowledge about the feature can can be searched for by clicking on the highlighted feature.

Some layers, such as the neural layer, have been configured to allow queries to also be made against the displayed nodes. There are two types of such node queries:

  1. Find all edges that belong to the node, that is edges that start, stop, or pass through the node.
  2. Find all other nodes connected by some edge to the queried node. This query also results in knowledge searches being made for those found nodes that model an anatomical entity.

Queryable nodes are highlighted when the mouse pointer is over them – they will only show a tooltip if they have an anatomical identifier.

Node queries are made using the right-click context menu.

Map interaction

Besides zoom and pan, using standard mouse or touchpad controls, a left-click will query for knowledge about the current anatomical entity, and a right-click will show a context menu, allowing the different node connectivity queries to be made.