The current tree contains 802639 species: 3733 Archaea, 277426 Bacteria and 521480 Eukaryotes. It is based on the taxonomy publised by the NCBI and updated regularly.
All the nodes in the tree are clickable. It displays information (description and picture) concerning the taxa (retrieved from the ikipedia page, if any). If you have description or pictures you would like to see in Lifemap, simply create or update the corresponding ikipedia page.
Itineraries between taxa can be computed by clicking on the icon on the left of the search field. When filling the two new search fields, the route is drawn between the taxa and the Most Recent Common Ancestor (MRCA) of the two groups/species is returned. The user gets also access to a list of all the nodes that are encountered in the way from one group to the other. This list is clickable.
'Expert' versions of Lifemap, dedicated to the researchers in genomics, genetics and evolutionary biology also exist. Lifemap-ncbi displays the entire NCBI taxonomy (more than 1.1 million taxa) and allows (i) an easy access to NCBI web pages, (ii) the visualization and count of genomes completely sequenced and (iii) the possibility to download every subtree for every node in Newick format. Lifemap-otol allows exploring the whole tree produced by the 'Open Tree of Life' project (around 2.2 Million species). Again, it allows easy access to other taxonomic resources at each node, and the possibility to download every subtree in Newick format.
Lifemap was written by Damien M. de Vienne (web page), a CNRS researcher working in the Laboratory of Biometry and Evolutionary Biology (LBBE) in Lyon (France) with support from the informatics departement (especially Stephane Delmotte and Bruno Spataro).