Now this is a PERFECT application for land surveyors everywhere. Identify trees while surveying, using just your phone!!
Leafsnap is a new free app that identifies trees.
The next time you are out on a survey identifying trees, take a shot of a leaf and this little wonder will identify its tree and give all kinds of information about it.
Leafsnap is the first in a series of electronic field guides being developed by researchers from Columbia University, theUniversity of Maryland, and the Smithsonian Institution. This free mobile app uses visual recognition software to help identify tree species from photographs of their leaves.
Leafsnap contains beautiful high-resolution images of leaves, flowers, fruit, petiole, seeds, and bark. Leafsnap currently includes the trees of New York City and Washington, D.C., and will soon grow to include the trees of the entire continental United States.
This website shows the tree species included in Leafsnap, the collections of its users, and the team of research volunteers working to produce it.
|Free for iPhone:
The app is a result of a collaboration between Columbia University, the University of Maryland and the Smithsonian Institution. The computer scientists made use of mathematical techniques developed for face recognition and they applied these to species identification. The botanists at the Smithsonian collected the initial data sets of leaf species and the photography. Every leaf photograph that is uploaded is matched against a leaf-image library so that the best matches are ranked and noted for verification.
It is complicated because "within a single species, leaves can have quite diverse shapes, while leaves from different species are sometimes quite similar, so one of the main technical challenges in using leaves to identify plant species has been to find effective representations of their shape, which capture their most important characteristics."