July 1, 2015 (Vol. 35, No. 13)


Strong Points: Easy to browse chromosome and display annotations
Weak Points: Not much content pre-loaded in app




Described as a “lightweight” viewer for genomic data, the Integrative Genomics Viewer (IGV) app from the Broad Institute definitely has a lightweight feel with its minimalist display and contents. Much of the power of the app (which is a mobile companion to the desktop IGV application) comes from the user’s ability to import genomes and annotations (or “tracks”) from external genomic resources into the viewer. However, this means that there isn’t much that’s pre-loaded in the app and users cannot simply browse a list of external resources to access. Rather, users must have the data files ready for upload or must know the file URLs. The app does come pre-loaded with three genomes, though (human hg18 and hg19, and mouse mm9), as well as some annotations. Users can display more or less detailed information through basic pinch-and-zoom mechanics, and they can add a number of tracks to be displayed beneath the chromosome and sequence maps.

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