All known woods in the world (Online)
All known woods in the world (Online)
This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Thu, December 19 2019 4:24 PM UTC +00:00.
Support the TAXA Project
A Knowledge Base for All Known Woods in the World
The formal name for the project is The TAXA Wood Knowledge Base. This is a little long, so we refer to it far more often just as TAXA (all capitals).
A short note: Taxa in lower case in science means plural “taxons”. Spelling checkers refuse to accept TAXA (in all capitals) as being different than lower case taxa --- and so makes unfortunate countless errors claiming matching duplicate supporting words. Long ago I picked TAXA as an abbreviation of taxonomy. We still love the name TAXA in daily use.
By the way ---- if you see that our text version has few images, the video has far more formatting and colour.
Also, you can go to the actual TAXA website any time (woodsoftheworld.org) That is when you will see full colour and all the power of web and database action happening.
Most books and sources for woods limit themselves to information on woods you can buy or somewhere has a commercial connection. TAXA includes this but strides forward to list ALL the woods known in the world! We are close to that. In fact, we have all the data for this offline. 15,500+ woods are already showing. New funding will make it possible to push this to a WORLD RECORD of listing over 60,000 species of wood and even a second world record of the most “woody genera”. Now how often do you have a chance to help funding to push TAXA into TWO world records?! How exiting that can be.
TAXA is in serious need of being rescued ---- it risks becoming obsolete on the Internet. Much of the PHP code is written in version 5.3 which became outdated around 2014. TAXA needs to be brought up to code to version 7.2. TAXA needs to be moved over to a higher-powered hosting server (costing at least $600/year) plus costs to move it over to the new server and possible costs for technical help to do this).
Dream on. TAXA has many functions and much data ---- but this pales to how much data and information still needs to be added ---- so much so that no one person could input so much text, scans and photos in one life. TAXA deserves to rise after over 18 years of my initial single effort to become a world reference for more woods than any other source. It is so close to doing that. That will require considerable funding to hire assistants to help install such massive volumes of additional data and information.
The TAXA Video
There is a lot of truth to the saving that “A photo is worth a thousand words”. There are areas in the video that have words quite similar to the text in this text-only writing you are reading. However, presenting TAXA logos in colour, showing off people that are being interviewed and showing off over 320 different woods in colour while I am talking are all examples of the indispensable use of live video action.
I suggested to our video photographer to tape some people saying how many woods they know. Even before that was done, I knew the count would be very low --- and it was. Few people have any idea that there are tens of thousands of different woods. I knew that this preamble was a necessary first step. I put on a display over 300 different woods in color to help them understand that there are thousands of different woods that exist. If we did not, possibly with such a low count, many could not even understand what TAXA is about.
The real story is not just the big display of hundreds of woods but TAXA itself, the website it stays on and its many functions and data. Text in this article starts at the point when I am interviewed showing off features right on a screen in the real online TAXA. Numerous needs are described that explain why funding is so needed.
You are welcome to skip ahead at any time to browse right in TAXA itself at: woodsoftheworld.org.
You are also invited to watch the video itself. Exclusive to the video you can see in motion the people being queried on how many woods they know followed by a large display of woods while I am talking, followed a lot showing TAXA’s many needs for funding.
Meanwhile, if your time is short, I hope you can at least read the first 4 needs listing needs TAXA has to be funded. This should provide strong evidence to help you decide that funding the TAXA project is much needed. If you care to read much more, just keep reading to the end, text or video. TAXA (with sufficient funds) after so many years to get this far, is poised to grow into one of the most through references on wood in the world.
TAXA Presentation on Kickstarter
Summary Text Content Menu for the TAXA Presentation on Kickstarter
1 - Facts Summary About the Taxa Website
2 - TAXA's Three stages of development
3 - More Description of TAXA and Taxonomy
4 - TAXA's Funding Needs
5 - Conclusions - How Patrons Funds Will Be Used
- BGCI & the Global Tree Search.
- Terrible Worldwide Forest Devastations (Listed by countries)
- Intro to Private Wood Collecting
Facts Summary on TAXA each time it is requested.
TAXA's Three Stages of Development
TAXA started as a search to find as many woody species as I could since no comprehensive such list on all known woods in the world could be found. As a wood collector, that would be the theoretical top list of wood that could be collected. The audience of interest in this would be a smaller group of other wood collectors. Findings were recorded only on text file. It grew to a large 5.8 Megabytes in size within a few years.
The audience of such a list for the purpose of wood collecting is relatively small.
It was recognized as years and development went by, that information that had been acquired was not just a list of woods. By then a lot of information on many woods had also been recorded. It became apparent that TAXA had been growing and develping into not just a wood list but as a full wood knowledge base. This expands the audience of interest and value far beyond to be of interest and value to a massively larger audience. The range of people with interests in wood is very large in number and broad in topics.
There is one audience to TAXA on a world-wide basis that is even more vast --- namely those in the world who see the importance of protection all species of trees (and therefore all woods) that need to be saved from extinction.
Starting early last year by 2017, a third realization had happened. Our world forests have been taking a terrible onslaught with many nation's forests being devastated. On a world scale, there is an urgent need to curb such uncontrolled destruction.
TAXA cannot stop and undo the illegal pillage of our forests with armed forces. What it can and will do will be to at least publish the largest list of all known woods in the world. That is a first and important action. No one can assist to protect all woods and woody species until the names of all these woods is at least known. The data for such a complete list is ready to be put online. Some technical help is needed first to finally accomplish that. Funding is needed to finally bring into being an online list of all known woods --- and then to publicize the existence of this list around the world.
Incidentally, TAXA parallels closely to what BGCI has done with a study of finding and recording all species of trees known in the world (see the appendix for more information). TAXA is benefiting tremendously from the Global Tree Survey finished almost 2 years ago. There are, some woods that do not grow as trees, such as large vines in tropical areas. Because of these other sources for wood, when the full list of woods is published online, it will most likely be slightly larger than the list of all woody trees. Funds are needed to finally get that complete list of known woods installed and viewable on the Woods of the World (TAXA) website. Help fund what we expect to be a world record listing of all known woods in the world.
INTRODUCTION TO TAXA's NATURE, NEEDS AND COSTS
TAXA is unique. It is more powerful and versatile than,say, any one book. When a book is authored, no matter how many pages there are between the front cover and the end cover, by the time an author completes the last page of a book ---- it is finished. There is no more content to add.
All the content for TAXA is stored and viewable in digital form in a database driven website. Contrasted to a book, the size of all knowledge offered by TAXA is not limited by pages (such as a book is) but by the capacity of the database and how much data has been added to it. The more TAXA is funded the more data can can be added and in a shorter time by having a team of people to speed up this process.
The hosting I pay for has unlimited storage and unlimited bandwidth. This has allowed TAXA to expand into multiple directions and functions (... all to do with wood). Each added function adds power and versatility to TAXA. This also requires making corrections, improvements and programming additions, all of which cost to hire programming services.
TAXA has many functions and features. Some are vital to the very existence of the website operating. Other features already existing need various improvements to make them even much more powerful, versatile and easy to use. There is massive data installed already in TAXA --- yet there is many times more data that needs be added.
One person alone could not manage alone in a lifetime to add all this data Helpers are needed to expand and add in such huge volumes and to speed up this huge job. It will take funding to do that. Funds are also needed to improve, correct and advance other features and functions that already exist.
IF YOUR TIME IS LIMITED, please read the most demanding needs that taxa has, current projects with very high priority. Reading only these will give you a background on helping the whole project survive, allow change over to newer and more powerful hosting ---- which will make it more practical to finally add online data.
IF INSTEAD .... you would love to learn more about the many needs for taxa in the present, you are invited to read on further.
There are plans conceived long ago for future additions also. There is so much to be done with current additions, corrections and improvements. Consider future tasks to not commence for months or possibly short years before more pressing needs will be addressed first. They are lower priority until their time comes. You are welcome to read about them or even write to ask but they are truly expansion tasks into the.future.
Current and Serious Funding Needs
1 - By far, the most essential and serious task will be to upgrade any and all PHP code from its present version of 5.3 to version 7.2. Until that happens ===> The entire TAXA project is in peril of becoming incompatible on the Internet ==>TAXA COULD DISAPPEAR OFF OF THE INTERNET (ALONG WITH YEARS OF DEVELOPMENT)!
Professional programmers help will most likely be needed to complete this vital transition. Funds will be needed for that.
2 - When that happens, it will be possible to change the hosting arrangement being used to run on a newer C-Panel system on a dedicated server instead of on a shared server with far more restrictions. These servers are somewhat more expensive than shared servers.
3 - Once that is finished and running fine, it will be easier to finally add over 45,000 species online for a total exceeding 60,000 species in the world --- all the woods known in the world! It WILL BE A WORLD RECORD ... AND A DREAM COME TRUE FROM HOW THE PROJECT STARTED! Expect another first, namely the largest list of genera for woods worldwide also!
4 - Changing TAXA over to a "secure server" and with good backup services would be a very wise action to protect TAXA for years, including protection against hackers and serious viruses and malware. So would paying for hosting up to at least 5 years ahead. All this costs.
The first 4 tasks above are vital (and even exciting) for TAXA to remain online safely, showing the largest listing of woods in the world.
IF YOUR READING TIME IS SHORT, I HOPE THAT YOU HAVE READ AT LEAST
THIS FAR. There is a lot more following if you care to read on
further ...... If you are wanting to know more about the many additional tasks and
financial needs of TAXA over the coming months of the year, you are cordially
invited to continue reading on.
Funding Needs for Current Tasks (Medium Priority)
There are numerous pending tasks and of differing complexity. With enough funds and assistance, these tasks should reach completion from less than a month through to within a year. How rapidly all these tasks can be done and finished will be strongly related to the size of the funds that are provided via Kickstarter by your generous support. Future tasks over a year from now will not be attempted before many of the current task needs for Taxa are largely completed.
5 - If TAXA ever becomes very popular on the Internet (--if ever --) with a lot of traffic, hosting costs can rise and would need to be paid.
6 - The amount of text data - to be added for each wood listed is in totally truly HUGE! A major cost will be to hire assistants to input such a massive amount of information. This is a longer term, huge task. How much can be done will depend on how much funds come in. The more data that can be added, the more valuable TAXA will become as a primary source for all woods (including thousands of woods well past being able to buy them).
7 - Adding thousands of Scans and photos - At least 1,200 more scans can be added from the Mudry Wood collection alone and more as time and opportunity allow gathering more scans. I hope to hire an avid (paid) photographer to assist in speeding up this process. More funds needed to complete this.
8 - I have said for some years that if you wonder if a species is woody is if you have a sample of the wood. The more species there are in a wood collection, the more species scans can be valued as to whether a sample is wood or woody. I know where there is a wood collection dormant for many years in an institute in Ontario. It is too early to determine if they would allow to release this collection to TAXA paid for or not. Having funds to offer for the collection perhaps would help convince them if an offer to purchase could sway the decision to let the collection go. The total number of samples is around 2,000. That could bring forward hundreds of new species that could be scanned, observed and added to TAXA.
9 - When fully loaded with all new genera the total listed woody genera will be just over 6,000. When all species are loaded and viewable that total will likely be around 65,000 to 70,000 different woods. Wood knowledgeable assistants are needed to go through this huge volume of records to find and correct errors.
As an example of needed tasks, all genera need to have at least one species associated with them. This is yet one more massive job to find and correct all errors. It will cost to hire people who would be reasonably proficient in doing this.
10- Equipment Costs
For expanding the UV florescence gallery, new professional equipment is needed. The higher the wattage of UV emitted light that can be used, the easier it would be to photograph weak fluorescence. An ideal light source can be bought with 90 watts of power and with 3 bandwidths of UV plus white light. This lamp has strong filters to keep out visible light. Cost of such a system would be at least $2,300 USD plus taxes, shipping and possibly Customs charges. The results though would be fantastic. This could also perhaps create the largest library known of UV fluorescence! A library of fluorescence photos would be an important tool to assist in wood species identification.
11 - Matching titles in Thumbnails and Expanded Scans
In all galleries and species pages in TAXA, the data below thumbnails presently do not follow along with the expanded photos and scans after clicking on the thumbnail. This needs to be corrected, perhaps with additional data fields installed also. As with other changes, funding will be needed.
12 - General Wood Data
The amount of data that could be added into TAXA is so huge, past what has already been stored, that I have at times said I could use a whole office of volunteers or paid helpers to add in data for even just woods that have some evidence of being commercially obtainable. TAXA is so exceptional in that it includes far more than just commercially accessible woods. Data is added for tens of thousands of woods even more than just commercially available woods. It is a massive job. The long term needed for doing this means large funds are needed.
How Patrons Funds Will Be Used
- TAXA has a long list of individual tasks to be done. When each planned task is finished, there are many tasks waiting their turn. There is a massive mountain of data to add, large enough to not be completed for a long time --- if ever. To some extent, some data even changes . Nevertheless, each addition and change is cause to rejoice as each step brings TAXA to a higher and more complete level as a knowledge resource for wood on a world basis. The more funding that can be provided, the faster and further TAXA can be transformed into a comprehensive source of knowledge for more woods than any other book or single source.
- Many Multiple tasks and costs are already listed above. There is a whole priority of planned tasks that add up to high costs to birth. How much can be done will matter on much money can come in via your donations. If TAXA’s funding drive should become surprisingly successful, well past the minimum asked for in Kickstarter, it need not be considered over funded. The larger the funding the further TAXA can be developed into a more and more amazing one of a kind system ---- and at a faster rate.
Remember ---- We are asking a minimum target of $30,000. Kickstarter states that we need to get at least as much as we ask --- or we get no money at all. Please donate generously. If you do, there are so many tasks to be done. The end result will be spectacular! Multiples beyond $30,000 would take longer to complete but would transform TAXA into an amazing exceptional source for all woods in the world.
Our Precious Earth
- Our earth is the only viable place for all humans and all other life forms to live in. Even the first star (with no planets) would take 40 years to get there one way and with only a small handful of people using the fastest speeds known by humans. We need to take good care of our precious planet. TAXA goes a long way to help us understand all that there is uniquely precious to us all.
TAXA and a Small Start Into Taxonomy
Many people have minimal knowledge about wood. A few comments can help readers understand and navigate the TAXA website. In designing TAXA, most of the largest audience for TAXA would be people with interests in common woods but not necessarily with a formal education in wood. That is a large percentage of the public. Recognizing this, A separate database was created for woods recorded to have commercial connections.
Many people know woods mainly by their common names. Common names are fine for most commercial applications but with thousands of woods existing in so many continents, common names generate a lot of errors and misjudgements. Some woods have many different common names for the same wood and various common names describe erroneously different woods. That gets awful confusing The middle of the 1700's was the start of a scientific system for naming every and all kinds of living organisms, trees and wood included. Using this naming system is called taxonomy. TAXA has been a short nickname from the word taxonomy.
A genus (genera for more than one) groups woods into common categories (such as all oaks (named Quercus), all pines (Pinus), all rosewoods (Dalbergia) and so on. There are just over 6,000 independent genera. Each has various species listed under them that are of common likeness.
A species (spelled the same whether single or multiple) has the genus it is categorized by as the first part of the species name. When a second name is added to it, this marks it to represent an exact, individual wood.
- Quercus suberi is the botanical name of Cork Oak
- Pinus banksiana is the botanical name of Jack Pine
- Dalbergia stevensonii is the botanical name of Honduras Rosewood
This is a very short start into understanding taxonomy. However just this little introduction can help you understand TAXA pages themselves much more. If you care to learn more, a more advanced start is right in the TAXA website itself at:
BGCI - The Botanical Gardens Conservatory Institute
BGCI has a mandate to help all plants to avoid becoming extinct. Over recent years, saving trees has been a strong interest of BGCI. A couple years ago, they completed a list as close as they can find to the names of all known trees in the world.
There are over 3,000 botanical gardens in the world. BGCI has over 800 of these gardens as members. They have far greater academic outreach to professionals than one person could ever have. TAXA is so grateful to the completed study that now names over 60,000 trees species in the world. Every tree that exists has its own wood.
It took years for me to arrive at finding just over 15,535 different species of woods. How fortunate that the studies for over 60,000 trees closely parallels TAXA's search for all the woods in the world. Once some technical problems to add over 45,000 wood specie s already being stored offline, TAXA will grow to reporting likely beyond 60,000 species of woods worldwide! TAXA is in gratitude for the huge volume that is close to being (for all we know) the largest list of woods in the world. Your donations are vital to reach this goal.
Terrible Forest Devastations By Countries (Listed by countries)
Horrible devastation is happening arounds the world to our forests. Indonesia has lost 70% of its forests.
Brazil's huge Amazon forest has shrunk drastically to only half of what it used to be like. A quick summary of 7 countries is listed below:
Belize - In 2010 Belize had 63% of remaining forest cover.
Panama – 45% of remaining forest cover
Honduras – 41% of remaining forest cover
Guatemala – 37% of remaining forest cover
Nicaragua – 29% of remaining forest cover
El Salvador – 21% of remaining forest cover
Costa Rica – 46% of remaining forest cover
No doubt about it. Our forests around the world are on a course of serious destruction.
- TAXA cannot organize armed armies to stop the huge illegal poaching of our forests. TAXA can, though, assist worldwide in identifying all the known woods of the world and making this list public. This is the first step in preventing species from going extinct. It is an important role. Otherwise, you cannot save woods unless you at least know what they are.
Intro to Private Wood Collecting
It is amazing the variety of things that people collect, from coins, stamps, sports cards, rocks and minerals and a long list of other things. Trees and wood surround us every day. It is almost odd that more people would not think of collecting wood samples from around the world. Over 40 years ago from starting, my wood collection has grown to just over 3,600 species of wood samples from around the world. I know some wood collectors with collectors approaching 7,000 samples.
How can people gather samples of wood around the world be practical -- in jungles, mountain sides, thousands of miles apart, in freezing cold and unbearably hot deserts and jungles? Since 1947 when the International Wood Collectors Society formed wood collecting has become a truly viable pursuit --- even as a personal passion. The more people join, the more point sources around the world there are for sharing and trading.
After finding out about IWCS (for short), by 1977 I paid for a life membership and have accepted IWCS as a gateway to collecting wood. Regional meetings are held along with annual gatherings in countries around the world. If you look at the 2,400 scans of different woods in the TAXA color gallery, you can enjoy seeing the vast colors, grains and general fascinations that wood can have.
If you would like more information on IWCS and becoming a wood collector, there is a lot that you can learn ---- and even join at the IWCS website:
Alternately, you can contact me (Bill Mudry) in the Contact Us page at:
Risks and challenges
Not getting at least the #30,000 goal and therefore getting no money is the worst risk. I would lose quite a bit, at least $2,000 for a professional video and other expenses and for over 300 new woods to add to the collection and for video recording. Ultimately our health can always be an intervening surprise. I am 72 and Audrey will be 67 November 30th. She owns our property including the commercial building 12 ft. from the house that I so hope can build a small office, a place to bring my helpers work each day. It would be hard to find another place to meet and also declare the new world home of TAXA. From the start, TAXA is like a book growing with new versions, only online. Give me $30K and I can do considerably more than I could before just by myself. Give me a $million and I can do FAR more yet with more data helpers, with a whole crew of workers and greater chances in less time of advancing TAXA into a world class knowledge base of ---- all known woods, over 65, 000! The biggest book I have ever heard about woods has about 1,000 species.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter