Type of resources
Contact for the resource
One of the virtual laboratories developed by LifeWatch Belgium is the Belgian LifeWatch eLab. This online application allows users to standardise, analyse and visualise their data, making use of web services built on top of internal and external reference databases. The ultimate goal of LifeWatch is to set up a network for data exchange and data analysis through web services. Web services are systems that allow communication between two computers over the web, and allow the user to access the most recent and up-to-date information directly from within other applications. Within LifeWatch Belgium, several web services are available to standardise, analyse and visualise your data, and to extract additional data from several sources. The user can select several data services (taxonomic, geographic, thematic, etc.) and run them successively through a straightforward online user interface. You can also use the LifeWatch.be web services in a concatenated way, i.e. the output of one web service is the input for the next web service. Establishing such workflows helps solving (complicated) biological questions. Several use cases demonstrate the use of the LifeWatch web services. So as to facilitate the use of the LifeWatch web services, several applications and tools were documented in use cases and tutorials. These can be found on the links below, as well as on the specific websites of software packages and Github repositories. The Belgian LifeWatch E-Lab online application allows users to standardize, analyze and visualize their data, making use of web services built on top of internal and external reference databases. A user can select several data services (taxonomic, geographic, thematic, etc.) and run them successively through a straightforward user interface. As explained in the user guide, the LifeWatch.be web services can be used in a concatenated way, i.e. the output of one web service is the input for the next web service.
The RvLab is a very useful and powerful tool, both for users who are already familiar with R (and some of its functions) but also for students and/or scientists who are in favour of open source software and would like to dedicate some time to get familiar with its functions, without having to go through the steep command line R learning curve. The RvLab makes use of "R" which is a statistical processing environment widely used by scientists working in many biodiversity related disciplines. It supports an integrated and optimized (in respect to computational speed-up and data manipulation) online R environment. This vLab tackles common problems faced by R users, such as severe computational power deficit. Many of the routines operating under the R environment, such as the calculation of several biodiversity indices and the running of the multivariate analyses, are often of high computational demand and cannot deliver a result when the respective datasets are in the form of large matrices. The RvLab runs on a HPC cluster, using version 3.5.2 (2018-12-20) on a x86_64-pc-linux-gnu (64-bit) platform, and offers an intuitive virtual environment interface enabling users to perform analysis of ecological and microbial communities based on optimized vegan functions. The user can benefit from the availability of newly designed functions if the dataset to be analysed requires their implementation. The RvLab is an interactive virtual laboratory; should the user require other types of functions, these can be added in the "laboratory" and become available online in a short time. Login is required.