2017 Global City Sampling Day

The Metagenomics and Metadesign of the Subways and Urban Biomes (MetaSUB) International consortium recently held their second annual Global City Sample Day (GCSD2017), where researchers and scientists collected samples from subway systems around the world. Ultimately, these samples will help build a world-wide DNA map of the microbiomes of mass transit systems. Landscape Metrics built a live sample map for GCSD2017, dynamically aggregating and visualizing thousands of sample points in locations across all seven continents. This map allows users to explore the data over time and space, smoothly transitioning between different scales, animating the map over time, and filtering the map by a host of data attributes.

Click here to view the live sample map

Text from

The Metagenomics and Metadesign of the Subways and Urban Biomes (MetaSUB) International consortium is a novel, interdisciplinary initiative made up of experts across many fields including genomics, data analysis, engineering, public health, and design. Just as there is a standard of measurement of temperature, air pressure, wind currents– all of which are considered in the design of the built environment– the microbial ecosystem is just as dynamic. Thus, it should also be integrated into the design of cities. By developing and testing standards for the field and optimizing methods for urban sample collection, DNA/RNA isolation, taxa characterization, and data visualization, the MetaSUB International Consortium is pioneering an unprecedented study of urban mass-transit systems and cities around the world. These data will benefit city planners, public health officials, and designers, as well as discovery new species, biological systems, and biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs), thus enabling an era of more quantified, responsive, and “smarter cities.”

Landscape Metrics has contributed design and visualization work to MetaSUB, including a live sample collection map and an introductory video animation.