Here's some fantastic stuff I discovered during the TDWG icebreaker yesterday:
- Mandala, a cross-platform, FileMaker® Pro database "designed to track specimen-based biodiversity data, loans, and detail complex nomenclatural histories with their associated literature". A book chapter describes the schema used, but if you prefer to just jump in and try it out, there is a live database of 130,229 specimens across 2,658 (possibly invalid) taxa citing 952 pieces of literature from the Therevidae (Insecta; Diptera).
- mx, a Ruby-based platform for "gathering and working with data", as per Matt Yoder's blog post explaining his approach to writing software for science, which is a great read if you write any kind of software for any area of science. And mx is available on Github, making it perfect to play around with.
- 3I Interactive Keys and Taxonomic Databases, a "set of software tools for creating on-line identification keys, taxonomic databases, and virtual taxonomic revisions". There are plenty of sample datasets here, too.
- Species File, "both a database and a website: The database provides the detailed information about all taxa contained within the scope of the "apex taxon" and the website provides the means to interact with and modify the information contained in the database", principally developed by David Eades. There are a lot of example 'species file' websites available.
And, off of science, Ray's Site, a blog about a blind cat, and how he navigates a world without his sight.