Biology, especially taxonomy, relies on activity of compiling a large amount of observational experiences, most of which should be recorded as images (photo copies or drawings). However, only a small part of those images have been published on academic journals due to page limitation, and the remainings have been unused and finally scrapped after retirement of researchers. If such images (and their relevant descriptions) were databased and opened for public uses on the Internet, those databases will promote biological, especially taxonomic research and education just like present-day DNA databases. |
But, in contrast to the DNA databases, it must be impossible to centralize such large amount of images with various sizes and formats into a few databases. Thus, the biological image databases will inevitably grow as a distributed public domain database (Green, 1994), where each database should be maintained as a "volunteer database" by individual researchers.