Friday, September 7, 2012

NatureWatch NZ goes mobile

We're excited to announce that the NatureWatch NZ mobile app for iPhones and iPads is now available from Apple's App Store. Click here to see it on the App Store. It's free and it's good and you should use it! (Did we mention we're excited?)

The entry screen for the new NatureWatch NZ iPhone app

You can use it to add observations when you're out and about. Your iPhone will automatically provide the date and location and location accuracy (using its inbuilt GPS). You just need to provide a species name or say "yes" for "Need ID help?". And take a photo (if you like). This works both online and offline. When you're online, you can sync all your iPhone observations with the NatureWatch NZ website. Give it a go. It's all very intuitive.

You can also use the app to add your observations to projects you've joined, or join new projects. Projects in NatureWatch NZ are like villages within our online community, interested to one aspect of NZ nature. For example, there are projects on the biodiversity of local reserves, like the Travis Wetland nature park in Christchurch. Other projects are interested in particular groups of species, like New Zealand butterflies. The app lists all projects near to where you are, and lets you search for and join projects.

Our app, like NatureWatch NZ, is powered by the mighty iNaturalist. Thanks to Dunedin-based developer and amateur mycologist, Kit Randel, for adapting the iNat app for NatureWatch NZ. Being an open-source project, all our modifications and potential improvements to the app will be shared with iNaturalist and vice versa. So, if there's anything else that you'd really like it to do, just let us know.

Now go forth, iPhone toting Nature Watchers, and record!

(For those of you with Android-based smart phones, you're not forgotten. That's our next job.)


  1. I see that iNatuturalist has an Android app. Can I use that to contribute observations to NatureWatch?

  2. Observations made on the iNaturalist Android app will go onto the main web system, which is currently independent of iNaturalist (we've been chatting to the iNat guys about ways to change this, but that's the way it is for now). We've about finished an Android app for NatureWatch NZ. We'll be sure to post here and on our Facebook page when it's launched.

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