Butterflies for your phone

Oct 08, 2012
The app includes photos and descriptions of adults and caterpillars of 117 species of butterflies found in the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento Valley.

Fluttering onto a smartphone near you soon, a field guide to the butterflies of Northern California, created by UC Davis students.

"I hope that teachers will be able to use it for classroom projects," said Melissa Whitaker, a UC Davis graduate student who developed the app with two computer science undergraduates, Joey Jiron and Bryan Maass. The app was released to the iTunes store this week. It can be downloaded from the store for free.

The app includes photos and descriptions of adults and of 117 species of butterflies found in the and Sacramento Valley. It draws on three decades of data compiled by Art Shapiro, professor of evolution and ecology at UC Davis.

The app can be used to look up butterflies by common name, scientific name, family and color. The app also allows users to enter their own notes and photos and record sightings. Whitaker hopes that the app will ultimately be able to collect users' observations and photos into a publicly accessible "" database.

"It's been a great for me," said Whitaker, who had no prior iOS programming experience. The team is releasing the software as open source, so that it can be used by others as the basis for other natural history field guide applications.

"It was a lot of fun," said Jiron. "It's given me a taste of the real world, working with a client who is coming from a different side of things."

Explore further: Bee-flies and false widow spiders top Museum enquiry

More information: itunes.apple.com/us/app/the-butterfly-guide/id564063479?ls=1&mt=8
www.melissawhitaker.net/Home.html

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New mobile app, ShoeBox, helps scan old photos

Nov 02, 2011

(AP) -- A new smartphone app will help you transition your old paper photos into the digital age. Called ShoeBox, the free app lets you use your iPhone's camera as a photo scanner.

Smartphone app will allow instant polling for debate

Oct 03, 2012

When President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney square off in their first debate Wednesday (Oct. 3), college students across the country will pilot test a new smartphone application that promises to make live polling ...

Mac App Store downloads top 100 million

Dec 12, 2011

Apple on Monday said that more than 100 million mini-programs tailored for Macintosh computers have been downloaded from the Mac App Store since it opened at the start of the year.

Disney iPhone app makes photos the key to content

Oct 28, 2009

(AP) -- The Walt Disney Co. is releasing an iPhone application that rewards users for poking through the Disney.com Web site and could one day offer exclusive bonuses for activities such as shopping at Disney Stores.

Recommended for you

Orchid named after UC Riverside researcher

13 hours ago

One day about eight years ago, Katia Silvera, a postdoctoral scholar at the University of California, Riverside, and her father were on a field trip in a mountainous area in central Panama when they stumbled ...

In sex-reversed cave insects, females have the penises

15 hours ago

Researchers reporting in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on April 17 have discovered little-known cave insects with rather novel sex lives. The Brazilian insects, which represent four distinct but re ...

Fear of the cuckoo mafia

15 hours ago

If a restaurant owner fails to pay the protection money demanded of him, he can expect his premises to be trashed. Warnings like these are seldom required, however, as fear of the consequences is enough to ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Deadly human pathogen Cryptococcus fully sequenced

Within each strand of DNA lies the blueprint for building an organism, along with the keys to its evolution and survival. These genetic instructions can give valuable insight into why pathogens like Cryptococcus ne ...

Biologists help solve fungi mysteries

(Phys.org) —A new genetic analysis revealing the previously unknown biodiversity and distribution of thousands of fungi in North America might also reveal a previously underappreciated contributor to climate ...

Better thermal-imaging lens from waste sulfur

Sulfur left over from refining fossil fuels can be transformed into cheap, lightweight, plastic lenses for infrared devices, including night-vision goggles, a University of Arizona-led international team ...

Hackathon team's GoogolPlex gives Siri extra powers

(Phys.org) —Four freshmen at the University of Pennsylvania have taken Apple's personal assistant Siri to behave as a graduate-level executive assistant which, when asked, is capable of adjusting the temperature ...