Aggregating Skeptical Thought

The Encyclopedia of Life is… um.. alive!!!

I have been waiting for quite some time, May of 2007 to be exact, for this but the Encyclopedia of Life is now online with it’s first 30,000 species. Although it looks like I’ll have to wait a bit longer since the site seems to be overwhelmed right now, which I suppose is a good sign.

For those who don’t know what the EOL is here is my short blurb from last year about the site.

[ The Encyclopedia of Life] will attempt to compile a complete list of all known species (about 1.8 million, yowza) and estimate it will take 10 years to complete. After all the known species are compiled they will open it up to extinct species (such as dinosaurs).

 There are some fundamental differences between Wikipedia and the EOL. Wikipedia is open to all to contribute whereas “the key detail and science parts of the [EOL] will be compiled and reviewed by experts.” They are both similar in that they will be free to anyone to use and contribute.

However, there are 2 cool features that really separate this project apart. The first is will allow the information contained on a given species to be “graded” into multiple level and will allow school-age children (and me) access to less technical scientific data and researchers, biologists and graduate students (not me) a much greater level of detail. Check out the polar bear example to see this in action. The second will allow anybody to contribute sightings, photos or video, to any given species.


Filed under: Environment, Internet, Science, ,

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