field guide

Q&A: Matt Ritter, author of "A Californian's Guide to the Trees Among Us"

June 10, 2011
Submitted by admin

Matt Ritter is a botany professor at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, director of university's plant conservatory, and author of a new field guide, A California's Guide to the Trees Among Us (Heydey Books, 2011). I recently visited Dr. Ritter at his Southern California home, and he gave me a tour of his favorite local plants, his eucalyptus-decorated office, and Cal Poly's wonderful herbarium.

Art + Botany: LeafSnap Field Guide

May 19, 2011
Submitted by admin

Fresh from the digital fields and humming with plant life, LeafSnap is a new mobile app that can identify a tree's species by looking at a photograph of the leaf. It's the first of app of its kind, and a field guide for the twenty-first century. Using facial recognition algorithms to analyze the leaf's contour, LeafSnap then selects a match from its index of species. If it's not entirely sure (let's be fair—leaves of different species can look rather similar), it will bring up a list of possible identifications.