Citizen science has been a hot topic. Many projects and much funding has been invested. Some excellent tools have been developed.
Most of those projects generate a product that is visually appealing, has some interactive functions and delivers some educational content. Those products usually focus on the applicatioanl aspects of science, and not so much on the processing of doing science.
What I think has been lacking, specifically for the science of taxonomy or descriptive biodiversity, is a tool that not only shows the end-product of taxonomy, i.e. nice images and detailed descriptions, but also engage citizens in the process of doing taxonomy. This toolkit would essentially imitate the taxonomic work flow on the web.
This would require an online collection of images of specimens (that may be where the virtual collection of 15,000 comes in) representing a number of species; a system that allows citizens to compare and sort those these images to 'morphospecies', a collection of images of taxonomically important characters, say, male genitalia; and an interactive/intelligent scoring system that allows citizens to make taxonomic decisions.
To make it more interesting and yet more complex, things like synonyms, intraspecific variations, and sexual dimorphism can also be incorporated.
Comments? This could be an idea for a NSF grant proposal :)
Writings related to insects, biodiversity and science in general