You nature lovers out there should definitely check out the LeafSnap iPhone app because this is basically an electronic field guide for identifying trees. The really neat thing about this is that it will let you snap pictures of leaves to identify a tree.
I tested out the LeafSnap iPhone app this morning on my iPod touch and I believe it worked well. You have to center the leaf on a white background and it then uses photo-recognition technology to try and identify it.
Once the photo is uploaded, the LeafSnap iPhone app gives you multiple options of what trees it could come from. Luckily, it also includes multiple other photos of what the leaves, bark and flowers look like. It also includes a ton of information on the plants and trees.
The free program comes courtesy of researchers from Columbia University, University of Maryland and the Smithsonian Institute, so you know it’s backed by some solid data. Along with the leaf ID functionality, it also gives you a map view to keep track of the location of the plants, the ability to keep a collection of what you’ve seen and you can also download multiple high-resolution photos of nature.
I know there’s a stereotype of mobile tech lovers not exactly being the outdoor type but the LeafSnap iPhone app seems like an excellent way to marry your love of technology with nature. The photo-identifying feature is also just plain cool, so feel free to check it out.
You can download the free app here (iTunes link) and check out the brief video below for an idea of what to expect.
The app did come out about a week ago but I just found it. What do you think, hippies?