Good news for all the outdoorsy people out there! Created as a result of a partnership between University of Florida and Yale University, Map of Life (MOL) is a citizen science app that brings a significant portion of our global knowledge about biodiversity in to the palm of your hands. Unlike most wildlife apps that allow users to identify and record various species, Map of Life can easily be used in remote areas without an internet connection. The app is tailored to the location of the users allowing them to access a global database of biodiversity relevant to their specific location. Next time you’re traveling or out on a spontaneous adventure, you can easily use Map of Life to find out what species of plant or wildlife you are likely to find in your vicinity. Since the app works offline, you don’t have to worry about internet connection, especially in far-flung places where bad reception is commonplace.
Map of Life app has both images and text that help users identify and learn more about what they see. The app also lets you make a list of your personal observation and contribute them to scientific research and conservation efforts being carried out. People living in remote areas, particularly near the equator, are encouraged to submit their data and report their sightings. Citizen Scientists play a central role in this citizen science project. While some species have already been identified, scientists still have no idea where these species are likely to be found. This is exactly why the app has been designed to use your phone’s built-in GPS to determine the location of the sighting when you submit your findings. All the personal observations that you submit will help researchers fill critical gaps in the scattered data currently available on conservation and biodiversity.
With citizen scientists submitting their data from all over the world, scientists and conversationalist now have access to highly diverse biodiversity information coming in even from the remotest parts of the world. This information would help push the research on the potential threats and risks of extinction associated with certain species and hopefully allow scientists to take necessary actions that would preserve the diversity of our planet. The Map of Life app has a user-friendly interface and an inviting design that encourages participation and engages the users to learn more. Now available in six different languages, Map of Life is available for both iOS and Android.