Encyclopedia of Life

An oversized tyrannosaur photo-bombs the Global Ant Project group portrait, November 5-7 2009 at the Chicago Field Museum (photo by Darolyn Striley). Last week I attended a conference ambitiously titled "Global Ant Project synthesis meeting II".  Partly, I went out of curiosity about what this "Global Ant Project" might be.  But mostly, I went for the chance to catch up with old myrmecological friends, eavesdrop on the latest ant gossip, and visit Chicago's fabulous Field Museum of Natural History.  How'd it go?  Mission accomplished on all counts.  You can see my photos of the event…
tags: biodiversity, conservation, endangered species, Encyclopedia of Life, TEDTalks, E.O. Wilson, streaming video As E.O. Wilson accepts his 2007 TEDTalks Prize, he makes a plea on behalf of all creatures that we learn more about our biosphere -- and build a networked encyclopedia of all the world's knowledge about life [24:22] TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world's leading thinkers and doers are invited to give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes.
The much-hyped Encyclopedia of Life has started adding content for the ants, mostly by harvesting photos and text from Antweb.  The interface is a little odd, as EoL layers Antweb's up-to-date information over the obsolete ITIS taxonomy, losing taxa whose status has changed over the past decade.  We clearly need a centralized taxonomic infrastructure if EoL is going to run smoothly.  As it stands, we're still better off just going to Antweb directly.