Summary: BigWig and BigBed files are compressed binary indexed files containing data at several resolutions that allow the high-performance display of next-generation sequencing experiment results in the UCSC Genome Browser. The visualization is implemented using a multi-layered software approach that takes advantage of specific capabilities of web-based protocols and Linux and UNIX operating systems files, R trees and various indexing and compression tricks. As a result, only the data needed to support the current browser view is transmitted rather than the entire file, enabling fast remote access to large distributed data sets.
Availability and implementation: Binaries for the BigWig and BigBed creation and parsing utilities may be downloaded at http://hgdownload.cse.ucsc.edu/admin/exe/linux.x86_64/. Source code for the creation and visualization software is freely available for non-commercial use at http://hgdownload.cse.ucsc.edu/admin/jksrc.zip, implemented in C and supported on Linux. The UCSC Genome Browser is available at http://genome.ucsc.edu.