For a number of years I have been maintaining an internal catalog for the Colorado State University Herbarium. The base taxonomy used by the Herbarium is ITIS. As you know, terminology changes over time and taxonomies shift so we map the name given on the specimen, which may have been collected in 1890, to the modern terminology.
EOL provides a valuable service through “page” or “taxonConcept”. This is really a numeric identifier for something that is normally referenced by name. One of the interesting features in the old user interface was looking at how the taxon was classified in different taxonomies (and they vary substantially).
When a specimen is added to the Herbarium we automatically check with ITIS to find the preferred name (as well as common names, synonyms…). The preferred name is then used to search EOL to find the taxonConcept. This gives an invariant ID and and also allows us to provide the user a link to EOL page for the species. In mapping between ITIS and EOL I have tried to be careful that the EOL page actually corresponds to the ITIS entry.
This does not seem possible in the re-implemented EOL APIs. The taxonomic name providers have not only changed in sources, but in character. The new providers are species lists while the old providers were taxonomy maintainers. Unless I have some way to map from existing taxonomy (ITIS) to the EOL taxonConcept, I will have to drop EOL references entirely. That is a shame because EOL is a fine resource and maintaining links between the various taxonomic sources is valuable.
New ‘nameAccordingTo’ from page 1127944 (Vanilla Pompona)
EOL Dynamic Hierarchy
South Atlantic Species List
USDA Plants data
North Atlantic Species List
North Pacific Species List
Sweden Species List
Venezuela Species List
Nicaragua Species List
Panama Species List
Peru Species List
Mexico Species List
old nameAccordingTo providers (on my development system):
AntWeb (Ant Species)
WORMS Species Information (Marine Species)
FishBase (Fish Species)
IUCN Red List (Species Assessed for Global Conservation)
Cephaloleia LifeDesk resource
The Reptile Database
GBIF Nub Taxonomy
Avibase - IOC World Bird Names (2011)
Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS)
Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: April 2013