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MBL develops infrastructure and portal for Encyclopedia of Life
Date:2/26/2008

worlds species that has been discovered by scientists over the last 250 years. By putting this information all together in one place, EOL hopes to accelerate our understanding of the worlds remaining biodiversity.

The MBL has played a major role in developing the Encyclopedia of Life, which was officially launched in the spring of 2007. The EOL Biodiversity Informatics Group, based at the MBL and led by David J. Patterson, created the software for the EOL Web portal, which goes live today with the first species pages (www.eol.org). Each species page is an aggregation, or mash-up, of text, images, video, scientific data, and other information drawn from many different sources, and all vetted by scientific experts.

With the launch of the first 30,000 species pages, we have proven the capacity to reach out to lots of different people and sources, draw out their information on species, and rebuild it as EOL pages that have great flexibility to suit different users, says Dr. Patterson. And users can be assured it is accurate, reliable information. Now that we have done this with 30,000 species, we can do it for the 1.8 million known species on Earth.

The Marine Biological Laboratory-Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Library (MBLWHOI Library) is also an important player through its leadership role in the EOL Scanning and Digitization Group. To date, this group has scanned more than 2.5 million pages of text and images on species which provide fully searchable content to the EOL. The group plans to scan 1 million volumes of biodiversity literature in the next five years, and also provide RSS feeds for relevant scientific journals to the EOL.

For the first time in history, the core of our natural history and herbaria library collections is being made available to a truly global audience, says Cathy Norton, director of the MBLWHOI Library and deputy director of the Biodiversity Heritage Library consor
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Contact: Diana Kenney
dkenney@mbl.edu
508-289-7139
Marine Biological Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert  

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