Monday, February 8, 2010

Cataloging Every Living Species on Earth

The "Encyclopedia of Life" aims to create a complete, online database of information on every single plant and animal species on the Earth.   The goal is to create a single web page for every single species with authoritative information and descriptions, photographs, video, location maps, and all other information necessary to understand the species.  Although a complete database has never been completed before, this site plans to harness the nearly-limitless capacity of the modern internet to host this information in one place, and to harness the power of scientists and individuals around the world to populate it.

The project is currently focused on animal, plant and fungal species, although the many other microbial species will be cataloged as the project continues.  When completed, it will serve as a global biodiversity tool, providing scientists, policymakers, students, and citizens information they need to discover and protect the planet and encourage learning and conservation.

Getting Involved is Easy:
  1. Visit the home page at http://www.eol.org/ and view the detailed explanatory videos at www.eol.org/content/page/screencasts
  2.  Click "Create an Account" near the top of the home page to register with the site.
  3. Search for the species you are interested in by common name, taxonomic name, or by browsing the site.
  4. Click on "Add New Content" to create a new subsection of information on the species, or click on  "Comment"in each section to suggest edits on existing content.  There are reviewed and incorporated as needed by the individual curators of each web page.
  5. Enjoy reviewing other species page to learn about the diversity of life and contribute your own knowledge to the catalog.

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