Helping the TAXA Knowledge Base Project

The TAXA Wood Knowledge Base has been researched and implemented only by one person, Bill Mudry myself), with very little financial resources and a few thousand hours of work over the past decade. There has been advice and input from programmers in online forums and from others, permission to use their data and wood scans and photos --- but no financial offerings.

All this started as a challenge to myself as a wood collector. After decades of collecting efforts, I have a private wood collection of just over 3,000 different species of wood --- actual wood samples. Back around 10 years ago, I saw there were large botanical databases on the Internet but nothing that came close to a definitive listing of all woods in the world. So .... I took on a challenge to find as many woods as I could come across. After almost 10 years of compiling information, I have been even myself amazed at how much information I have been able to assemble --- a text file of over 5.8 megabyte in size that would take over 2,700 pages to print!

The TAXA (for short) project has been a labor of love with no budget for living expenses and paymennts to keep it online and other expenses coming out of my own very low income. It is my hope that you have enjoyed and benefited from the large database on wood that has been finally put online ---- and for some --- enough that you may wish to contribute to expenses for mantaining and growing the increasing mass of data and information on woods of the world.

The website will be kept operating as a not for profit site. It is not a registered non-profit organization, so regretfully, I cannot provide legal tax receipts. If you graciously do supply funds, the most common ways income will be used will include (roughly in priority:

  • Web Space - Payment for the rented web space to keep TAXA online

  • Other expenses in maintaining the site.

  • Buying more species samples - Simply put, one of the easiest and most convincing ways to determine if a plant (mostly trees and large shrubs) has wood or is woody is if you have an actual piece of the wood. Amongst other wood collectors I know, we have trading lists (some large) of wood species samples. Most samples cost between $2.00 to $4.00 with most rare species rarely exceeding $15 each. We hope you have enjoyed looking at the 2,100+ species so far scanned and installed. Any further species samples that acquired for the Mudry wood collection (presently at 3,011 species) through your financial assistance will be scanned and the scans installed with all the others.

  • Programming Costs - Have been considerably less than I thought they might be as my proficiency in PHP and MySQL has increased. I slow but persistent in programming. The above expenses have to come first, although if contributions were generous, it would be most helpful to hire a professional programmer to assist with more complex tasks. If you are a PHP programmer, your voluntary help would be most welcome.

  • Toward the future, a complex administration module to enter and maintain data is hoped for. Also, there are tools that have long been hoped for that would accelerate future research into finding even more woods worldwide. Both of these are long time future projects that will likely take years to complete.

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