What if there were a website with an open database of reusable images, available under Creative Commons licenses? What if you could do phylogenetic searches, so that, even if there weren't a silhouette for the taxon in question, you could at least find something close? What if you could build images like this...
...without having to look all over the web for figures?
Well, now you can! I've launched a new site called:
It's currently in public alpha, which means it's not quite done. So, I have some caveats:
- I'm pulling most taxonomic data from uBio. It's great because it's really comprehensive. But it's also a huge mess because it stores multiple classifications, many of which are outdated and disagree with each other. (This isn't uBio's fault, as its goal is to store all these classifications, not to offer one nice, neat classification.) So you may (will) find some errata in the phylogenetic system. I'm working on cleaning it up, but there are a lot of taxonomic names out there....
- It's still early on, so there are only about a hundred images in the database. It will grow over time, but don't be surprised if the closest image it has for your favorite invertebrate is some kind of indiscriminate worm.
- There are some known bugs (and I don't mean Hemiptera). The Issues Page is open to all, though, so you can read the known issues and report new ones. (Please do!)
It's a work in progress, but I think it has enormous potential. And I think it's reached a state where it's ready for public use and feedback. So have a look, see what you think, and let me know! (And, if you're artistically inclined, please consider submitting some silhouettes of your own.)