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The Green Life: A 21st-Century Field Guide

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February 11, 2011

A 21st-Century Field Guide

Nature app If John Muir had a smart phone, he might have downloaded this application. Project NOAH, which stands for "Networked Organisms and Habitiats," invites iPhone and Android users to upload pictures of flora and fauna from all over the globe. The goal: to create an online, crowd-sourced field guide (that's also on Twitter).

The app, which underwent a major upgrade in December, can help users identify species based on the phone's GPS coordinates. The website also offers a beautiful user-generated photo gallery of more than 8,500 species from thousands of locations. The diverse offerings include a uakari monkey in Brazil, a stinkhorn mushroom in New Jersey, and a thresher shark in California.

In a lovely marriage of outdoor exploration and 21st-century technology, the platform aims to encourage "'curious naturalists' to contribute to ongoing scientific research through data collection and documentation efforts," says the website.

--Rosie Spinks

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