Thursday, June 9, 2011


We interrupt this special series of local Kansas wildfauna to bring you a special announcement.

The local Manhattan Mercury ran/copied an Associated Press article tonight about a new Ipad/Iphone app called "Leafsnap." Using this app on your Iphone or Ipad, you can snap a picture of the leaf from any tree, preferably against a white background, and it searches a growing library of leaf images created by the Smithsonian Institution and returns a likely species name and information on the tree's flowers, fruit, seeds, and bark.

River Birch
I had only a few minutes before darkness tonight, but downloaded the app and it correctly identified a redbud and a river birch.

Did I mention it also collects the GPS where you snapped the picture and creates a "collection" for each user? That the eventual idea is that the app will be used by people everywhere to map trees in their area? That in the future the plan is for anyone to be able to locate a unique tree species in their local area?  At present, the app is just set up for New York, Washington D.C., and the northeast, but it allowed me to create an identity and correctly labeled my location in Kansas.  I am now ProfessorRoush on Leafsnap.

Imagine the same tool for insects, wildflowers, roses, fish....

Imagine the possibilities.....

Find the app on your local Apple appstore, or see it at  It's free.  And I guarantee it will bring back the Cub Scout, Brownie, 4-Her, or freshman biology student in anyone!

(PS:  I wrote this entire blog on my Ipad for the first time.  Except for the picture, which I could not get to upload to blogger from the Ipad either directly or through Photobucket.  I'll work on it.)


  1. I have been waiting for something like this. I hope it comes to Android soon!


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