Leafsnap is a free electronic field guide for trees. It’s available as an app for iPhone that helps you figure out what tree you’re looking at. Just snap a photo of a leaf and Leafsnap will analyze the leaf to help you identify it correctly.
Source: Youtube Smithsonian
Download: iOS 5.1.1 (87,9MB)
Runs offline: (see analysis)
Last update: iOS 05/06/2015
Application created by Columbia University, University of Maryland and Smithsonian Institution that allows identification of trees based on a recognition system of the leaves. Works taking a photograph and uploading it to a server where it makes the comparison process. Currently, are included in the application species of northeastern US and Canada, although is expected to include all species of the country (there is also a version for Great Britain). The application also has many high-resolution images of the fruits, bark, seeds or flowers.
It also allows automatically share images, the identifications and locations of species with a community of scientists who will use the data flow to map and monitor the national flora.
Kumar, N. et al “Leafsnap: A Computer Vision System for Automatic Plant Species Identification” (*.pdf, 13,3MB. Consulted on 14/06/2015)
Interesting application that introduces a way to search species in a different manner to other similar tools. Although the application is targeted to existing trees in the US and Canada (and Britain in the case of the British version) it is valid for any specimen regardless of where are planted. Initially and according to the published by Scientific American, this is an app that works offline, although in the section on assessments of the App Store, a user ensures that does not work without wifi. For taking the photograph that will allow the identification is also advisable to have a blank sheet for the background to get the necessary contrast. The degree of interactivity offered by this application can be interesting for use together with children.