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App me up Scotty!

In New South Wales, the Australian PlantBank at the Australian Botanic Garden Mt Annan has recently launched a new interpretive app (phone application) to assist visitors, and potential visitors, by providing a self-guided tour of the new seed banking and plant science research facility. This app also provides a depth of educational information to visitors on the important plant conservation work being undertaken. For example, the app contains embedded videos addressing the issues around the management of the Australian PlantBank and the botanic garden.

The app is available for downloading/viewing from:

iPhones - https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/the-australian-plantbank/id763344284?mt=8

Android - https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tiltandco.rgb.plantbank

In Victoria, Nick Williams and Adrian Marshall at the University of Melbourne are building an app to assist with species identification in the grasslands of Victoria. This will advance the work already done by Ecolink in this field. The use of this app will hopefully lead to better informed laypeople and scientists in the field as has been the case with the Leafsnap app (http://leafsnap.com/) system developed in the USA.

While these technologies are expensive and time consuming to develop, there is huge potential for apps and QR readers to assist quality interpretation and understanding of Australian flora.