[Taxacom] Microformats (was: The Lacewing Digital Library: a new web resource for insects of the orders Neuroptera, Megaloptera and Raphidioptera)

Andy Mabbett taxcam at pigsonthewing.org.uk
Sat Nov 3 07:10:40 CDT 2007

In message <GbEbflqdRuKHFw3X at pigsonthewing.org.uk>, Andy Mabbett
<taxcam at pigsonthewing.org.uk> writes

>   *    Use the hCard microformat <http://microformats.org/wiki/hcard>
>        for all your contact details.
>   *    Consider using the draft "species" microformat
>        <http://microformats.org/wiki/species> for taxonomic names; and
>        contribute to the work developing that microformat at on that
>        wiki.

I've had several off-list queries about microformats; rather then
repeating myself, here's the answer:

Briefly, microformats are a way of using HTML classes, with
commonly-agreed class names, to describe existing web content, so that
tools such as browser plug-ins can extract that data and re-use it. For
example, showing coordinates on a map, adding contact details to address
books, and adding events to calendars - or looking up taxonomic names in
databases, image repositories, etc.; and adding them to recording

See also <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microformat> (especially the
"example" section.

The "species" microformat:



        (the latter has the best plain-language introduction, with

currently a working draft, has a class name for each taxonomic rank,
with plans to add more for hybrids, cultivars, etc. It's already in use
in all "taxoboxes" on Wikipedia:


a few pilot pages on WikiSpecies:


and on some pages on the West Midland Bird Club website, which I


It can be parsed by the "Species" script:


for the Operator extension to Firefox:


(that functionality will be included in Firefox itself from version 3).

Screenshots may be seen at:

        # <http://www.flickr.com/photos/pigsonthewing/1841222236/>

        # <http://www.flickr.com/photos/pigsonthewing/1841222240/>

Andy Mabbett

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