I stumbled across the What's Invasive app for Android and iPhone last night. The idea is that you can take a geo-referenced (with your handy GPS) photo of an invasive plant and/or make a brief note. The photo is then sent to a central server where they can be publicly evaluated (so that everyone knows that you aren't taking photos of your kids and calling them weeds) and mapped so that remediation efforts can be well-targeted.
The Whats Invasive! website has a variety of areas defined for this mapping effort, but on the iPhone the only region that can currently be reported is the Santa Monica mountains - a useful target area for test due to its proximity to Santa Monica / West LA and the scads of iPhoners that live there. The Andriod app works with all reporting areas.
If you are not an iPhone or Android user you can still participate by regular mobile phone or old fashioned email / web access. They don't appear to have telegram or postcard interfaces written yet.
If your favorite reporting area is not defined, then you can create your own on their web site, subject to admin approval. I've created a Palos Verdes Penninsula locale, but beyond Brassica and Foeniculum I'm not sure what invasive species to put there. I seem to recall a recent threat by a new invasive species that had thought to be a non-issue.
- Mobile Phones. Non GPS-enabled phones are also useful for capturing notes and photos (see Instructions: Email), and geolocation can be establshed later through our website (see Instructions: My Data & Photos) help page.
- Email & Web. Email us (with optional photo) with the plant name as the subject to: email@example.com. Or, log in and go to the My Data page to create a new observation from your computer. Read more on our Instructions: email associations help page.
Two other apps that might appeal to readers of this blog that use the same or similar mapping strategy are: