Massive database of all species to be put online

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Message 563894 - Posted: 9 May 2007, 20:10:26 UTC

By Seth Borenstein
ASSOCIATED PRESS


May 9, 2007

WASHINGTON – In a whale-sized project, the world's scientists plan to compile everything they know about all of Earth's 1.8 million known species and put it all on one Web site, open to everyone.

The effort, called the Encyclopedia of Life, will include species descriptions, pictures, maps, videos, sound, sightings by amateurs, and links to entire genomes and scientific journal papers. Its first pages of information will be shown today in Washington where the massive effort is being announced by some of the world's leading scientific institutions and universities. The project will take about 10 years to complete and fill about 300 million pages.

“It's an interactive zoo,” said James Edwards, the encyclopedia's executive director.

The MacArthur and Sloan foundations have given $12.5 million to pay for the first 2½ years of the effort, but it will be free and accessible to everyone.

The pages can be adjusted so that they provide useful information for a schoolchild or a research biologist. While amateurs can contribute in clearly marked side pages, the key detail and science parts of the encyclopedia will be compiled and reviewed by experts.

“It could be a very big leap in the way we do science,” said Cristian Samper, acting secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, one of seven museums, universities and labs to launch the encyclopedia.

Other institutions helping head the undertaking include Harvard University, Chicago's Field Museum, the Marine Biological Laboratory in Massachusetts, the Biodiversity Heritage Library Consortium, the Missouri Botanical Garden and the Atlas of Living Australia.

http://www.eol.org/



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Message 563921 - Posted: 9 May 2007, 21:04:16 UTC - in response to Message 563895.

By Seth Borenstein
ASSOCIATED PRESS


May 9, 2007

WASHINGTON – In a whale-sized project, the world's scientists plan to compile everything they know about all of Earth's 1.8 million known species and put it all on one Web site, open to everyone.

The effort, called the Encyclopedia of Life, will include species descriptions, pictures, maps, videos, sound, sightings by amateurs, and links to entire genomes and scientific journal papers. Its first pages of information will be shown today in Washington where the massive effort is being announced by some of the world's leading scientific institutions and universities. The project will take about 10 years to complete and fill about 300 million pages.

“It's an interactive zoo,” said James Edwards, the encyclopedia's executive director.

The MacArthur and Sloan foundations have given $12.5 million to pay for the first 2½ years of the effort, but it will be free and accessible to everyone.

The pages can be adjusted so that they provide useful information for a schoolchild or a research biologist. While amateurs can contribute in clearly marked side pages, the key detail and science parts of the encyclopedia will be compiled and reviewed by experts.

“It could be a very big leap in the way we do science,” said Cristian Samper, acting secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, one of seven museums, universities and labs to launch the encyclopedia.

Other institutions helping head the undertaking include Harvard University, Chicago's Field Museum, the Marine Biological Laboratory in Massachusetts, the Biodiversity Heritage Library Consortium, the Missouri Botanical Garden and the Atlas of Living Australia.

http://www.eol.org/

Together with genom probes (to eventually be able to clone them) it would be the 21st century kind of Noah's Ark :)
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Message 564238 - Posted: 10 May 2007, 3:08:48 UTC

Look like a very very big project!!

Too bad it's only a demo for now. I wondered if there was something similar on the web.

Pages on wikipedia are dedicated to a similar project

http://species.wikimedia.org/wiki/Main_Page

Ciao


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Message 564484 - Posted: 10 May 2007, 11:31:17 UTC
Last modified: 10 May 2007, 11:33:27 UTC

I have a video they made in my blog. No download required.

The Encyclopedia of Life (Video is most recent post)

Comprehensive, collaborative, ever-growing, and personalized, the Encyclopedia of Life is an ecosystem of websites that makes all key information about life on Earth accessible to anyone, anywhere in the world. Our goal is to create a constantly evolving encyclopedia that lives on the Internet, with contributions from scientists and amateurs alike. To transform the science of biology, and inspire a new generation of scientists, by aggregating all known data about every living species. And ultimately, to increase our collective understanding of life on Earth, and safeguard the richest possible spectrum of biodiversity.


"By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible". Hebrews 11.3

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Message 564641 - Posted: 10 May 2007, 17:22:06 UTC
Last modified: 10 May 2007, 17:34:05 UTC

What do we need this for when we already have all the information we could want at our fingertips. Sure, it's not all in one place but that's why we have search-engines.
Also, how will we know wether the information being presented is accurate? As this is govt-funded, the information will be tainted by politics. It's best to get your info from more than one source.

Waste of money, I say.


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Message 564650 - Posted: 10 May 2007, 17:33:44 UTC
Last modified: 10 May 2007, 17:38:43 UTC

I'll bet they'll only allow members who toe a certain political line, namely the radical-environmentalist agenda, using our tax-dollars.

Censorship, not convenience, is the reason it's being put forward, and I quote from the article:
"While amateurs can contribute in clearly marked side pages, the key detail and science parts of the encyclopedia will be compiled and reviewed by experts."

Yes, "experts" who get their money from power-hungry politicians.


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Message 564954 - Posted: 11 May 2007, 9:03:21 UTC - in response to Message 564650.

I'll bet they'll only allow members who toe a certain political line, namely the radical-environmentalist agenda, using our tax-dollars.

Censorship, not convenience, is the reason it's being put forward, and I quote from the article:
"While amateurs can contribute in clearly marked side pages, the key detail and science parts of the encyclopedia will be compiled and reviewed by experts."

Yes, "experts" who get their money from power-hungry politicians.



If you read their site you will see that it will be like a "wiki" and anyone anywhere can collaborate. Their goal is to get the scientists involved too...not just me and you. And you can also sign up as well.
"By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible". Hebrews 11.3

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Message 565282 - Posted: 11 May 2007, 17:59:03 UTC - in response to Message 564954.
Last modified: 11 May 2007, 18:01:48 UTC


If you read their site you will see that it will be like a "wiki" and anyone anywhere can collaborate. Their goal is to get the scientists involved too...not just me and you. And you can also sign up as well.


But the opinion of someone not on a govt payroll will be dubbed an "amateur opinion" by the website, and I bet they'll make it easy for users to filter out "amateur opinions".

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Message 565310 - Posted: 11 May 2007, 19:11:07 UTC - in response to Message 565282.


If you read their site you will see that it will be like a "wiki" and anyone anywhere can collaborate. Their goal is to get the scientists involved too...not just me and you. And you can also sign up as well.


But the opinion of someone not on a govt payroll will be dubbed an "amateur opinion" by the website, and I bet they'll make it easy for users to filter out "amateur opinions".

:Says who? Or is this your opinion.
"By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible". Hebrews 11.3

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Message 565584 - Posted: 12 May 2007, 5:22:18 UTC - in response to Message 565310.


:Says who? Or is this your opinion.


My opinion.

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Message 566501 - Posted: 13 May 2007, 14:22:12 UTC - in response to Message 565584.


:Says who? Or is this your opinion.


My opinion.


But opinions of this type will be blocked as they are unhelpful. Political opinions taint all aspects of life, but at least give the researchers the opportunity to prove you right or wrong before condemning them..

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Message 567496 - Posted: 14 May 2007, 23:48:28 UTC

They should start in the oceans

As I've always heard it, we've sent more expeditions to other planets in outer space, than to our own oceans

Which reminds me, how deep would the sea be if there were no sponges?

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Message 569667 - Posted: 17 May 2007, 17:37:08 UTC - in response to Message 563894.

this is such a cool project!! I'm proud of our species (humans, that is) for embracing such a noble endeavor!


that would have worked if you hadn't stopped me

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Message 569700 - Posted: 17 May 2007, 18:29:20 UTC - in response to Message 567496.

They should start in the oceans
As I've always heard it, we've sent more expeditions to other planets in outer space, than to our own oceans
Which reminds me, how deep would the sea be if there were no sponges?

The depth would obviously remain the same. On the other hand, if sponges could have that much effect, the question should be how high might the water levels go?
Capitalize on this good fortune, one word can bring you round ... changes.

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Message 569834 - Posted: 17 May 2007, 22:22:41 UTC

You have to take displacement into consideration. If you put any object into a container of water the volume would increase. So what would be the volume of the ocean if all the sponges were taken out?

On another thought, what would be the depth of the ocean if the whales were taken out? (On yet another thought, they are, by fishermen, water pollution, and global warming)

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Message 571294 - Posted: 19 May 2007, 15:41:09 UTC

This sounds a bit like the Tree of Life Project

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Message 592351 - Posted: 25 Jun 2007, 10:03:49 UTC

bump


"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." - Dr. Seuss

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Message boards : Science (non-SETI) : Massive database of all species to be put online


 
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