Technologies and APIs

EOL is developed by a talented community of software professionals from around the world.  We use the Agile development methodology and follow best practices in software product management.  You can track our activity by visiting the EOL project page at GitHub.

As part of EOL's commitment to global access, all our software is Open Source.  It is freely available at GitHub under the MIT license.

The EOL website was developed using progressive enhancement to maximize the accessibility of the site.  It was built using Ruby on Rails (http://rubyonrails.org) on top of a MySQL database (http://mysql.com).  EOL uses Solr  (http://lucene.apache.org/solr/) for fast searching and an internally developed content delivery system for large media.  Our nightly automated harvesting process uses PHP (http://php.net/).  All of these tools run on a mix of virtual machines and bare metal Linux-based hosts located at a variety of locations.

Our EOL API strives to be RESTful and is documented at http://eol.org/info/api_overview.

We work with a number of technology organizations around the world, most recently:

  • Hashrocket, a Ruby on Rails design and development shop specializing in test-driven development, pair programming, user-centered design, elegant code, and on-site Ruby on Rails training.  Hashrocket provided user experience and user interface services that were key to the development of the latest EOL website.
  • Vizzuality, a web application development and design company based out of Madrid, Spain. Vizzuality created an interactive species map for EOL pages based on occurrence data from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF).

Speaking of GBIF, we collaborated closely with them to create the latest version of the EOL Transfer Schema. We will be talking a lot about this work in the coming months and years, as it is very exciting.

To accelerate the massive task of translating EOL interfaces into the many languages of H. sapiens, we work with Translatewiki.net.

If you have any questions about EOL's technology or product roadmap visit the EOLv2 Blog at http://blog.eol.org or send us an email.

References

Parr C, Wilson N, Leary P, Schulz K, Lans K, Walley L, Hammock J, Goddard A, Rice J, Studer M, Holmes J, Corrigan Jr. R (2014) The Encyclopedia of Life v2: Providing Global Access to Knowledge About Life on Earth. Biodiversity Data Journal 2: e1079. doi: 10.3897/BDJ.2.e1079