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Identifying Trees - A Cool Idea

Someone might already have done this but I'd like to share my idea anyway.  I like trees and I like to identify them.  I have field guides and books and I like spending time looking through them, but I thought it would be really cool if computers could identify them for you.  I'm not sure if this is true of every laptop, but I see more laptops these days with built in web cams which sparked the idea.  I've also seen software that uses the web cam to identify products from reading the bar codes on them.

Anyway, this might appeal only to those who, either professionally or as an amateur, study trees and other flora. So imagine taking a sample from a tree--a leaf and maybe some bark--and taking a snapshot of these samples via your web came. That image could be sent to a server somewhere with software that would analyze the photo to determine what kind of tree it is.  This could also be used for flowers and fruits and flowering trees--which would be another way to identify the same kind of tree.

This could obviously be done by scanning the samples using a scanner or one of those all-in-one printers that have a built in scanner.  The resolution would much better, but who wants to haul an image scanner around. I think that I read somewhere that more expensive SLR cameras have wireless networking capability (perhaps this is only a bluetooth connection), so imaging you have one of those mini laptops (not sure if this would work with an iPhone) that would capture the image from your camera as you snap photos, and then send it to a server for analysis and identification.  Your mini laptop could chime in by saying in a text-to-speech app the outcome of the identification.  Identification might probably at first do a best guess if it came up with more than one identity.  The information for each tree (the kind you find in one of those field guides) would pop up and you would be able to finish the identification.  You could also correct the program by telling it the correct tree of the set of trees it returned.  It would then be a kind of "learning software".



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Blogger said…
You could be qualified for a complimentary Apple iPhone 7.

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