The Encyclopedia of Earth was one of the sponsors of last week’s e-Biosphere Conference on biodiversity informatics in London. This online effort to catalog and map the world’s flora and fauna, and track biodiversity, is being spearheaded by the Smithsonian Institution and London’s Natural History Museum, among others, and the vision is that of renowned scientist and author E.O. Wilson.
“We are creating a virtual observatory for world biodiversity, where environmental observations, specimen data, experimental results, and sophisticated modeling can be done across all levels of biodiversity – from genes to ecosystems,” said James Edwards, executive director of the Encyclopedia of Life.
Some aspects of this ambitious project are already available, such as images of species, maps of the seas and gene sequences to help with DNA barcoding. The organizers are aiming to make all aspects of the database available within 10 years.
If you’re interested in getting involved, visit this link.