For the past year or so, I’ve been working on identifying galls on iNat. Working with many other naturalists, I’ve accumulated a lot of sources, most of which are publicly available but very difficult for amateurs to find and interpret, but some of which are not publicly available at all. I’d love to make a website that brings all this information (ie, collecting every published piece of info on every gallformer described in North America) together in one easily accessible place. I’ve been able to use the iNat Guide tool to do this on a small scale for a couple more manageable groups (hackberry, hickory), but it’s not a scalable or flexible solution (the target ambition will likely include 2-3000 species). We’ve made a huge amount of progress in IDing gall observations but it annoys me to think that the info we’ve accumulated is largely still stuck in our heads when it could easily be made available in a quick search.
The last time I brought this topic up, Ken-ichi suggested I look into the open-source Go Botany platform. I tried that on my own but quickly found I didn’t know know enough to make it far. Anyway, with all the tools that already exist for this sort of thing, I’m optimistic that I wouldn’t need to hire a whole team to build something from the ground up. But I do need some help, so I’m asking here: I’m looking for someone/several people to consult and assist on designing a database and either adapting the Go Botany code (a PostgreSQL database, not sure about the website end) or finding/designing an alternative way to present this database to the public. I’m also open to any other advice about how to approach this project (eg grants to apply for, institutions to partner with, etc).