Friday, December 12, 2003

A Wiki Good Time

Has a new species washed ashore in your town, but you have no idea what it is? Got a new weed in your garden that's not in your field guide? We're here to help. Post images and descriptions to the SpeciesID pages of our Wiki system; the administrator (me) is automatically notified when a page is updated, and will help you if you need to find someone to identify your species. The SpeciesID web will host your images and species descriptions, eliminating the need to send around those gigantic attachment-laden emails. Information about the species will be recorded for anyone in the world to see, a permanent yet evolving record where taxonomists can comment on the validity of an ID, or that someone can use if they think they've found the same species.

Anyone can register to use this Wiki-based system, and everyone is welcome to create new pages or add comments to any of the existing species pages. SpeciesID, maintained by the Morris lab, is still in beta. If you have any questions or comments, you can get help by clicking on the tiny "Send Feedback" link in the bottom right corner of every page.

For an example of the way the SpeciesID web works, see the StinkBugs page.

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