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Map of Life goes mobile

This app is going to make travel, field trips, birdwatching and walks in the woods, on the beach and in the park way more fun.

One of my very favorite examples of crowd-sourced reference sites has been Yale University’s Map of Life . Using a wide variety of data sources,  the biodiversity project

endeavors to provide ‘best-possible’ species range information and species lists for any geographic area. Map of Life aims to support effective and global biodiversity education, monitoring, research and decision-making by assembling and integrating a wide range of knowledge about species distributions and their dynamics over time.

Today, the Map of Life announced a very cool MOL mobile app available for Android at Google Play and for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch at the App Store.

Your science teachers are going to love this.  Any young citizen scientist curious about her environment will want to explore.  And you will want to share this with parents before summer vacation begins.

So, say you are sitting around in a Houlihans in New Brunswick, NJ.  You wonder what wildlife you’d see if you ventured beyond the parking lot.

You check the handy index to view fauna and flora around you–the amphibians, birds, fishes, mammals, reptiles, turtles, bumblebees, butterflies, dragonflies and trees. Select an interesting category; read about any of the listed species; see its range on a map; build lists of your sightings.

And, when you observe a specimen in the field, you may want to use your device’s camera to record and share your sightings with others–to engage with records and species worldwide.

Here’s what the natural scene around New Brunswick looks like.

The MOL app is free and its content  is available in six languages.

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Joyce Valenza About Joyce Valenza

Joyce is an Assistant Professor of Teaching at Rutgers University School of Information and Communication, a technology writer, speaker, blogger and learner. Follow her on Twitter: @joycevalenza

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