Plant maps in your pocket
There is a powerful new app that puts a treasure trove of plant information in your pocket.
The Trees Near Me NSW app lets you explore the plants growing anywhere in New South Wales. Download it from the App Store or Google Play to use in the field or browse the interactive maps straight from your desktop.
Built to inspire curiosity
This app places a wealth of plant data at your fingertips. When you're on a bush walk, zoom in on your location and discover the species around you. Or pinch the map to zoom and get a colour-coded map of the Plant Community Types that grow anywhere in New South Wales. You can even travel back in time to see how an area looked before it was cleared. This is great if you want to plant natives that will thrive in your area and provide suitable habitat for local wildlife.
Creating the app was a team effort. DPE Senior Research Scientist, Dr Adam Roff, from the Vegetation Biodiversity Mapping team, explained, "the Vegetation Classification team created the list of Plant Community Types that we mapped. We also couldn't have done this without the Web Services and SEED teams that host the data, the BioNet Team and the app developers We Make Apps."
The maps were made by applying feature recognition software to aerial photographs and satellite imagery. This was combined with environmental data on soil, geology and climate and 30 years of site assessment data. Machine learning was used to map Plant Community Types that were manually checked by experts using aerial photography.
Fast and intuitive
The Trees Near Me NSW app has been built to inspire curiosity. Users can open the app and explore native plants in their backyard or anywhere in New South Wales. It is fast, simple and intuitive and no tutorials are required. Because it is easy to use, professionals have also picked it up. During user testing, an ecologist said "it was easy to get useful information straight away in the field."
"Trees Near Me NSW will be really useful for anyone who is curious about the best trees to replant in their local area," said Dr Roff.
The State Vegetation Type Map, which the app is based on, is a living map. It constantly improves as better satellite imagery and aerial photos are added and Plant Community Types are updated. When users upload feedback on vegetation in their neighbourhood to the SEED data portal, the map updates, which automatically appears in the app.
Find out more
Download the app from the App Store or Google Play to start exploring.