21 Sep '11, 12pm

In Praise of the Encyclopedia of Life

In Praise of the Encyclopedia of Life

I'm in the middle of researching and writing my next book, which means that I use the Encyclopedia of Life all day, every day. Lately it's been sporting a newly updated and simplified interface, and I realized that it was high time to sing its praises. EOL is a mega-database cataloging all known species (of plants, animals, fungi, bacteria, protozoa) known to exist on the planet. It's compiled by a consortium of authoritative organizations--just take a look at the credentials of these people -- and pulls the latest taxonomic information directly from the governing bodies in the science world that determine these sorts of things. (The World Register of Marine Species, Integrated Taxonomic Information system, groups like that .) So how do I use EOL? First, I use it to check the species names of plants I'm writing about. You'll see in the screen shot above that today's plant,...

Full article: http://www.gardenrant.com/my_weblog/2011/09/in-praise-of-...

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