Share your EOLv3 Use Cases: What are you trying to do on EOL?


The EOL team is interested in hearing about what you are looking for and/or trying to accomplish on EOL. Please feel free to share your personal and professional “use cases” in this thread. We will use this information to improve the support scaffolding on the site and to prioritize new development.


Thanks for asking! I’m a programmer, teacher at Montgomery College (web dev), nature lover/gardener/photographer-for-fun and have been involved with Rockville Science Center and the Rockville Environment Commission. I’d love to someday combine all of those interests and create an open source project involving cataloging photos & comments about local flora and fauna, and using it as a teaching tool and community project. I heard you (Bob) talking about an EOL API at a talk you gave a few months back and thought how wonderful it would be to be able to identify the species of whatever is in those photos and include a link to the right entry in EOL so people could find out more from a wider community. But writing this out, maybe I’m approaching it backwards and the API should be used to add the photos to EOL instead of creating a separate local database, or maybe both… Anyway, that is my rambling answer to “What are you trying to do on EOL?”

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Hi, I used EOL to cross check plant taxonomies from various historic resources and digitially capture groups of plant, animals, and insects taxonmies for further use in outputs with Inaturalist for quick reference guides or identifcation guides specifically to honey bee plant fodder, pests and other useful plants and animals to their habitat or ethnobotanical use.

Also I add additional common names in various languages as found in my various research and travel.

Working with other groups I hope to teach them how easy it is to make collections (i.e. plant or bird surveys of a particular place) to share with other parties in a easy and concise way, rather than a stagnet excel or word docuement.

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I am trying to figure out how to make an API call to use a common name to look up scientific names, limited to BIRDS (Aves). I feel like I am banging my head against a wall because in the old forum I see people limiting searches in similar ways but I just have not been able to figure it out.

The purpose is as a demo project to allow people to make personal logs of their own bird sightings, and also to look up more information about a particular bird to confirm that the bird they saw is the species they thought it was.


Hello, mjblauvelt! Thanks for reporting the hairiness of this. Please let me know if the following example is helpful:

Standing by,



I am a frequent API user. I use them to construct my own taxonomy database for the website that I’m running for academic purposes. What I wish for EOLv3 is ways to add common names to a taxon via API. In EOLv2, you have to login to the site and navigate to common name page then post the form by hand. I have added more than 10,000 names so far by this method but I can work a lot faster if there was an API for it. Please consider it.


On a separate topic, I would like to refer to one definitive taxonomic hierarchy rather than several different ones. Some hierarchies on EOLv2 are utterly incomplete and useless.

EOLv3 beta has EOL Dynamic Hierarchy. This looks promising. How many species does this hierarchy have at this moment? I want this tree to have at least 3 million species records. Let’s make this one definitive taxonomic hierarchy.

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The current version of the EOL Dynamic Hierarchy has 2.2 million species. There will be a new version out soon, but it won’t have 3 million species. There are several speciose groups where no good taxonomy sources are available.


Thanks. on the related topic, what is dynamic about EOL Dynamic Hierarchy?

Does it mean this tree can change and grow in the future?

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Yes, we are planning to update the hierarchy continuously, adding new taxa, revising the tree structure, and fixing problems based on community feedback.


Hello everyone,

In my case, I have a list of wikidata identifiers (URIs) for a small set of species (1000 distinct aprox) and I would like to enrich the set with EOL data that can’t be queried through Wikidata SPARQL service. Specifically, I want the get the URIs of the objects that my species are linked to by the use of certain properties like, for example, the following ones:

  • habitat (property -> rs.tdwg. org/dwc/terms/habitat)

  • realm (property -> purl.obolibrary. org/obo/GAZ_00000071)

  • geographic dist (property -> eol. org/schema/terms/Present)

I’ve tried by using the classic API, but fetched .jsons do not include that kind of data and I have no access to the Cypher API (recently requested) yet.

Therefore, now I’m wondering if I could use / terms / to somehow retrieve those objects, but I’m struggling to understand which parameters it accepts and if there is the possibility to directly fetch for json or xml data. I already tried the TSV download option but in this way it is quite hard to automate this “simple” task.

Any recommendation would be appreciated.