The has announced grants totaling $12.5 million from the and foundations to continue its efforts to organize and make freely available online virtually all information about life on Earth.
The MacArthur Foundation, which provided EOL with $10 million when the project launched in 2007, gave an additional $10 million, while the Sloan Foundation, another founding sponsor, contributed an additional $2.5 million. Two years into the ten-year project, EOL now includes 30,000 still images and videos and more than 150,000 of an expected 1.8 million species pages containing expert-verified text and/or images. In addition, 75 percent of the encyclopedia's architecture has been completed, with 1.4 million placeholder pages already in place.
The project presents authoritative, well-organized species information, including DNA barcodes and other genetic sequences, from diverse global sources. Both scientific experts and ordinary citizens can contribute to the project by uploading images, sharing data, and writing or editing pages.
"With new content and tools in place, EOL is open for business as never before," said EOL executive director James Edwards. "And we intend to harness the eyes and collective brainpower of hundreds of thousands of users to spot intriguing new information, share observations, and enhance EOL's role as a leading provider of accurate and relevant biodiversity information."