Art + Botany: LeafSnap Field Guide Free App

For those of us who are not botanists and struggle to tell the difference between one tree and another, here’s and app for us – I,m not sure yet if it will help us much with our species here in South Africa, but the  idea is surely encouraging and a matter of time before this collaborative effort  reaches all corners of the globe: From Garden Design Magazine by  Anna Laurent 

PHOTO BY: LeafSnap

Fresh from the digital fields and humming with plant life, LeafSnap is a new mobile app that can identify a tree’s species by looking at a photograph of the leaf. It’s the first of app of its kind, and a field guide for the twenty-first century. Using facial recognition algorithms to analyze the leaf’s contour, LeafSnap then selects a match from its index of species. If it’s not entirely sure (let’s be fair—leaves of different species can look rather similar), it will bring up a list of possible identifications. You can then browse through the collection to determine which tree’s leaf you’re holding. To make this easy, LeafSnap has a botanic dossier on all of its trees, including all sorts of information about the tree’s habitat, growth, and critical specs (are the fruits poisonous or sweet?), as well as a collection of photographs that show the tree’s seeds, bark, flowers, and fruits. The tree’s entire life cycle is captured in a pocket-sized album, at very high resolution. Truly modern, the photographs can be magnified to examine the veins on a petal or the pollen on an anther. A wealth of information and a gorgeous gallery of botanic photography, the guide is also wonderful bedtime reading, when you’re not in the field.   Continue reading