Context Camera App a Great Tool for Botanists

grapes Albany

Where are these grapevines?

A relatively new app for the iPhone (sorry, no Android one yet), Context Camera is a great way to record the location, date, and time of the photos you take with the iPhone and have them displayed right on the photo. If you look at the latitude and longitude of the photo above of grape leaves you can see where I took it. Put put the coordinates into Google Maps with a negative sign in front of the longitude. The street view will show you the where the grape vines are. The app also shows the time of day, date, accuracy, and direction you are facing. There are two comment areas where you can enter up to 16 characters each. This is helpful for a plant name, collection number, collector, or anything else you can think of. I have been using it to record invasive plant locations I see and then using the info on the photo to enter an observation in the iMap invasives database at a later time, especially if I don’t have access to the database in the field on my phone. People have sent me photos with it so I can see where they have taken the picture. It’s a great tool for documentation and I highly recommend it for fieldwork. The location format can be set to many different styles including UTM.  The accuracy depends on how good your phone is and where you are but so far my points have been close to the plants and accurate enough. Give it a try!
Steve Young

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