1) A review of similar projects on the web.
-- ITIS is a US government database - is it public domain. Would it be
-- What happened to the data from the crippled allspecies project? Could
it be released and used?
-- Tolweb? Who is behind it? How are they doing? Would they welcome
An evalutation of that was already done to some extend. I know ITIS and
its European equivalent IPNI, both very good ressources and probably
supportive. Species2000 is based on other species bases who certainly got
money at least in some cases for providing their data. ALL species
released nothing apart from big noise and therefore, I would personally
not expect much more than addresses with people who might support us. They
still maintain an office via the Californian Academy of Sciences, but
don't do much. I will check out Tolweb. So far, I'd say that Fishbase.org
is the most advanced database in a similar manner as WikiSpecies should
2) Funding. A db devoted to species is much more likely to be eligible
for certain funding than a general project. E.g. tolweb is basically
funded by NSF grants (http://tolweb.org/tree/home.pages/funding.html
Could/should wikispecies take advantage in a way that wikipedia
Funding: I created a list of potential supporters, covering government
grants, private foundations, museums, universities and individuals who
might provide us with funding. The problem is, that several projects were
based on donations and public funding and didn't take off properly (ALL
species, Species2000). All successful bases (IPNI, fishbase.org
) were at
least started as non-commercial, more than less public directories. I dont
want to release the list, as I don't think that funding will be neccessary
to get started - and a pain to get unless we have something to show.
3) Target audience. The target audience should be scientists and the
information contained should be scientific. This will attract scientists
to the project. Otherwise it overlaps with the current WP project too
Yes and no - in combination with wikipedia and wiktionary I am sure that
WikiSpecies will become a valuable and accepted ressource for many non-
professional users as well. See fishbase: it is scientific, done by
scientist, but highly aprreciated by divers, nature lovers, marinists and
4) A commitment to develop the WikiDB module as
mentioned by Tim
Starling. I don't think using plain MediaWiki would be good enough for
wikispecies - implementing in terms of categories and templates would be
a bit hackish for the purposes required. A proper db would reduce the
overlap with WPToL.
5) A commitment that the information would be GDFL compatible.
Most of taxonomic data is open and public anyway.
Thank you for the input. I am looking forward on more feedback and
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