I saw this on Boing Boing gadgets today! I can't wait to download this on Betsy's phone so she can finally start to love science. And nature.
Plant identification field guide coming to iPhone and more
The National Science Foundation is working on a plant identification guide for the iPhone and other portables, reports the Times:
The field guide, now in prototype for iPhones and other portable devices, has been tested at three sites in the northeastern United States, including Plummers Island in Maryland and Central Park in New York, said W. John Kress, a research botanist and curator at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, who is also on the research team. The computer program compares the leaf snapshot to a library of leaf images.
"We believe there is enough information in a single leaf to identify a species," he said. "Our brains can't remember all of these characteristics, but the computer can."
I am excited about this new app but what it looks like it only identifies tree species. Forbs always get left out! And what about grasses? Grasses are a pain in the butt to identify. I wish I could point my phone at grasses and it identifies it for me. Now that would be an app! Maybe I should team with someone... someone who knows how to program...