With all the new gadgets and technology out this holiday season, there are some amazing nature apps to take into the woods in 2014. Check out iNaturalist, Nature Find, iBird, Orvis Fly Fishing, and Project Noah!
iNaturalist, a smart phone application, is perfect for taking photographs of just about any type of wildlife. Whether you have spotted a frog, bird, mammal, or plant, snap a photo and upload it to iNaturalist with either your species designation. The best part about iNaturalist? If you do not know how to identify the plant or animal in your photo, submit it as a query for an expert or enthusiast to identify for you! Don’t want to take a photo? No problem. iNaturalist still allows you to record time and place of your observations. Available for both the iPhone and Droid cell phone systems, iNaturalist is free and a great way to participate in citizen science.
NatureFind is perfect for helping any traveler find natural areas, whether they are parks, forests, trails, or education centers. Explorers and casual visitors alike will love as this free app introduces them to new, exciting natural areas.
Don’t want to take your heavy bird guide book with you? Download the iBird app for your phone! Though you do have to pay for iBird, there are three options, from free for iBird Lite, to 99 cents for iBird Yard Plus, to $9.99 for the full iBird Pro. Though iBird Pro will cost a customer, “It offers comprehensive identification, behavior, habitat and ecology information… hand-drawn illustrations, professional photographs, range maps, and playable calls for 924 North American and Hawaiian bird species.” Before diving in try out iBird Lite, which contains 50 species and allows you to test iBird apps for yourself.
If your passion is fly-fishing, check out the Orvis Fly Fishing app, which includes fishing reports, videos, knot instructions, tutorials, local regulations, and so much more. Though this app does not let you log your own best fish, it does include a vast amount of information on one, easy-to-use app. Orvis Fly Fishing 2.0 is available for the iPhone and iPad for $5.99.
Finally, Project Noah allows users to build and create their own nature missions, inspiring others to join citizen science projects and nature explorations. Two of the featured missions are National Geographic’s Great Nature Project, which asks participants to “Take and upload a photo of a plant, animal, or any other living thing you come across to help us compile the world’s largest collection of nature photos;” and Mission WILD, which asks users to submit photos from wilderness areas.