LeafSnap is a free app developed by Columbia University, Maryland University and Smithsonian Institute. It is a tree leaf identification guide that helps users identify trees with the leaves. You can snap a picture of the leaf, and the app will compare the image with the database, and tell you what tree is the leaf from. It is a fun app to have for your walking in the park.
The most fun part of the app is the Snap part. You can pick up a leaf, and lay it on a white background to take a picture of the leaf within the app. The app will read the shape of the leaf, compare it with the database, and tell you what the tree is. Once it is identified, the leave will be kept in your collection so you can go back to check at a later time. One thing you have to be aware is that the app need be connected to the internet to compare the image with the image data in the database, so for most people, you may have to wait till you finish the walking and are at home to be able to get the information you need about the leaves. It will be great if you can get the data outside while you are on the trails.
Although the snapping and identifying part is the most fun part of the app, I think the most valuable part is the leave and plant database itself. Users can look up the leaves and other parts of the plants, like flowers, fruits, petioles, seeds and bark, at anytime even when they don’t have internet connection. Currently the app includes all 185 tree species from northeastern of the US. It will expand to the whole country in the near future. It also has a separate app for UK including all species in UK. There are over 23 thousand lab images and near 8000 field images in the database.
One additional note about the app is that users of Leafsnap will not only be learning about the trees on their hiking trails, they will also be contributing to science. As users sending leave images to compare to the database, the app records the data and scientists will use the information to map and monitor plant population changes in different regions. So this is the app you want to turn on your location reader.
LeafSnap is available for iPhone, iPod and iPad. The Android version is coming soon. If you are in UK, you want to use the UK app, which is the 2nd app store link below.
If you would like to check it out or purchase it, please use the App Store link provided below. The cost is the same to you, but iGameMom gets a small percentage. Thanks for your support! Note: The link works for all countries.
Looking for more field guide for your nature walk? You will like this Free Peterson Feeder Bird Guide