Leafsnap is the first in a series of electronic field guides being developed by researchers from Columbia University, the University 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, fruits, petioles, seeds, and bark to aid identification. These high-resolution images were created by the conservation organization Finding Species.
Leafsnap currently includes trees found in the Northeastern United States and Canada. The inclusion of Canadian trees is through collaboration with the Canadian Wildlife Federation, with support from TD Friends of the Environment Foundation.
Leafsnap now works for iPhone 7. You can also now browse species without being connected to a Wi-fi network.
Ratings and Reviews
Crashes a lot
Crashes a lot. Then when you reopen the app pictures are missing from your collection. When trying to identify a tree, it will give you several options. If the options are similar (5 different kinds of maple) then at least you can say well, it’s some kind of maple. But sometimes the 4-5 trees are wildly different trees, they just happen to have the same leaf shape. Then you have to use your own knowledge to figure it out. (A magnolia tree is very distinct, but apparently its leaves look like a lot of other trees).
So this app has some usefulness, but it isn’t going to magically identify a plant for you. It just helps narrow it down so you can do the rest of your research. More convenient than having a book that you have to flip through, so there is that.
This app deserves a 5 star rating. I am not sure why other people didn’t love it as much as I do. I used this to identify a tree in my yard. This app shows actual photos of all of the possible foliage that a particular tree species produces. Based on the snap I took the app provided my with several choices, but I was able to determine the exact one because of the additional photos. I will keep this app and use it whenever I wonder about a tree in the future.
Great idea, but problems with the app
I just downloaded the app from the US iTunes Store and tried to create an account but failed. I also can't choose my location because my location (Germany) isn't one of the options. Not sure if that is why I can't create an account but I'm disappointed I can only use this for scrolling through the built-in pictures. Please consider an option for other locations. There are lots of trees here that can be found in the US that I would like help identifying.
- Peter Belhumeur
- 220.2 MB
- Requires iOS 6.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
- Age Rating
- Rated 4+
- © 2017 Columbia University, University of Maryland, and the Smithsonian Institution
With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.