Copyright©2008 Antony Williams
I’ve commented previously about the fact that Microsoft had used our web services to connect to Infomesa (1,2). Last week I had a chance to meet with Sam Batterman face-to-face for an overview of Infomesa and to see the services in action. Sam and I chatted for a couple of hours about his platform, the challenges of managing quality in publicly accessible data (and not proliferating errors) and the directions for ChemSpider in general and whether we could extend the services to support his needs.
Infomesa is a BIG whiteboard. And I mean BIG! During our discussions Sam threw up photos, charts, spreadsheets and videos onto the board and formed relationships between them. He demonstrated using our services to pull back/generate SMILES strings, structure images and InChIKeys. He demonstrated mapping relationships as I would do today in MindManager. I could see immediate utility to the approach of the giant whiteboard. I am tired of arranging relationships over multiple documents and while I like MindManager a lot (!) the utility of the enormous whiteboard approach (I think Sam mentioned “equivalent to 50,000 pixels”) became clear in a couple of minutes.
I look forward to playing with Infomesa myself when it’s available and doing what we can through our web services to help offer additional utility to chemists.Stumble it!