via BBC News:
--> Encyclopedia of Life
I've been following this project for the past year; it officially launched today. Imagine being out in the wild with an iPhone-like device and being able to dial up all known scientific information on a lifeform. The goal is to have indexed 1.8 million species by 2017. Truly amazing!
"The first 30,000 pages have been unveiled of a vast encyclopedia which aims to catalogue every one of our planet's 1.8 million species. The immense online resource is designed to greatly enhance our understanding of the world's diminishing biodiversity. The creators of the database say it could have an impact on human knowledge comparable to that which followed the microscope's invention in the 1600s. It is designed to be used by everyone from scientists to lay readers...'If someone were to sit down and start writing, from scratch, an encyclopedia of life, it would take them about 100 years to complete. But we think we'll be able to do it in one-tenth of that time,' explained Dr Edwards."