The Encyclopedia Lives!

The Encyclopedia of Life is up and running. And the Sixth Square strongly encourages you to check it out.

There are more than 300,000 pages to choose from, with information on what seems like millions of species. But the EOL isn’t close to done – it’ll take up to ten years to catalogue the planet’s 1.8 billion species.

How user-friendly is EOL? It’s definitely not, as its founders hope, as easy to use as Wikipedia. The Sixth Square finds EOL a bit too clinical. But for sheer volume of scholarly information available, EOL can’t be beat. It provides reference links and information for each scholarly journal the species appears in, and you can find numerous high-resolution images of each species.

The “completed pages” (about 25 as of this writing) are what the site eventually hopes to attain for every species: extensive and detailed information written in a format that anyone, from schoolchildren to scholars can understand. Click on one of these pages (like this one, on the peregrine falcon), and you’ll find everything from habitat descriptions to a page of interesting facts about the species.

Still finding it too hard to read? Stop by the home page and tell them what you think. The EOL invites users to participate in an online survey.

Explore posts in the same categories: A Philadelphia Encyclopedia?

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