Flora Capture - An Adaptive Digital Herbarium Using Mobile Devices
With the advent of automated species identification and automated trait analysis, researchers need large amounts of training data to improve methods and to gain more insights into the plasticity of traits. Herbaria all over the world have invested large amounts of money and time in collecting samples of plants. However, recent studies have shown that today's methods are not sufficiently able to generalize information acquired on traditional herbarium samples and to transfer them to living samples. This finding stimulated our research into a digital herbarium that fulfils the requirements of traditional collections, but also preserves an individual plant in its living state. Utilizing the various sensors of modern mobile devices, we developed an multi-platform app that seamlessly allows acquiring a digital herbarium sheet. The user initially decides about the life form of a plant to collect and is then being directed through an adaptive serious of image perspectives to be acquired. Completed observations are uploaded to the projects server and become part of a botanists work queue, who is carefully checking and correcting observation details and eventually approving or rejecting it. The observation's status is synced back to the user's device along with detailed information on potential problems discovered by the expert in order motivate the user and to improve observation quality. Approved observations are transferred to conservations bodies. We will demonstrate the end-to-end scenario of capturing an observation, reviewing its correctness, and propagating feedback back to the user. Through Flora Capture, users acquired more than 5,200 observations of more than 500 species already.