Contributors and users of what will be the ultimate online field guide are professional and citizen scientists, teachers, students, media, environmental managers, families and artists. Since its unveiling in early 2008, the site has attracted 1.8 million unique visitors from more than 200 countries.
With EOL now fully open to receive information from both specialists and the public, some 250 experts, including taxonomists, conservation biologists, graduate students and others, along with more than 1,200 citizen scientists, have already stepped forward to volunteer images, share data, or to write or curate pages.
EOL accounts are freely available and registered users can add comments or observations to a page or tag a species and search for its relatives.
Information submitted by the public, as well as images (via the photo sharing site Flickr www.flickr.com/groups/encyclopedia_of_life), appear with a yellow background until authenticated by experts. Almost 40% of the 31,000 images so far have come from five photographers - from Portugal, Australia (2), Spain and Austria. The best of the lot, including winners of regular EOL photo contests, are showcased at http://www.flickr.com/groups/1056008@N20.
Among other newly-added interactive features: an online widget that automatically inserts links to EOL species pages into a digitized document. EOL's "NameLink" tool (http://labs.eol.org/?q=node/10/) identifies species names in a document and
|Contact: Terry Collins|
Encyclopedia of Life