Rebel Shop Geek Store

Subscribe

World’s First Fully 3D Printed Car Only Took 44 Hours To Complete
World’s First Fully 3D Printed Car Only Took 44 Hours To Complete

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
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
What Your Choice Of Coffee Says About You [Infographic]
What Your Choice Of Coffee Says About You [Infographic]
SHARES
566
11 Wedding Favors That Will Add Some Geekiness To Your Special Day
11 Wedding Favors That Will Add Some Geekiness To Your Special Day
SHARES
283
Target With Color: The Vital Impact Of Color [Infographic]
Target With Color: The Vital Impact Of Color [Infographic]
SHARES
448
The Apple iPhone 5S Could Be A Major Refresh After All
The Apple iPhone 5S Could Be A Major Refresh After All
SHARES
407
This Darth Vader TIE Fighter Wheelchair Kid Will Melt Your Geeky Heart
This Darth Vader TIE Fighter Wheelchair Kid Will Melt Your Geeky Heart
SHARES
145
 
css.php