Rebel Shop Geek Store

Subscribe

Hello Kitty Now in Star Wars and Star Trek!
Hello Kitty Now in Star Wars and Star Trek!

Bit Rebels Facebook Page
KICKSTARTER
J.A.E.S.A: Next Generation Artificial Intelligence
J.A.E.S.A - Next Generation Artificial Intelligence
KICKSTARTER
Looksery: Real-Time Face Transformation Filters
Looksery App
KICKSTARTER
Leaf Mount: Collapsible Stand For iPads, Samsungs, Kindle+
Leaf Mount
KICKSTARTER
ANTVR: All-In-One Universal Virtual Reality Kit
ANT Virtual Reality
Previous Article
Check Out More Of Our Geekery
Next Article
TECHNOLOGY | 2 Years Ago By Tricia Edgar

Leafsnap App: It Would Make Darwin Drool

Wet leaf dripping rain

Categorizing and classifying: these are the sorts of things that taxonomists are good at. While the rest of us may be able to sort our clothes by brand, our plant classification skills have really gone downhill in the last 100 years. Today, our hunting and gathering takes place in the grocery store, where there are convenient little signs above the fruit, proclaiming that this apple is a McIntosh, Fuji, or Gala.

I’m someone who works outdoors, and I love knowing which plants are which. It’s rather useful to know your stinging nettles and your poison ivy, of course. It’s also helpful to know that certain berries won’t poison you and that certain fungi definitely will. I like eating wild plants, and I like using them as medicine. Like all naturalists, I have my favorite field guides. However, I may have just found a new favorite: Leafsnap. To the amateur or professional naturalist, Leapsnap is the coolest brain extension (oops, I mean – app) that you ever did see.

What is Leafsnap? It’s biometrics for plants. The same technology that can be used to scan your facial features can now scan leaves. It’s a free app that allows you to scan a leaf and help you identify the plant, and it comes to us courtesy of Columbia University, the University of Maryland, and the Smithsonian Institution.

Imagine walking through the woods. You see a plant. You wonder whether it’s edible, or whether it could make you itchy. You take out your phone, snap a picture, and connect to Leafsnap, which gives you options that will help you determine what your plant might be. It’s like having a really outdoor-savvy friend who lives in your pocket. An outdoor-savvy friend who doesn’t eat much or make your place messy.

Right now, the technology is limited to the plants of Washington, DC and New York. After all, there are a lot of leaves out there to catalogue. If you’re a leaf aficionado and you want to help, the Leafsnap website lists volunteer opportunities. So get snap happy and start scanning!

Leaf on tree branch

Image Credits: [arianna873] [wallco]

 
 
 
 
Author Avatar Image Representation

Author: Tricia Edgar

Tricia Edgar would like to say that she's reclaimed her inner science geek, but she never actually lost it. She loves banana slugs and jumping in the mud, and she thinks that slime molds are groovy. She's also awfully fond of steampunk and upcycled style. By day she is an outdoor educator in Vancouver, Canada, where she can be found modeling the latest trends in rain pants. You can find her at TriciaEdgar.

Leave A Comment

You Might Also Like...
Bit Rebels
You Know You Want This…Innovative Spork For Eating Soupy Noodles
You Know You Want This…Innovative Spork For Eating Soupy Noodles
SHARES
251
25 Incredibly Intricate Video Game Papercraft Builds
25 Incredibly Intricate Video Game Papercraft Builds
SHARES
192
This Is What A Typical Female Mac User Looks Like [Chart]
This Is What A Typical Female Mac User Looks Like [Chart]
SHARES
285
Alarm Clock That Gives You An Electrical Shock To Wake Your Butt Up
Alarm Clock That Gives You An Electrical Shock To Wake Your Butt Up
SHARES
229
Food Discovery App Enables Vibrant Photo Sharing For Food Fanatics
Food Discovery App Enables Vibrant Photo Sharing For Food Fanatics
SHARES
233
 
css.php