Hip Hop Offers Lessons on Life Science Data Integration
Ontogeny: iSpecies.org and Census of Marine Life Update
I searched on Solenopsis invicta and thought the return information was great.
open data and open APIs enable scientific mashups
The biodiversity community is one group working to develop such services. To demonstrate the principle, Roderic Page of the University of Glasgow, UK, built what he describes as a "toy" — a mashup called Ispecies.org (http://darwin.zoology.gla.ac.uk/~rpage/ispecies). If you type in a species name it builds a web page for it showing sequence data from GenBank, literature from Google Scholar and photos from a Yahoo image search. If you could pool data from every museum or lab in the world, "you could do amazing things", says Page.
This is too cool - some interesting examples of "Scientific mashups" from Richard Akerman. I followed the iSpecies link and was blown away by the data that was returned. I studied a damselfly called Argia vivida for my graduate degree and way back then finding data on the bug was not always easy. Searching the species in iSpecies bring up a TaxID number to the NCBI Taxonomy Browser, a list of papers from Google Scholar and images from Yahoo Images. This is an excellent example of what we have all been waiting for with the promise of the Web and web services in particular. The concept of a page for every species known is a dream come true for science, so this one is worth watching.