App Recommendation: Seek/iNature
Get outside. Get Informed.
Seek is free, easy to use and offers many tools to help with identifying plants and animals. Depending on what version of the app you get, it can teach you and help you find others with the same passion for the outdoors as you have.
I wanted an app to help with identifying, animals, birds, flowers, plants, spiders, or other bugs that I happen to encounter. That is when I was able to find Seek. Something that is easy and free to use while giving me an immediate response to what found. The app works by finding what would be found in your current location. You can set up the filter to only identify a certain class. For instance, if you are only looking for plants, you can set the filter to plants and it would only search in that classification. I would suggest leaving it on All Species until you are more familiar with what you are looking for because there are several different sub classifications of species. The app also helps to make it a fun game by setting up challenges for you to find different species to gain badges. The app saves your observations and you can connect it to iNatuturalist.
The iNaturalist app is an enhanced version of Seek and is an educational app designed by the California Academy of Sciences and the National Geographic Society. iNaturalist is a great app for novice botanists and/or zoologist, to increase knowledge and collaborate on findings. How iNaturalist works is, you take a picture of the plants, animals, and insects you would like identified and upload it into your findings. You can then ask publicly to have it identified or create a group of likeminded people using the app to help you out. This app will also help you identify animals by sound. Those findings are then uploaded and others, either in the community set up by you or in the public setting, help.
iNaturalist is designed for those that was to take their exploration to the next level and offers a rich educational platform complete a community you can build or request to join, made up of “naturalists.” They, like you, are wanting to discuss what their findings are and how to classify them. You can journal your findings and keep discussions about the different observations made and discussed with others. There is also forum with a wide arrange of topics such as: Nature Talk, Forum, Tutorials, and more. In short, this is a great learning tool. It is not practical for persons looking for quick and correct identification of a flower they see while walking or a weed before it is pulled.
If you are looking for an app that you can quickly identify wildlife while in nature, Seek is the app that would benefit you the most. If you are looking for an app that provides education to identify and understand plants, animals, and insects in your area. This app is the perfect choice.