Last week I traveled to Woods Hole, MA to attend Nomina 2. Woods Hole is the home of the Marine Biology Lab, and it’s where Encylopedia of Life is based. EoL played the host, and did a wonderful job at making us confortable in a very quaint, peaceful town. The meeting was organized by TDWG - an international group that proposes biodiversity information standards and protocols for sharing biodiversity data. Basically they’re a taxonomic group that have and collect data on zoology, biology, botany, viruses, insects, (don’t know what *logy those last two fall in) etc, in order to be able to provide that data to the world in a way that can be shared between different groups. So standards that disparate groups can abide by for now into the future to permanently organize their collections. This was the second meeting of Nomina, (Nomina means “Sacred names” in Latin) with the goal of coming up with a way that 1) unique names can be assigned to specims in biodiversity so that they can be used to share data across disciplines, and 2) a global index of all of this data can be generated so individual nodes can search across all of it and know where to find the details. So the cool thing is I get to work with all of these people from around the world (during this conference we had people from the US, England, Ireland, Holland, Denmark, Belgium, Russia, India, New Zealand), so that it’s not only a true Open Source, community effort, but it’s focused to provide a certain goal, that a ton of people are either behind, or will be once this large of a group builds/adopts it. You can see my photos from the trip on Flickr, and some in session meeting shots on the Encylopedia of Life’s blog. TDWG’s next meeting is in October in Perth, Australia, and they’ve told me they want me there for that. This is getting fun.