Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Encyclopedia of Life Website

I had blogged previously on E.O. Wilson's TED wish for an Encyclopedia of Life. Appears it is becoming a reality.

From apples to zebras, all 1.8 million known plant and animal species will be listed in an Internet-based "Encyclopedia of Life" under a $100 million project, scientists said on Tuesday.

The 10-year scheme, launched with initial grants of $12.5 million from two U.S.-based foundations, could aid everyone from children with biology homework to governments planning how to protect endangered species.

The encyclopedia, to be run by a team of about 25-35 people, could help chart threats to species from pollution, habitat destruction and global warming.

The project would be led by the U.S. Field Museum, Harvard University, Marine Biological Laboratory, Missouri Botanical Garden, Smithsonian Institution, and Biodiversity Heritage Library -- a group that includes London's Natural History Museum, the New York Botanical Garden, and the Royal Botanic Garden in Kew, England.
You can check out demonstration pages. Looks pretty good, although my idea of adding the the current population of each species does not appear to present. And it is hard to say how well navigation works until it is actually operational. Hopefully it will launch soon, but with 1.8 million species and only 25 people, it could take a while.

via Reuters

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