Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Ultimate Archive

As reported in today's NY Times, scientists are putting together a Book of All Species online at www.eol.org. The archive will eventually have an entry for every species known. If printed as a book, the known 1.8 million species would be over 300 feet long....and that's not counting the fact that it's estimated that 10 times that number of species are still waiting to be discovered. 

What's especially interesting is that the entries are compiled using an algorithm that searches through scientific databases and publications. As libraries and their content go digital through new media and the scanning and digitizing of old media, we may be looking at a prototype for a new kind of knowledge infrastructure.

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