Edward O. Wilson will be pleased with this.
"In a whale-sized project, the world's scientists plan to compile everything they know about all of Earth's 1.8 million known species and put it all on one Web site, open to everyone.
The effort, called the Encyclopedia of Life, will include species descriptions, pictures, maps, videos, sound, sightings by amateurs, and links to entire genomes and scientific journal papers. Its first pages of information will be shown Wednesday in Washington where the massive effort is being announced by some of the world's leading scientific institutions and universities. The project will take about 10 years to complete.
He's been calling for this kind of project for some time, though I reckon his estimate of 50 years, in The Diversity of Life will be closer to how long it actually takes to develop.