Encyclopedia of Life is launched!

Discussion in 'Conversations Forum' started by photopro, Feb 26, 2008.

  1. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    I wanted to let you all know about a newly released research tool that just became available. It is called the Encyclopedia of Life and is a cooperative effort of many botanical gardens, research institutions and scientific researchers. It is based in London and is designed to eventually hold detailed information on almost all the species (plant, animal, and insect) known to science. Not everything is on line yet, but much has already been added. Log on here to sign up:

    http://www.eol.org/

    You'll need to create an account but it is free. You can research plants, insects, fish, and animals. I've been aware of this project for some time and was a tiny part of some of the initial input sought by the creators who set out to put this project on line. Be sure and watch the explanation video to learn how to use the site as well as what is included.
     
  2. LabTea

    LabTea Active Member

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    I couldn't load the site but I am pretty stoked about checking it out. This project is huge and sign up is free?! What more can you ask for!
     
  3. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    The server appears to be only temporarily down. I've been on the site quite a bit this morning.
     
  4. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    thanks for posting the link, steve! this is definitely something that's been needed!!

    i like the way the site is set up! i also like the fact that anyone (even us regular folk) can contribute information. that is a really nice feature!
     
  5. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    wow!!! there's a TON of info!

    how long has this been in the works, steve?
     
  6. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    My understanding is for some years now. I was first asked for input close to a year ago. One of the things I suggested was the site not be limited to accredited scientists and it appears someone listened. Some of the sites that have the best info have only limited access and are very difficult to log on since they limit that information only to scientists who are with a university or institution. As you know, since you've read my site, I read scientific stuff all the time, so I felt it was important that anyone with an interest be able to use this one. Looks like it is going to be very useful!
     
  7. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Still down, have to try again tomorrow!
     
  8. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    yes, i've come across a few sites, via google, that i can't actually access when i click on the link - because they're for scientists/botanists/etc.

    so, it's a big plus for nosy people (like myself, ;) ) that the info on this site IS accessable! i can see it being a great tool for many people - in particular, kids doing research for school projects.

    whoever designed the site set it up in a way that's very inviting and easily navigated. and the amount of info provided, wow! i know i'm going to find it VERY useful!!

    i did notice it took a bit to do the initial loading - i've got dsl at work and it's not the best. hopefully at home it'll be quicker. for those that weren't able to access it, if you're on dial-up, i'd give it a bit longer to load up...

    this is one site that's definitely worth the wait!
     
  9. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    EOL is likely down (slow) because of high-server load. A lot of newspapers picked up the story (the Slashdot effect).

    If you love the site, please write to them to let them know that they're doing things right.
     
  10. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    I have a few contacts at Kew and this site was created in part by the Royal Botanic Garden Kew, Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis and a bunch of other gardens and research organizations. I'll send a note tonight and ask if they have any idea when the server will be up to the load being placed upon it. But it appears there is going to be a great deal of interest in this site. I know that Dr. Croat from MOBOT is doing some of the work on aroids as is Simon Mayo from Kew, but there is a very large group of people with input. I've been anxious to have the Encyclopedia of Life up for a long time since, on the plants that have been posted, there will a much larger amount of scientific data available. Just keep trying! Promise, it will be worth the effort.
     
  11. natureman

    natureman Active Member

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    I haven't been able to see the site yet, guess they overloaded their server bandwidth. Do you mean it's a wiki format? or just, not :P
     
  12. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    I just received a private note and some are managing to get on. Just keep trying. I'm certain the press has put out the word on this site and the interest is likely extremely high. I had no trouble getting on early this morning when the folks at the Kew sent me a note telling me it was finally up but since then I can only get logged on periodically.
     
  13. natureman

    natureman Active Member

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  14. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    First suggestion I'd make is that they get rid of the Flash plug-in requirement. It doesn't perform any useful purpose, and just makes everything slow and difficult to use. It triggers my pop-up blocker every time I open a new page, which is even more annoying.
     
  15. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    I'm sure there are problems that need to be ironed out. I'd suggest you send your suggestions to the Kew or one of the other participating groups.
     
  16. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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  17. natureman

    natureman Active Member

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    Definitly agree with that, for your stated reasons, and because it's proprietary.
     
  18. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    All wild plants only, I suppose.
     
  19. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    Something makes me doubt a scientific site will include hybrids. But we shall see!
     
  20. lhuget

    lhuget Active Member

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    Am I doing something wrong? Everything I look up has a page saying "We have not yet obtained authenticated information for this page.....". Thanks

    Les
     
  21. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    That simply means that the page has yet to be reviewed by a scientist who is well versed in that particular subject. Eventually, the goal is to have every species known to science on the site but also have that information vetted by qualified scientists. If you do research on the internet, then you must have discovered that most of what is on the net is not scientifically accurate. Any individual with a computer can put up what ever they choose to say and as a result, most of the information is either inaccurate or at least not well researched and documented.

    The people who are building EOL, and there are many scientists involved, have been working on this project for a very long time. But the world of known species is enormous. Well over one million species! Right now, there are approximately 30,000 pages of information on EOL but many pages have not been vetted. This is a project of love, these people are not being paid to do the work. And due to the massive number of hits on the site they are having difficulty keeping up with the demand.

    My suggestion is you use what information you can but visit the site again as it grows. In time EOL will become the most authenticated source of scientific information on plant, animal, fish and insect species available to anyone who is willing to take the time to learn. But the project is massive. It will take many years to build it up to the level the originators envision.
     
  22. lhuget

    lhuget Active Member

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    This is going to be a GREAT resource!!! Right now I spend so much time checking and re-checking sources of imformation.

    Les
     

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