A Shazam for Nature: A New Free App Helps You Identify Plants, Animals & Other Denizens of the Natural World

Do you ever long for those not-so-long-ago days when you skipped through the world, breath­less with the antic­i­pa­tion of catch­ing Poké­mon on your phone screen?

If so, you might enjoy bag­ging some of the Pokeverse’s real world coun­ter­parts using Seek, iNaturalist’s new pho­to-iden­ti­fi­ca­tion app. It does for the nat­ur­al world what Shaz­am does for music.

Aim your phone’s cam­era at a non­de­script leaf or the grasshop­per-ish-look­ing crea­ture who’s camped on your porch light. With a bit of luck, Seek will pull up the rel­e­vant Wikipedia entry to help the two of you get bet­ter acquaint­ed.

Reg­is­tered users can pin their finds to their per­son­al col­lec­tions, pro­vid­ed the app’s recog­ni­tion tech­nol­o­gy pro­duces a match.

(Sev­er­al ear­ly adopters sug­gest it’s still a few house­plants shy of true func­tion­al­i­ty…)

Seek’s pro­tec­tive stance with regard to pri­va­cy set­tings is well suit­ed to junior spec­i­men col­lec­tors, as are the vir­tu­al badges with which it rewards ener­getic upload­ers.

While it doesn’t hang onto user data, Seek is build­ing a pho­to library, com­posed in part of user sub­mis­sions.

(Your cat is ready for her close up, Mr. DeMille…)

(Dit­to your Por­to­bel­lo Mush­room burg­er…)

Down­load Seek for free on iTunes or Google Play.

via Earth­er/My Mod­ern Met

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Two Mil­lion Won­drous Nature Illus­tra­tions Put Online by The Bio­di­ver­si­ty Her­itage Library

Watch 50 Hours of Nature Sound­scapes from the BBC: Sci­en­tif­i­cal­ly Proven to Ease Stress and Pro­mote Hap­pi­ness & Awe

How Walk­ing Fos­ters Cre­ativ­i­ty: Stan­ford Researchers Con­firm What Philoso­phers and Writ­ers Have Always Known

Ayun Hal­l­i­day is an author, illus­tra­tor, the­ater mak­er and Chief Pri­ma­tol­o­gist of the East Vil­lage Inky zine.  Fol­low her @AyunHalliday.

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