The new app, Seek, is giving curious outdoorsy-types an easy way to identify the plants and animals they encounter, whether they are in the park, on a hike, or in a brand new environment.
All users have to do is upload a photo of an insect, bird, plant, reptile, amphibian or mammal to the app, and Seek will use image recognition to try to match it to one of about 30,000 species in its database. If there’s a match, Seek will add the photo to your collection. As your collection grows, you will earn badges and work your way up from beginner “Tadpole” to an expert “Explorer.”
The app also has an extension platform (iNaturalist.org), a website where nature lovers can share and discuss their ecological findings with each other. iNaturalist.org encourages all users to take photos of everything they see in nature – even if it’s not yet listed – to further develop the ability to recognize diverse wildlife.
Seek is currently available on the App Store and is in beta testing for Android. For more information, visit the Seek website: https://www.inaturalist.org/pages/seek_app