Mobile App Helps Identify Trees

Forest FlowersUniversity of Maryland Computer Science Professor David Jacobs, in collaboration with researchers from Columbia University and the Smithsonian Institute, has developed a free mobile application for iPhone to help identify trees.

The electronic field guide known as Leafsnap uses visual recognition software to identify tree species from beautiful high-resolution images taken by volunteers of leaves, flowers, fruit, petiole, seeds, and bark for trees common to the northeast, particularly the New York City and Washington, D.C. areas.

Eventually, this electronic field guide will expand to include trees of the entire continental United States and it will soon be available for professional and amateur botanists using the iPad and Android. 

We’ll have to experiment with this on our June field trip, using the Leafsnap I already dowloaded to my iPhone!

UPDATE 5/12/11 –  I downloaded Leafsnap and used it a few times, but it has disappeared… not even appearing in the Apple iTune Store anymore.  ‘Guessing they’re ironing out some “bugs” and the app will be available again soon.


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