Yesterday, the Encyclopedia of Life launched EOLv2 — a new design and new features for this database of all life on Earth. Inspired by E.O. Wilson’s 2008 TED Prize wish, the Encyclopedia of Life contains some 700,000 pages, each listing a different living thing. The redesign is meant to increase ease of use — and allow users to personalize the site and to interact with fellow enthusiasts worldwide.
EOL.org has grown and evolved significantly since its launch in 2007. It’s grown from 30,000 pages in February 2008 to 700,000 today. The global partnership of 176 content providers behind EOL.org is progressing toward an aspiration of 1.9 million pages — one for every species known to science.
The Encyclopedia of Life is the result of E.O. Wilson’s 2007 TED Prize wish “that we will work together to help create the key tool that we need to inspire preservation of Earth’s biodiversity: the Encyclopedia of Life.” The TED community rallied around Wilson and provided resources to help build and develop the original EOL — both funders and content partners came on board to help EOL.org establish itself as a unique tool suitable for both scientists and ordinary citizens. Today, EOL has grown to become a global community of collaborators and contributors serving the general public, enthusiastic amateurs, educators, students and scientists from around the world.
“EOL.org Version 2 will effect an extraordinary expansion of the Encyclopedia of Life, opening its vast and growing storehouse of knowledge to a much larger range of users, including medicine, biotechnology, ecology and now increasingly the general public,” says E.O. Wilson.
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— Casson Rosenblatt