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What are the best Nature apps to use when out on your walks?

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  • #016   Do you find when you are out on walks that you see or hear something and you’re not sure what it is? 
    It happens to me all the time.   I have used many mobile apps to help inform and help identify the plant, tree or bird call.   

    In today’s podcast,  I discuss the 4 best apps I use after using many.  I share why they are worth using, and I recommend you give them a try next time you are out. 

    In the podcast, I review:

    PlantSnap
    iNaturalist
    iBird
    Sky Safari with a secondary mention to Star Rover.

    I use each of these apps and find them all great help in finding, sharing and discussing nature and what is around us. 

    I also mention our trail and event app in the myGeo series, information at mygeoactive.com 
PlanSnap the best nature identification app in my view.

Podcast transcription 

John Campbell 0:03
Hello, and welcome to another edition of inspired and active podcast. This is the podcast, where we look to motivate and inspire us to be more connected and active in the outdoors, really enjoying what’s available and sharing it with others. 

My name is John Campbell. I’m a coach, the founder of my directive and the father of four very active children. Each week, we’ll look at hints and tips and some advice interviews, and offer different apps and downloads just to help you be engaged and motivated. last, last time, we discussed navigational apps, and we talked about three apps that you could use just to help find your way around. And they got really good feedback from from that. And today, I decided to look at nature apps, and what are the best nature apps to use? while you’re on your walk? Could you it’s really important that we try and engage our younger people and just ourselves and just carry on education on? How many times have you been on a walk when you’ve heard a bird song, or seen a plant, or just observed something unusual? And you think yourself, I really need to know more about this happens to me, you can ask the question, what is that? Why is that and you have to go away and look at a book. And I knew if you’re interested in this, you really can find information now using your mobile phone. And that’s what I wanted to look at, I’m gonna look at four apps that are really useful just to carry with you. And these are apps that I use all the time, I will never recommend anything or discuss anything that haven’t tried and used myself. The four apps we want to talk about today. The first one is called plant snap. The second one is I naturalist and then I bird for birdsong. And finally, I’m quite interested in getting increasingly interested in the stars and the planets. And I’ve looked at different apps to help to identify the night sky. And sky Safari is the one we’d like to recommend here. As the app we can review. Some of you may know my background is very much in the digital space, I have run digital service companies and have been a consultant on digital strategies. And I’ve written many apps myself. So I have a particular kind of requirement. When I use apps, I can look at an app and you can immediately see whether it’s got the depth and the simplicity that is needed to to engage with users. And these these apps all have that you’ve got to pick up the app and immediately find it useful and interesting for whatever you’re using it for whether it’s navigation or tracking anything. And the first one I wanted to talk about is plant snap. Now plant snap, just allows you to simply take a picture of a plant or a tree or whatever, and it will use an extensive database to bring back to you what they think it will be in real time you don’t send it away anywhere it will do it as you as you wait that uses quite advanced technology. And why I really like it is it’s it’s it really extending the use of technology, it’s using really intelligent search and recognition of of the the plant that you’re taking a photograph of, and bringing it together in a really simple interface to allow you to quite quickly get narrow down your search and might not find immediately but you’ll be given a few options and you can narrow it down and then see if what you’ve just snapped. It’s really extending it’s developing, it’s bringing out new features. And that’s the other thing that I really want to emphasise with apps, especially if you’re paying for any of them’s often small, smaller payments. And it is just to make sure it is still being updated. Because that’s important. You’re using an app that’s still current and being updated. The other the other thing about plants snapper has a companion website with blogs, and connects up to next cyclepedia there. So you’ve got your app, but but also you’ve got some backup on the web. Many of these apps, you just have the app and nothing else but plant snap. It’s very forward thinking and it just brings in that life to identify that plan to answer that question and have a bit of fun with it because you can then you can then start having a bit of competition so who can find this you can find that and as well worth trying out just download plant snap from the the app stores of your choice. The next time we want to look at is I naturalist and this is a different app from plant snap. This allows you to observe and log and register where you’ve seen the item you’ve just photographed

it across the world, you can then see where all these observations are, it helps you identify things through to basically passing it into the community. And people will come back immediately and help you identify what you’ve just seen. And you can then pin it on the map so you can drop into your local area. And you will see all the different pin observations around so that someone would pin they have seen a rare plant or a bit of wildlife or a bush. And you could then if you wanted to go and see where it is and have a look at it yourself. So it’s you can create projects, you can create exploration kind of events in terms of going out to have a loop because you will see where things are pinned. And then you can contribute to that you can contribute to the community and there are thousands of pins, thousands and thousands across the world. And there will be many in your local area. It’s a very popular app. It’s a not for profit app, they ask for donations, where plant snap has a free and a paid version that this one is donation only and is built up and it’s very popular no and we really would advocate just pinning even if use plant snap to identify it then just pin it on I naturalist to see your phone this and this add to the community become really become a nature explorer yourself and start pinning these and and have a look at what’s around about you just to increase your own education, which is really important. So just record share and discuss are the three things and definitely worth just downloading onto your foreign and having it there whenever you need to pin it. The third, the third app is is ibird. Now I looked around to try and find an app previously that had quite an extensive database of bird identification features and also birdsong and everything you need to know now i’m not i’m not an avid birdwatcher, but I do like to know what’s there. And then when I hear a bird song, specially if I’m up on the hill, I just love the Kappa Kaylee’s up in the Cayman dorms. And I and I am quite a quite a fascination with birds of prey, the Eagles, the Falcons, and the Hawks. And sometimes you see you see a bird when you’re out you just can’t identify it and I was looking for something. And I bird you do have to pay for it. There is a cost to this one, I think is around about the 13 pounds $30 mark. And that has got all all the birds in each of the region like the UK or the North America bird databases, and is kept up to date and is really, really extensive. So you can actually see a bird and allows you to identify it by the wingspan or the tail or the head, whatever you can identify. And also it’s got a great recording of the birdsong to really narrow down what you’re seeing. And then you can you can go there so it’s got a lot of of aspects to it really to allow you while you’re outside, enjoying your walk are up in the hills, just to hear that song and actually identify the bird that that is and to me that’s that’s the educational aspect because I’d like to know what plan that was, I’d like to know what kind of tree that is, and then what kind of bird because that’s all about nature and the environment. And unless we can pick up that and pass it on to our families as we’re out, they will never know. So it’s really important to really bring these things together and I bird just allows you to do that one one word of warning, it’s a big download. So depending if you don’t have much space on your phone, it is fairly extensive. It’s one gigabyte of a download but it is worth it to have it there. And it’s one of those three nature finder apps that I’d be recommending along with plant snap. I naturalist and then I bird. Now finally what about the night sky because I really enjoy going out it in the evening when the stars are just coming out or even first thing in the morning I’m out late and up early and get out and when you see a constellation of stars and you see the bright planets is just incredible. Just to think what is actually out there past where we can see and

I don’t know you but but you but I really don’t know my my stars well enough for and it’s a real it’s a real interest now so I did do a lot of looking to see what I could find. I’ve got books but I found there were lots of apps out there for stargazing and for looking at night sky and I cannot pick two I’d have been using one one is more simple and if all you’re looking for is very much point your your phone at the night sky and you can then see on the phone what what the stars are With a with a bit of database example pedia research, information being given to you is one called Star rover. And that’s really useful, really simple. So I would recommend that that star star rover, that the one that I am, I am picking and recommending is a is a bit more comprehensive. It’s got a lot of features to it. And it has been updated all the time. And that’s called sky Safari. And that allows you to identify all the planets, the constellations of satellites. And like Star rover, it’s got a very visual screen in terms of you with a compass and you point your compass up, and you can see everything. But what starts a fairy gives you It gives you an extended extended information, it’s got a lot more focus on the education aspect, you can go into orbit mode and be moved about the sky, which is quite interesting. It’s got an audio track. So you it would tell you about the planets or whatever you’re looking at. So that is also quite nice when you’re out and about. Or when you come back and just want to delve into a bit more information. It will give you prompts about what’s happening in the night sky. If something is moving or changing, you could get alerts, which again, if you’re interested is useful. It includes extra features like it looks at the calendar and tail, it will tell you what should be happening tonight. Or imminently over the next few days, you can actually start tracking and put in the calendar when things are happening in the night sky. And if it’s a clear night, you can make the point to go out and observe it. And it gives you all the timings of when, when the full moons are or when any of the planets and planets are in any kind of engaged motion. So elders tell you what is happening any point in time, which is really useful just to delve into the night sky rather than just observing when you’re out for a walk. So skysafari really lets you grow your your own knowledge and interests with a lot of engaging information that is being updated all the time, it’s using more augmented reality. And as the later iPhones Come on line with ice iOS levels allow you to do more on the phone. The sky Safari is developing and is bringing new releases. So that would be my recommendation for the night sky would be Night Safari. And then I bird bird song. I naturalists for really observing and pinning and and seeing what’s happening around about you and find snap was allowing you to take a photograph and get immediate identification and then be able to find out more. So all really useful leecher apps while you’re out and about on. And finally I just wanted to mention that the apps that we produce in my geo active so we have a series of apps but the one we launched this week was my geo scatter. And if you’re interested in these apps, which really allow you to engage in outdoors and have a bit of fun to set up drills or set up events, have a look at our website at mighty lactic calm and go on to onto the scatter building website to create your own scatters. There’s a video telling you all about it, please give it a go and have some fun of it. Thanks for listening again to the inspired active podcast. Please connect with us on Instagram inspired and active on Facebook and leave a review for the podcast. It does help us to get more audience and we look forward to coming to you each fortnight with just more interesting topics. We’ve got some great interviews lined up and I really do hope you will get out and about and enjoy this time. Thanks a lot for listening

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

What are the best Nature apps to use when out on your walks?