Great new resource for all you scientastically curious infomaniacs. The EOL looks to be a great new reference guide to help classify and understand life, the universe, and everything. Well, maybe just life.
Welcome to the first release of the Encyclopedia of Life portal. This is the very beginning of our exciting journey to document all species of life on Earth.
Comprehensive, collaborative, ever-growing, and personalized, the Encyclopedia of Life is an ecosystem of websites that makes all key information about all life on Earth accessible to anyone, anywhere in the world. Our goals are to:
- Create a constantly evolving encyclopedia that lives on the Internet, with contributions from scientists and amateurs alike.
- Transform the science of biology, and inspire a new generation of scientists, by aggregating virtually all known data about every living species.
- Engage a wide audience of schoolchildren, educators, citizen scientists, academics and those who are just curious about Earth’s species.
- Increase our collective understanding of life on Earth, and safeguard the richest possible spectrum of biodiversity.
Chock-a-block full of images, species overviews, a massive table of contents of each species, it’s taxonomic outline in multiple formats (text, graphical, source), and extensive references to all cited material, this online project, now in its beginning stages, is shaping to be an immensely useful and accessible resource for all future biologists and lovers of life.
One concern is that it may end up something similar to wikipedia, in which anyone can submit anything of questionable quality. I suppose submission won’t really be the problem but rather the means by which the material is reviewed and approved by the administrators for scientific acceptability. As one can see, the institutions involved in this undertaking are rather scientifically serious about what they do, so getting this right is fairly important. But as it already has established data partners to aid in verifying, safeguards are presumably in place.
Think of this as a renewable source of information and info-seeking behavior. We are only aware of approximately 1.8 million species on earth. How many more millions are still undiscovered and in desperate need of cataloging and classification?