About the Observer smart phone application
The Observer is an application for smart phones that allows you to quickly and efficiently report wild plant occurrences. This application makes it easy for you to report the species name, date, and location of over 10,000 California native and non-native plant taxa. You can also add a photograph to a report, and share it with others later to confirm identification. Your reports are transmitted wirelessly to the Calflora database, where you can edit them and see them on a map.
To use the application, you need toMy Observations application to edit your observations, and when they are ready, publish them so that they are visible to other Calflora users.
The Observer application for Android phones is available from Google Play (search for "Calflora"), or it can be downloaded from this page. The iPhone version is available via iTunes (search for "Calflora"). We need your input on how this application can be improved. We are eager to hear any feedback or comments you may have.
This is an excellent question. Due to the nature of the Android system, we are unable to guarantee that it will work on any particular Android phone until we have had the opportunity to test the app on that model. This is because the various manufacturers of Android devices implement features differently, and it is not reliable to predict ahead of time whether the manufacturer's implementation choices are compatible with the way the app is written.
The current version works reliably on the following devices:
INSTALL THE APPLICATION:
2. Android users: DOWNLOAD THE APPLICATION onto your phone and install it. (See Release Notes for the features and bug fixes of each release.)
3. iPhone users:
Get the latest release direct from iTunes (search for "Calflora")
RUN THE APPLICATION:
2. Go to Utilities / Download Plant Lists and download one or more plant lists. Note that plant list names that begin with "local" (such as "local plants") include only plants that have been observed near your current location. (Make your own plant lists, or look closely at predefined lists, with this application: Plant List Definition)
3. Go to Make Observations / Pick a Plant / change the list and select one of the plant lists you just downloaded. To choose a plant, type in part of the scientific or common name. Or, press pick a plant from the list and scroll through the list. For more details on making observations, see this document.
4. When you are back at a place with a strong WiFi signal, turn your phone's WiFi on, and upload your observations. (It is not recommended to upload observations without a WiFi signal.)
5. Once you have uploaded some observations, go to the My Observations application to edit and publish them.
6. Thank you for helping to test this application. When you find elements that need to be fixed or improved, please write us with your feedback or comments. To make this easier, there is a link on the Utilities screen of the application that will let you send comments from your phone.
ABOUT THE PROJECT:
Calflora has developed the Observer smart phone application in collaboration with the California Early Detection Network. The phone app is part of an integrated plant mapping platform that replaces cumbersome hardware/software now used to collect and manage plant mapping data. By removing technological and logistic obstacles and streamlining data collection and management, this innovative system makes it possible for all field personnel to quickly, accurately, and efficiently collect and manage native and invasive plant occurrence data. Here is a short YouTube video that outlines the system.
The Observer application for Android phones was developed by Calflora based on source code for the What's Invasive smart phone application from UCLA's Center for Embedded Network Sensing (CENS). The Android version is now (May, 2011) available on Google Play. CENS engineers have recently released an iPhone version of the Observer application, which is available on iTunes (thanks to funding from partners listed below).
THANK YOU SUPPORTERS:
The project has been possible thanks to the generosity of these visionary supporters: