Albertans can explore the great outdoors from the comfort of the couch

The app lets users build a database of plants and animals near them

NatureLynx app on Android

Made-in-Alberta app NatureLynx helps users learn more about plants and animals that live around them.

The app uses a crowd-sourced database of photos and information collected by users. Users can take photos of plants and animals. Then they upload the photos to NatureLynx with where they took the photo. Furthermore, users can add any information they know about the animal, such as the species name.

NatureLynx filters posts into one of three categories: unknown, Pending and Verified. Unknown posts have yet to receive a name or information. Pending posts await verification. Finally, Verified posts are confirmed as accurate.

Tara Narwani, the director of the Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute (ABMI) — the group behind the app — calls it citizen science.

“They [citizens] really can contribute more data than the scientific community can collect,” she said. “The more people interested, the more people making observations, the better and the bigger the data-set you can collect.”

Users can create an area dubbed a mission in the app as well. Anyone in the surrounding area can contribute to the mission. Furthermore, users can use missions for a number of unique things. For example, NatureLynx started a mission that challenged users to find specific species of plants and upload photos to the mission when found.

All in all, the app is a great option for people to explore what’s going on outside. Whether for a tourist or a long-time resident, there’s something new to explore on NatureLynx.

You can download the app from the Play Store and iOS App Store.

Source: CBC