You often want to identify different flora and fauna while hiking. Since I have my smartphone with me either way, I would like to have an app to do so.
Which apps tackle the described use-case and also do they work offline?
Not sure where you are, but Alan Weakley et al. have developed a downloadable flora app available through the Apple AppStore called FloraQuest, which covers most of the Eastern US at this point.
Screenshot from floraquest.com
FloraQuest connects you with everything you need to know about naturally occurring plants in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic US: - Interactive dichotomous keys use your location to streamline the process of identifying plants - Illustrated glossary terms decipher botanical terms - Full descriptions of species, varieties, subspecies, genera, and plant families, including references, identification notes, images, and distributions - Powerful and quick search to find species (first two letters of genus + first two letters of species, e.g., ACRU finds Acer rubrum). - Record plants you find, with photos, dates, and location. Browse plants others have found and made public. - Show plants by common name or scientific (latin) name. FloraQuest is a product of the University of North Carolina Herbarium (http://herbarium.unc.edu) and was funded by Innovate Carolina
I love Seek, by iNaturalist:
Besides Flora: Fauna and Fungi are part of the detection possibilities. The answers are very detailed. Although there is room for improvement, the gamified approach is lots of fun while maintaining the scientific correctness.
Furthermore, the iNaturalist community is a great place to discover other's observations worldwide.
Another thing I like is, that you do not need to register, if you want to use the app.
Seek is funded by the California Academy of Sciences, National Geographic and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). The app is available completely for free for all iOS and Android users.
See also: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations
Google Lens is Google's technology for "searching what you see", including plants and animal. Since it relies on Google's service, doesn't work offline.
Identify plants and animals
Find out what plant is in your friend's apartment, or what kind of dog you saw in the park.
It's available on:
Based on my experience in identifying my dog, photos of insects, and flowers, it might not always be too accurate, though the suggested results with their visual representation sometimes helped.
Disclaimer: not affiliated with Google, just a happy user of it.
Pl@ntNet is a citizen science project based in France. It's a great way to identify plants. To you use it you take one or more picture of a plant and then Pl@ntNet will upload them to a server and the server will give you a list of its best guesses, along with confidence measures.
Pl@ntNet does cannot identify plants offline, nor can it identify animals.