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Leafsnap

Leafsnap is a new iPhone app that helps you identify plants via their leaf. The app works in the same way as Shazam and Meal Snap. You take a picture of a leaf and it tells you the type of plant it came from. Using this app is pretty simple, although you have to break the leaf off and place it on a white background to take the picture. Leafsnap then uploads the picture and returns with the list of matching plants.

Developed by a group of researchers from Columbia University, the University of Maryland, and the Smithsonian Institution, the free Leafsnap app only has trees from Northeast but is planning to grow its database to cover all of the United States. We did a couple of tests, and were unable to get matching results, so I’m not sure how to rate the snapping functionality of the app but the idea is great. The app keeps a collection of your snapped leaves and geo-tags them for your reference.

Leafsnap

There is a also a browse feature that lets you view leaves by name. The plants have a list of photos not just for their leaf, but also cones, flowers, bark, petiole, and fruits. This section can be a great way to learn about new plants. You can view plants by common name or scientific name.

AppSafari Rating: 3/5

This 3rd Party App is available at the Apple iTunes AppStore. Browse the full list of all AppStore apps filed under the AppStore category.

Download Leafsnap at iTunes App Store
Price: Free
Version: 1.03
Size: 50.77 MB
AppSafari review of Leafsnap was written by on May 7th, 2011 and categorized under App Store, Education, Free, Productivity. Page viewed 5146 times, 2 so far today. Need help on using these apps? Please read the Help Page.

One Comment to “Leafsnap”

  1. I’ve downloaded it (it’s free) and I’m playing with it. You snap an image of a leaf on a white background, it uses the silhouette to give you back some possible results, which you can then click on to get further details – flower, fruit, bark (but not tree habit/ crown shape – hey, what up? that’s a key character!)

    I gathered leaves of a few tree species and some large tree-like shrubs. Results:

    Witch Hazel – 24 results, none right.
    Serviceberry – 24 results, none right.
    Wax myrtle ( a very large tree-like one) 24 results, none right.
    Willow oak, 24 results, got it at the top of the list. Good job!
    Chinese Zelkova (Pick this is the one you’ve been calling Chinese elm but it’s not, it’s Zelkova sinica) – 24 results, gave me Japanese Zelkova among others, but not Z. sinica, close but no cigar
    Flowering dogwood – 24 results, got it on the 12th one
    leaflet of Yellow Buckeye – 24 results but all are simple leaves, so if you don’t know it’s a leaflet you are S.O.L.
    Whole leaf of Yellow Buckeye – nope, but got Aesculus hippocastamon at top of list, but gave me no other Aesculus choices
    Catalpa – got it! on the top of the list.
    Eastern Red Cedar – got it on the top of the list

    4 out of ten. I give it a D+.

    It’s a neat idea, but doesn’t give the user/ student any opportunity to think and make choices, until they go through the list of 24 and look at details. And the technology – hm, got some, but missed a lot more.

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