Pocket-sized diversity

It might be time to toss those clunky paper field guides. Researchers from Yale and the University of Florida just unveiled a new smartphone app called Map of Life to track plant and animal species around the world. The app is based on a global scientific database that launched in 2012 to catalog biodiversity. Users can not only see an informative list and photographs of all the species in their area, but also contribute their personal observations. “This vast information, personalized for where we are, can change the way we identify and learn about the things we see when traveling, hiking in the woods, or stepping in our own backyard,” said Walter Jetz, M.Sc., D.Phil., associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, and the visionary behind Map of Life. To download the app, visit http://mol.org/mobile.