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By Columbia University, University of Maryland, and Smithsonian Institution

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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.

What's New in Version 1.07

- Expanded species coverage to Eastern Canada, with 36 new species
- Fixed minor bugs

iPhone Screenshots

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Customer Reviews

Does not deserve a single one star review.

I don't review apps...ever, but when I saw how many one star reviews this app got I had to speak up. Every species that is documented in this tree contains uniformly detailed, high quality photos of the tree's leaf, flower, fruit, and bark, sometimes with multiple angles and levels of detail. You can even download the images off the app in full quality. The browse feature allows you to browse by first, last, and scientific names as well as by image of leaf, flower, or fruit. Each tree has a relatively detailed description as well as US and Canada distribution (Although it would be cool if there were distribution maps as opposed to just lists of states).

I would agree that the photo feature doesn't work wonderfully, but that's really not where this app shines. If you've written a one star review of this app because of the photo feature, you're missing out on a gem of an app. There's enough information on this app for you to actually learn how to identify a tree, which - to me - is more valuable than being spoon fed answers. ;)

Has it changed?

I used this app a couple of years ago to identify some things in my Texas backyard. It correctly identified and helped me figure out what to do with the plants I didn't know anything about. I hadn't used it in a long time, and when I loaded it back up a couple months ago, only to find it only handles things on the East Coast, which does not work for me.
The previous version didn't have any problems with the photo recognition- in fact I could take a picture of a leaf on the tree and it would come back with results.
I don't know if this app has changed ownership or been completely rewritten but it's not what it used to be, unfortunately.
It's still a great idea but it does need more than just East Coast plants.

Great app, couple suggestions!

I love this app. Works fairly well, great information and fun memories games to really lock in the plants. 2 suggestions: if a plant isn't available, it should default to a web browser to look it up or you should be able to name it temporarily yourself. I don't like "untitled" plants sitting in my collection. Second, in the information part of the plant, there should be a section on whether it's edible. I think that would be extremely beneficial in emergency situations. Perhaps you have the app or you remember playing one of the games and that information could be a life saver! Thanks and keep up the great work :)

View in iTunes
  • Free
  • Category: Education
  • Updated:
  • Version: 1.07
  • Size: 119 MB
  • Language: English
  • Seller:

Compatibility: Requires iOS 5.1.1 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

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