[Taxacom] Species Pages - where are the online descriptions?
vieglais at ku.edu
Sun Feb 1 20:01:05 CST 2009
One minor suggestion that I would like to promote for the many
"species pages" providers out there is to add a little additional
metadata to all these pages. Many of them already contain very useful
Dublin Core metadata, but going one small step further and adding some
Darwin Core metadata would make it much simpler to produce, say, a
species data search engine that could operate much like a Google
search engine, though with greater biodiversity focus and relevance.
One simple, and standards compliant way to do this is to use RDFa
syntax. A couple of simple examples of how one can tag scientific
names with a label that basically says "these characters combine to
form a chunk of information that is a scientific name" are available
on the Darwin Core development site ( http://code.google.com/p/darwincore/wiki/Example_RDFa
Adding such tags to these species pages will assist the discovery of
information about taxa and should only require a small change to the
implementation for most of these pages.
On Feb 1, 2009, at 03:58 , Roger Hyam wrote:
> I am looking for websites that have good "Species Pages". By species
> page I mean (and this is my definition) a page that contains a
> description of the species and not a page that simply lists the
> nomenclature associated with the acceptance of a name. You could send
> the URL of a species page to a student who didn't know what the
> organism was and they could use it to confirm the identity of a
> An example of what I think of as a species page is the Fishbase page
> for Gadus morhua (Atlantic Cod):
> There is a lot of information on this page and a description of the
> organism can be gleaned from it.
> This FloraBase page is another example:
> Very brief but attempts to define the taxon.
> Wikipedia has a good page for cod but there isn't a good taxon
> description so it is a borderline species page
> Catalogue of Life has a goal of producing a page for every species and
> it aims to do this by combining pre-existing data I believe but I
> wonder where this data is.
> Their page on badger comes from Arkive (http://www.arkive.org/) which
> is an imaging database http://eol.org/pages/328046 and their page on
> cod comes from Fishbase http://eol.org/pages/206692
> Pages I don't consider Species Pages are:
> Catalogue of Life has a page that comes from Fishbase but that chucks
> out the "useful" information and only maintains the nomenclature.
> The ITIS page is similar to the CoL page
> Likewise Fauna Europaea page for Meles meles (Badger) lacks a
> description because it is a nomenclatural database.
> I'd like to build a list of sites offering "real" species page
> information - with descriptions. At the moment it seems like the major
> source of these pages are electronic versions of the literature. We
> have good descriptions in sources like eFloras.org http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=5&taxon_id=242417133
> and I hope BHL will be a source. This is a shame as these pages
> typically lack large numbers of images and the possibility of
> including other media.
> I'd be grateful for any suggestions of sites that contain species
> pages (as per my definition).
> Many thanks,
> BTW: I'd rather use the term "Taxon Page" as these things could apply
> at any rank but there seems to be a consensus to call them Species
> Pages no matter what rank they apply to and people are typically
> interested in species.
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