November 15, 2006 (Vol. 26, No. 20)
Strong Points: Excellent coverage
Weak Points: None
After 10 years of doing “Best of the Web” for GEN, I thought I had the internet covered better than anyone around until I found this set of pages. A website about spiders wins prizes for being both redundant and self-referential. How often does that happen? Here are the facts. In North America and Greenland, there are over 4,500 species of spiders (Greenland has spiders???—Yes!). If you doubt that, check out the amazing maps integrated with data on spider distribution. That’s only the tip of a big iceberg on this amazingly broad site. The opening page notes that its members are mostly Canadian, but there is a growing international component, as well. I can see why. If I were an arachnologist, I’d be on here for sure. Other highlights include an active discussion forum and a database of over 50,000 specimens, 1,820 species, and 415 images. A free annual newsletter is available, as well as spider information that is geographically focused. I have a hard time thinking about what else I’d add to this mix.