There is already a Web site that also aims to answer “What’s in my backyard?” At, David Stang has assembled close to 3 million pages of information (one species per page) based on more than 37 million field observations that include latitude and longitude. Taxonomic information is provided, and there are more than 250,000 photographs on the site. The organisms covered by the site include plants, animals, fungi, Protozoa, bacteria, and Chromista, and coverage is constantly increasing.

Maren H. Brown
Syracuse, N.Y.

Unfortunately for the success of the Encyclopedia of Life project, development of browser-friendly portals to scientists’ data does no good unless there’s also someone hiring scientists to work on each species. There are not enough jobs for scientists working on systematics, especially invertebrates and protists, to generate the necessary data.

David Campbell
Tuscaloosa, Ala.