Plant-O-Matic generates a list of local plant species for any location in the Americas. Use high resolution photos, detailed text descriptions, and a variety of filters to identify and learn about plants.
Download: iOS 9.0 (310MB)
Language: English (versions in Spanish and Portuguese will be released in 2017)
Runs offline: yes
Last update: iOS 07/11/2016 (v. 1.30)
Plant-O-Matic is an application with an ambitious objective: providing a general reference on the different plant species of the American continent. Although the resolution does not allow to obtain a great detail (the grid is 100×100 km), it offers information of interest about different types of aquatic, epiphytes, herbs, shrubs, trees, etc., taking as source of information more than 3 million of standardized observations and geographic models (you have detailed information on the data on the website of the Botanical Information and Ecology Network).
Its operation is very simple:
- Select the geographical point on which you want to view the information (that point will be the center of the grid).
- Click on “Go”
- Check the resulting list
The application allows you to delimit the search according to a pair of filters that allow you to select the species taking into account their growth form or the color of the flowers, also showing other options in relation to how the list is displayed. You can also do your searches by entering the name of the species of interest or moving by the alphabetical index of the side (the points are equivalent to the letters omitted).
The data sheet for each species shows, by default, only the scientific name and the family (to see the common name you must activate the option in the filters section). Images (many of them from herbal and botanical catalogs) and an introduction and description extracted from Wikipedia are also included. When it is a protected species, the images are not made public, as in the case, for example, of the Abies guatemalensis.
Images: Screenshots 16/11/2016. ©Plant-O-Matic 2016
Plant-O-Matic offers interested users the possibility of getting to better know the American flora, a fundamental aspect to promote the conservation of the botanical species of a territory.
Although the application does not stand out especially for its design, it is easy to handle and the data obtained are true enough. In this sense and to check the reliability of the app, the offered data have been verified with the Catálogo de Plantas y Líquenes de Colombia (Catalogue of the Plants and Lichens of Colombia) of the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, which offers distribution maps of the different species of the country, and the preliminary studies for the creation of a transboundary park on the border between Nicaragua and Honduras, which includes some of the most significant species in the area. In both cases, the main native species were also included in the app. Perhaps as an aspect to improve, it would be interesting to modify the lateral alphabetical index, substituting the point for the corresponding letter, since its current presentation may mislead. Likewise, it would also be useful to enrich the app with images of real plants, an aspect that seems to be contemplated in the future plans of the development team, and include a small legend about some of the symbols used.