Dave Pinwell

Dave Pinwell

Dave Pinwell is a prolific blogger and IT enthusiast and has kindly allowed us to reproduce his popular weekly IT Talk column first published in the Solihull News. Dave is also CEO of Colebridge Trust and SUSTAiN which play a key role in providing strategic support to Solihull’s Voluntary & Community sector. Dave has extensive experience in the IT sector, with roles including IT Director with Fujitsu Telecommunications Europe Ltd.
Tech News 9th September 2016 1219

Apps Make Walk In The Country A Tree-TUsing the Leafsnap UK app to identify a tree from its leaf

Schools are back and thoughts of lazy summer sojourns pass to plans for shorter, more active autumn jaunts, woodland walks and moorland meanders.

Those who see trees or hear birds while doing the Countryfile bit, and want to identify them, should have Apps for the jobs on their phone.

Tree ID from the Woodland Trust and Leafsnap UK from the Natural History Museum both set out to adapt facial recognition technology to the business of identifying trees. While Tree ID claims to be able to name a tree from its bark, flowers, fruit or leaves, Leafsnap sticks to the easiest of these, the leaf.

In either case a photo from the phone’s camera can be used to check for a match and, hopefully, name that tree.

Birds are harder to get a good, clean snap of, so the same techniques are unlikely to work well.

Consequently, Warblr and Chirpomatic use the same approach as ‘Name that Tune’ Apps, like Shazam, to identify birdsong.

Unfortunately, these tend not to get great reviews because of the challenge of getting any cleaner a recording of a bird than a photo of it.

This is especially true when birds sing over each other and background noises of wind, traffic, children and other distractions disrupt recordings.

Better, perhaps, to turn to the Collins Bird Guide, the App of the book. This costs much the same as the paper version, but has the bonus of search ability. Feed in details of location, habitat, season, size and/or colour into its sausage machine and out come suggested identifications in richly coloured illustration.

Mind you, a stroll with these Apps can take a lot longer!

Dave Pinwell

Dave Pinwell is a prolific blogger and IT enthusiast and has kindly allowed us to reproduce his popular weekly IT Talk column first published in the Solihull News. Dave is also CEO of Colebridge Trust and SUSTAiN which play a key role in providing strategic support to Solihull’s Voluntary & Community sector. Dave has extensive experience in the IT sector, with roles including IT Director with Fujitsu Telecommunications Europe Ltd.

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