Technology has been blamed time and again, for keeping us indoors. But on the flip side, technology has also added value to our lives and helped us learn more about the world beyond our neighbourhoods, towns and cities. Connecting with nature can be made an intensely educational experience using technology as a tool. Here are 10 apps you can use to identify plants, trees and wildlife by plugging in details of the physical descriptions, geolocation and/or uploading images of unknown species—
PlantNet is an image sharing and retrieval application for the identification of plants. It has been developed in France. You can also participate in the project if you recognise a certain species by submitting your contribution. However, this application does not allow the user to identify ornamental plants.
This app is essentially an electronic field guide developed by researchers from Columbia University, University of Maryland and the Smithsonian Institution. This free application uses visual recognition software to help identify tree species from an image of their leaves. Leafsnap is available in the US and UK only.
- Nature Gate
Nature Gate offers the platform to identify wild species from their data bank of images by captured by professional photographers. You can discover species by inserting English Names, Scientific Names, or by genus or family using their unique identification tools. iPhone users can use this app even when offline.
This app allows you to identify plants from a database of 1500 plants available online. Species are shown with an image, common and scientific name. More information can be accessed by switching form iForest and iGarten provided these apps are also installed on your phone.
- Bird Song ID
As the name suggests, this app is used for bird song identification by picking and choosing certain criteria, based on the quality and/or attributes of the sound you are trying to identify, and the unknown species of the bird producing the sound. The function of the app is to filter out bird species based on the specifics you plug in and to give you a list of prospective bird species with a listing of the sounds they make in a sound file.
This search tool allows you to upload a photo of an unknown plant. The users of MyGarden.org community will try to recognize the photo as soon as possible and give you an answer to your question.
- Flower Checker
Flower Checker, like Plantifier, allows users to upload photos of plants (including moss, lichen and fungi) and emphasizes that there are real people working behind the app to identify the plants and not merely a computer software with limited programming.
iNaturalist aims at creating a community of nature enthusiasts, who can share observations, insights and new findings on plants. You can record your observations and photos, explore people’s research from around the world, and keep track of updates of the people you follow.
- Butterfly and Insect Collector
This application allows you to collect, track and document your observations on butterflies and other insects by uploading images, videos, audio recordings and text which synchronizes with the application’s website. The user can then edit and/or share his work with others, create reports and maps and download data or reports or spreadsheets from the website. Internet connectivity is not required to run this application and one the user has completed a project it automatically creates a Powerpoint or video.
- MyGarden Answers
This application lets you upload photos on the application to get an instant plant identification. It also lets you find out if your plant has a disease or pest infestation problem. The user can also ask gardening experts for recommendations on virtually any plant you choose.
Grow-Trees.com is an online platform that enables individuals and corporates to greet with trees, a novel concept where to commemorate special occasions you can plant trees on behalf of friends, family or employees, and they will receive an eTreeCertificate to document this beautiful gesture. Grow-Trees.com plants trees only on public lands in rural parts of India so that the planting of trees supports rural livelihoods along with improving the environment. Each tree you plant can be tracked online through Google Maps, with a unique certificate number shared with the customer and the recipient of the eTreeCertificate.