Four of us from Solertium have just returned from the 2008 World Conservation Congress in Barcelona, where we supported our largest strategic customer, IUCN, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. IUCN is a democratic membership union including some of the largest organizations in conservation (WWF, The Nature Conservancy, Natural England, Birdlife International, Conservation International, etc.), governments, and almost 11,000 volunteer scientists.
In many ways, our most important contribution was to develop the Species Information Service (SIS) software used to compile IUCN's Red List of Threatened Species™. This is the authoritative worldwide reference on threatened species. 2008 represented the largest update to the Red List ever, compiled by IUCN's team in Cambridge, UK using Solertium's software. Our success in developing the SIS software follows many efforts by some of the largest names in the software and conservation sectors. SIS represents two years of continuous work and a significant investment by IUCN.
IUCN passed out USB sticks containing the SIS software and other resources, and conducted quiet and enthusiastically attended training sessions in between other business. While the Red List -- SIS's output -- makes the headlines, it is very exciting and satisfying for us to know that our team built the system that made the 2008 Red List possible, and will power the scientific community's assessment of threatened species for years to come. We continue to work on SIS, and to strategize with IUCN on how to build on and consolidate initial SIS successes.
We're thankful to Jim Ragle, Manager, Species Information at IUCN for his deep involvement, his commitment to the SIS mission, and his confidence in Solertium to achieve results. We're also very grateful for the patience and diligence of Craig Hilton-Taylor and Caroline Pollock at the IUCN Red List Unit, who struggled through a long year of reconciling three diverse forms of Red List data, and launching a real product based largely on emerging technologies.
Our "splashiest" success at Barcelona was the launch of the Protect Planet Ocean portal (http://www.protectplanetocean.org). This project was a joint effort between IUCN, Solertium, and Google, and ties in with Google's ongoing efforts to empower nonprofits and improve ecological awareness in Google Earth. Protect Planet Ocean brought together content from more than a dozen NGO's in a historic collaboration, and exercises a broad combination of Google technologies, from Google Earth to YouTube to Blogger. It also represents the first truly large-scale application of our GoGoEgo content management software, powered by Google Web Toolkit and hosted in production by Google App Engine.
We are thankful for the opportunity to work with everyone on the Protect Planet Ocean steering committee, and especially thrilled for the chance to roll up our sleeves with the core portal development team: Andrew Hurd, Dan Laffoley, Elizabeth De Santo, Louisa Wood, and Steve Miller.
Please be sure to check out these important global resources on the Web. We're proud of our entire team's contribution to these successes, but I especially wish to thank: Adam Schwartz, who has very effectively led our involvement in SIS for nearly two years now; Liz Schwartz, who developed key SIS components and ported GoGoEgo to App Engine for Protect Planet Ocean, and Carl Scott, overall technical lead for the GoGoEgo CMS.