The Encyclopedia of Life is a proposed website that will catalog all of earthâ€™s 1.8 million known species. The project is expected to take about ten years to complete.
The MacArthur and Sloan foundations have given a total $12.5 million to pay for the first 2 1/2 years of the massive effort, but it will be free and accessible to everyone.
The pages can be adjusted so that they provide useful information for both a schoolchild and a research biologist alike, with an emphasis on encouraging "citizen-scientists" to add their sightings. While amateurs can contribute in clearly marked side pages, the key detail and science parts of the encyclopedia will be compiled and reviewed by experts.
This video shows how it will work. Push play or go to YouTube. Link to website. http://news.wired.com/dynamic/stories/E/ENCYCLOPEDIA_OF_LIFE?SITE=WIRE&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT to news article.