AbstractA German research institute has developed a software for iPhone, iPad and iPadTouch that enables the user to easily identify trees, plants and molluscs with the help of an intuitive and easily operated application. The system is especially designed to help non-professionals and children to identifiy species correctly. Partners are sought for further development in the frame of a technical cooperation scheme.
DetailsMore than 100 plant and animal species become extinct everyday around the world. The disappearance of biodiversity has disastrous consequences for our ecosystem and mankind. Destruction of living environment is not the only cause but lack of awareness with regard to nature and its treasures also leads to a fatal neglect. The developed software contributes one component to close this gap. This programme makes available expert knowledge to non-professionals which may help to create an awareness that will ideally encourage individuals to engage in species conservation.
Which tree is that? What is the name of the sea shell found at the beach? Those questions will be answered with the help of a new application programme for iPhones and iPads. With this programme few questions are necessary to determine trees, bushes as well as sea shells and snails with an easy and clever process of elimination. The principle is fairly simple but represents a more reliable and fault-tolerant programme than similar determination programmes on the market. In order to specify a tree question like “how long is a leaf” or “how is the structure of the leaves” are posed.
Several Answers are graphically presented for the determination process. Once the programme has identified the tree or the sea shell the user receives interesting information on the respective species. The actual challenge in the development process was the diversity of species in nature that can not be easily categorised.
Next to the phone software the research institute is setting up an interactive online platform in collaboration with an influential environmental association. Users visiting the website can also determine species on this website, pinpoint their observation or simply exchange information with other users under the overall motto “research, experience and reserve”.
Depending on the date, location and entry the programme develops an individual way of determination that allow a faster and more simple identification of an animal or a plan than other programmes already on the market.
The fact sheets comprise numerous characteristics such as specific features, maps marking the occurrence, informative facts and similar species that could create confusion. In addition, users have the possibility to save and to map their observations.
- 338 trees and bushes of local woods, parks and gardens
- more than 1900 photos and illustrations
- up to 6 photos per species show essential features like leaves, habit, bud, blossom, fruit and bark
- with over 180 tree and bush species maps show the occurence all over Germany at first view.
- 170 sea shells and snails from the North Sea and Baltic Sea are pictured on more than 800 photos.
- up to 5 photos per species show essential characteristics like form of shell, colour and structure