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4.1. Our increasing understanding of the local Universe

Wide area, uniform photometric and spectroscopic surveys, such as the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS; [York et al. (2000)]), the Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS; [Skrutskie et al. (1997)]), and the Two degree Field Galaxy Redsift Survey (2dFGRS; [Colless et al. (2001)]) are revolutionizing our understanding of the local galaxy population. These surveys have allowed one to tie down the z = 0 data point for many evolutionary studies, greatly increasing the redshift and time-baseline leverage. Yet, this increased leverage is often difficult to fully apply, because local studies suffer from very different systematics than the lookback studies, and experimental details such as imaging depth, resolution, waveband, etc. are often imperfectly matched. At this stage, few groups have grasped the nettle of repackaging these local surveys in a format which can be readily artificially redshifted, etc. to allow for uniform analysis of the distant and local control samples. This will be an important feature of the most robust of the future works in galaxy evolution, and will greatly increase the scope and discriminatory power of studies of galaxy photometric, dynamical, and morphological evolution.