Leafsnap uses face-recognition software to identify a species of tree. Can it create a new generation of conservationists?

This article titled “The mobile phone app that can identify a tree by its leaf” was written by Leo Hickman, for guardian.co.uk on Friday 6th May 2011 15.30 UTC

To date, the world of mobile phone apps has largely left me cold. Yes, I can see how you can easily lose an hour of your life – or more – to Angry Birds. But the most interesting and potentially useful developments I have seen so far are apps such as Shazam and RedLaser. The power to identify and recognise non-text based things such as images and music points to just how potent and useful mobile phones are becoming.

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