January 15, 2007 (Vol. 27, No. 2)
Strong Points: Abundance of well organized information
Weak Points: Nothing significant
With a mission to “assemble and share knowledge in order to improve education, health, agriculture, economic development, and conservation throughout the world,” Discover Life has lofty aims and goes the distance to see that it succeeds. The opening page is deceptively simple, housing a search engine and links to 12 content areas. Included in this list are some pages with mother lodes of information, most of which include beautiful pictures. The not so humbly titled All Living Things section succinctly divides life into 15 categories and then subdivides those amazingly well. The Tree of Life section takes another approach to organization, and it too is useful, though a bit nerdy in appearance. Other useful sections include IDnature guides (assists in identification of species), Education (materials and much more), and Invasives (invasive species info). I wasn’t sure what the Global Mapper was aimed at doing relative to discovering life. With an interface like Google Maps, it is great at giving satellite views of the planet, but that is about it. Overall, though, this is a wonderful site that hits on almost all cylinders.