I went to the Tree of Life page - thanks for the link, btw. I thought it
was a Wiki project, and thus housed on a wiki-site (wikitol.com
like that). It's nice, but a wikispecies would, I think, be easier to
navigate. That's simply how I've seen the wikis to be.
[mailto:wikipedia-l-bounces@Wikimedia.org] On Behalf Of Benedikt Mandl
Sent: Wednesday, August 25, 2004 7:09 AM
To: wpmail(a)pcbartlett.com; wikipedia-l(a)Wikimedia.org
Subject: Re: [Wikipedia-l] Re: Developers needed!
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 be.
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 much.
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 support.
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