Interview with Flora Incognita: Innovation in Citizen Science Using Machine Learning

Images: All images courtesy Flora Incognita

Jana Wäldchen ORCiD 0000-0002-2631-1531
Patrick Mäder ORCiD 0000-0001-6871-2707

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Citation format: The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th Edition

Wäldchen, Jana & Mäder, Patrick. ‘Interview with Flora Incognita: Innovation in Citizen Science Using Machine Learning’, 2019.

An interdisciplinary team has come up with a mobile app for identifying plants based on users taking a photo of the plant on their mobile. The Flora Incognita app applies machine learning to identify plant species in near real-time — flowers, plants, and trees. Simplicity and Innovation are both hard to accomplish but this is where Flora Incognita has excelled and to achieve both deserves a mention. Currently the app suite works with flora in the German Central European region, based on 4,800 species, using 1.7 million images, with a 100,000 images coming from users in 2018 alone. For Citizen Science the enthusiastic engagement of the public with Flora Incognita shows a clear path forward for more widespread uses of machine learning in public participation with science and scholarship, and in knowledge creation.

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