Monday, January 14, 2013

Illustrated #Wikispecies Tree

Wikispecies is one #Wikimedia project that is probably the least well known. It exists only in one language; English. It aims to include all the species and all the other levels of the nomenclature of plants and animals.

The nomenclature is a system that relates many different levels together. As the information is available in Wikispecies and, it is possible to present this in a different way. The resulting "tree of life" is really interesting and it deserves attention. Read the announcement on the Wikispecies village pump below and check out the illustration of all apes at the bottom.

I've created an interactive illustrated tree of life based on the Wikispecies data. You can check it out here. (See Village_Pump#Taxon_Tree, especially EncycloPetey's comments, for discussion of what such a tree can and cannot be.)
Apart from being fun to play with, one purpose this can serve is to help spot erroneous links on Wikispecies. For example, the plant family Melastomataceae is currently listed as containing Dionycha, which is a group of spiders. I've already corrected a bunch of these errors locally, so they're no longer visible in the tree linked above. However I wasn't sure how to go about correcting them on Wikispecies. Presumably what the person who entered "Dionycha" intended was something like "Dionycha_(Plantae)", so I shouldn't just delete the link, right? In any case, here is a list of erroneous links I noticed.
If you're interested in using this as a tool for verification, here is an uncorrected version based on the most recent dump (2013.01.05). Some further issues are also discussed there.
-- Lifetree (talk) 03:41, 9 January 2013 (UTC)

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