Although it has been around since 2011, I have just discovered a free app called 'Leafsnap'! This mobile application can identify trees just from a picture of leaves or flowers. This app currently only includes trees found in the Northeastern US, but will soon grow to include the trees of the entire continental United States.
With the help of technology, social ventures related to saving the environment became more accessible. The most intriguing practice is done by Tree Planet 2 from developers Tree Planet Inc. Basically, the free tree planting application’s main premise is allowing users to plant trees and save the environment by playing its mobile app game.
In this article, we’ll discuss more about the tree planting application, including but not limited to its background, the mobile operating systems that run it, and a few more extras.
A brief background
Tree Planet was conceptualized in 2010, born out of the collaborative efforts of Korean developers Jaehyun Kim, Hyung-soo Kim, and Mincheol Jeong. The main aim is for the company to be the record holder of having the most planted trees around the world.
In 2012, the company planted more than 250,000 trees, surpassing its initial goal of 100,000. In the same year, it won third place at the International Global Social Venture Competition in the United States. It’s a business plan competition for social ventures that create environmental gains, on top of monetary profits.
Despite players criticized it for being monotonous, HubPages lauds it for its eco-friendly initiative. After installing the app, read the tutorial for initial briefing, then determine your preferred sponsor, before selecting the place where you want to plant your tree (Republic of Sudan, Mongolia, and South Korea). The game’s premise is about planting, growing, and taking care of your tree:
· Tap the capsule to remove the seed coating.
· These are the five options: Water and fertilizer (for nourishing), Sleep (for resting), Shower (to make trees clean and neat), Training (to keep trees strong), and Potions (to keep trees from starvation).
· Move the sun towards your plant to have enough sunlight and nutrients.
· Challenges to look after: a sheep that eats your plant, a running cactus, and dark clouds. You can tap to remove them from your plant.
· After completing level 7, you’ll be given free outfits for your plant and the chance to choose an animal to go with your actual tree once it gets planted.
Which mobile OS is it available?
Providing an excellent gameplay, the app is made available for both the iOS and Android platforms.
iDevices such as the iPhone 5S provides an exciting gameplay for Tree Planet. Thanks to the integration of the iOS 7, the device has tools such as the Game Center, bringing support for leader board rankings. Through the Notifications Tab, the Game Center will update you on the current state of your tree, whether it needs to be watered or put outdoors in sunlight.
Android 4.4 KitKat-run devices will surely love the game’s visuals. The new HTC One M8 comes with the latest Android OS, which has with the new Immersive Mode that allows maximizes the full screen space while playing. When installed in the device, you’ll get to appreciate the vibrancy of colors, as it comes with a 5-inch Full HD display, the page on the new HTC One on O2 confirms.
Tree Planet-Double A Partnership
Last year, Nation Multimedia reported a partnership between Tree Planet and Double A to extend its bid of planting a billion trees by 2020. This is on top of the company’s existing partnerships with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).
The partnership gave birth to the app’s successor – the Tree Planet Season II – Spirit of the Trees. It extends tree planting activities on Facebook, wherein players with fully-grown trees can also request their actual plant to be named after them, including its gender.
How are the trees being planted?
Tree Planet receives funding from advertising on the app, which is deployed to its partners Hanhwa and World Vision for the actual planting. Meanwhile, the water pumps in the game are also being donated to improve the living conditions in the third world countries.
Similar to child care programs, tree owners will receive a monthly update on their planet. Also, the company designates a team that takes photos of the plant to go with the updates.
Tree Planet is an exciting mobile app, striking the right balance between technology and social and environmental care. What it takes is for us to make the small move, for the betterment of the nature. Have you tried Tree Planet 2?
I'm giving a presentation at the Oregon Community Trees conference in June to compare / contrast new tree technologies, specifically citizen science or crowd-sourced applications (the agenda and abstract are online if you'd like to see it). I'm looking to get national input from the Grove! So far, I plan to include the following tools in my talk:
- Tree Plotter LITE (screenshot below)
- Open Tree Map
- Forest Planner
- Digital Coast (NOAA)
- and possibly WalkScope (not urban forestry specific)
If you have experience with tree-related apps that are useful for community engagement, data collection / synthesis, and education / awareness, please respond with the following information by Friday, May 9th (my slides are due 5/15):
- Name/Title/Organization to credit
- Brief overview (1-2 sentences)
- Type of app (web bro
wser or native or desktop only, etc.)
- Stage of Development (if applicable)
- Website URL(s)
- Any other useful info (pls keep it concise)
- And feel free to send a screenshot to firstname.lastname@example.org
If I don't have time to present all the tools/apps I get back, then I will at least include them in a list of resources.
Thanks in advance everyone. Hopefully this is useful for everyone on American Grove and the communities in Oregon at the conference.
- Ian Hanou, Plan-It Geo, Arvada, CO
Leafsnap is the first in a series of electronic field guides being developed by researchers from Columbia University, the University of Maryland, and the Smithsonian Institution. This free mobile app uses visual recognition software to help identify tree species from photographs of their leaves.
Leafsnap contains beautiful high-resolution images of leaves, flowers, fruit, petiole, seeds, and bark. Leafsnap currently includes the trees of New York City and Washington, D.C., and will soon grow to include the trees of the entire continental United States.
To see the tree species included in Leafsnap and the collections of its users, please visit: http://leafsnap.com/
Free iPhone app available at: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/leafsnap/id430649829
"California’s majestic oak trees have been felled by the hundreds of thousands by a disease first reported in 1995 and dubbed 'sudden oak death'” To get a broader perspective on the disease, UC Berkeley scientists have developed a Smartphone app for hikers and other nature lovers to report trees they find that have succumbed to sudden oak death.
While out in a park or forest, iPhone users can use the new OakMapper mobile application to report sightings of trees killed by Phytophthora ramorum, the plant pathogen that causes sudden oak death. Onsite, they can note the symptoms they see, such as seeping, bark discoloration, crown discoloration, dead leaves, shoot die-back, fungus, beetle frass and beetle bore holes. The OakMapper app, created by scientists in the UC Berkeley Geospatial Innovation Facility, uses the phone's built-in GPS to identify the participant’s location when the data is submitted."
Read more on UC-Berkeley's College of Natural Resources at http://goo.gl/Gbmhj
"In San Francisco, you can use your smartphone to hail a cab, track a bus and pay a parking ticket. There's even an app for the most ardent of tree huggers. With SF Trees, approach any tree in the city and you can find out the type you are looking at. Like nearly everything else in the Bay Area these days, the info is available on your cell."
A powerful combination of urban forestry, mobile technology and civic engagement. Now, how do we get this funded to implement in our SE cities?
Read more on Time Magazine at http://goo.gl/niAUr
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