[email protected] is an iPhone and Android phone app that uses image recognition and crowd-sourcing to recognize plants. It’s free, so I downloaded a copy yesterday and ran around the yard to see how it works.
You take a closeup of a leaf, flower, fruit or bark and the app takes a guess on an identification. My first attempt was Nasturtium, which the app immediately identified despite my bad photo. It also correctly identified daffodils and got close to identifying Malva parviflora. It was not able to identify any of the California natives I tried, but I don’t think the program has a database of these plants yet.
[email protected] is the work of four French research organizations who have a vision for a kind of expansive botanical citizen-science project. I can definitely see the potential for [email protected] to create a huge database to track biodiversity, the effects of climate change and the distribution of plant species.