The Encyclopedia of Life

The green anole (Anolis carolinensis)

The green anole (Anolis carolinensis)

The Encyclopedia of Life is an amazing and extraordinarily ambitious project “to organize and make available via the Internet virtually all information about life present on Earth.” It is intended to be authoritative – focusing on “scientifically verified species information” — comprehensive and “constantly evolving.”

At the Encyclopedia of Life, each of the approximately 1.8 million known species has its own web page which serves as the entry point for the general public, along with a number of linked pages aimed at more specialized users. Images and text are designed to appeal to the amateur and the specialist alike, while also providing pathways to ever more detailed collateral information. As the Encyclopedia further explains, “the EOL dynamically synthesizes biodiversity knowledge about all known species, including their taxonomy, geographic distribution, collections, genetics, evolutionary history, morphology, behavior, ecological relationships, and importance for human well being, and distribute[s] this information through the Internet. It serves as a primary resource for a wide audience that includes scientists, natural resource managers, conservationists, teachers, and students around the world. We believe that the EOL’s encompassing scope and innovation will have a major global impact in facilitating biodiversity research, conservation, and education.”

For a complete overview of the Encyclopedia of Life’s first year of operation, see their Annual Report for 2008. A sample page for the Green Anole (Anolis carolinensis) can be found here.

Published in: on May 6, 2009 at 3:01 pm  Leave a Comment  

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