Biographer: web-based editing and rendering of SBGN compliant biochemical networks

Bioinformatics. 2013 Jun 1;29(11):1467-8. doi: 10.1093/bioinformatics/btt159. Epub 2013 Apr 10.


Motivation: The rapid accumulation of knowledge in the field of Systems Biology during the past years requires advanced, but simple-to-use, methods for the visualization of information in a structured and easily comprehensible manner.

Results: We have developed biographer, a web-based renderer and editor for reaction networks, which can be integrated as a library into tools dealing with network-related information. Our software enables visualizations based on the emerging standard Systems Biology Graphical Notation. It is able to import networks encoded in various formats such as SBML, SBGN-ML and jSBGN, a custom lightweight exchange format. The core package is implemented in HTML5, CSS and JavaScript and can be used within any kind of web-based project. It features interactive graph-editing tools and automatic graph layout algorithms. In addition, we provide a standalone graph editor and a web server, which contains enhanced features like web services for the import and export of models and visualizations in different formats.

Availability: The biographer tool can be used at and downloaded from the web page The different software packages, including a server-independent version as well as a web server for Windows and Linux based systems, are available at under the open-source license LGPL

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Biochemical Phenomena*
  • Internet
  • Software*
  • Systems Biology / methods*