The world’s scientists are coming together in a Wikipedia-type move to catalog information on Earth’s 1.8 million species. In Wiki fashion, even the non-scientist can contribute information on species in a special “non-scientist” section. Fun! From the Associated Press:
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 Wednesday 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.
…If the new encyclopedia progresses as planned, it should fill about 300 million pages, which, if lined up end-to-end, would be more than 52,000 miles long, able to stretch twice around the world at the equator.
The MacArthur and Sloan foundations have given a total $12.5 million to pay for the first 2 1/2 years of the massive effort, but it will be free and accessible to everyone.