Back last year at TDWG2008 in Fremantle there was a Wild Ideas session where people could propose crazy things that might not be serious or urgent. I gave a presentation called SpeciesIndex?: A practical alternative to fantasy mashups. This was meant to be a bit of fun but actually went down quiet well with a few people coming up to me afterward who were interest in it. A wiki page called SpeciesPages was created to flesh out the ideas.
The ideas presented in the paper to the conference and on the wiki are that each publisher of species pages. (i.e. anyone with a web site that has a page per species approach to taxonomy) should produce a SiteMap file that contains a list of just those pages and submits the location of the SiteMap to a register so that the pages could be indexed and other services built around them.
Over the intervening months I got to thinking about the idea some more and playing around in the evenings with some code.