Apps

To save you time and money, we have downloaded and tested the apps listed below. From whale songs to nudibranchs, from sustainable fish guides to mangrove identification, there is something for everyone…from snorkeler to scientist.

Kelp Forest

By Monterey Bay Aquarium
Android: Phone, Tablet
iOS: iPhone, iPad
Type: Education, eBook
Species: Kelp Forest Ecosystem
Wifi: No
Search: n/a
Region: North America
Languages: English
Price Range: Free
Recommendations:
What we liked:

Good quality photos and well done eBook for “Young Explorers” highlighting the difference in habitats and species within a kelp forest.

What could be better:

We understand that the Monterey Bay Aquarium needs to talk about the kelp forests on the west coast of North America, but if you are going to make an eBook, it would be nice to at least mention kelp forests in other parts of the world.

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Eggcase Hunt

By Shark Trust
Android: Phone, Tablet
iOS: iPhone
Type: Citizen Science, Shark, Skate & Ray Eggcases
Species: Sharks, Skates, Rays
Wifi: Need to connect to upload data collected off-line
Search: Yes, works well
Region: UK, World
Languages: English
Price Range: Free
Recommendations:
What we liked:

Well designed app that explains how to hunt for eggcases, how to identify them (ID guide for species found in the UK species), and how to prepare them to take ID photos to upload with the app. The aim of the project is to identify where different species of oviparous (egg laying) shark, ray, and skate species lay their eggs. For more information see www.eggcase.org.

What could be better:

Originally designed for the UK, the eggcase identification is limited. It does allow you to upload data from other parts of the world.  An international version covering more species would be appreciated.

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Gaia GPS

By TrailBehind Inc.
Android: Phone, Tablet
iOS: iPhone, iPad
Type: Mapping, Citizen Science
Species: n/a
Wifi: Need to be connected to access map before going off-grid.
Search: n/a
Region: World
Languages: English
Price Range: Free version has been enough for our field work. In-app purchases for upgrades.
Recommendations:
What we liked:

The basic version working from free maps gives enough detail to do field work. Easy to mark pathways, boundaries, or monitoring points. Can record photos and notes with waypoints.  Great for monitoring work in mangroves, seagrass, etc.

What could be better:

Requires a bit of practice using it before heading to the field.

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Seagrass Spotter

By Adam Rogers
Android: Phone, tablet
iOS: iPhone, iPad
Type: Citizen Science, Seagrass Identification & Monitoring
Species: Seagrasses
Wifi: Connect to upload data
Search: Yes, works well
Region: World
Languages: English
Price Range: Free
Recommendations:
What we liked:

Very easy-to-use seagrass identification guide based on the region you select.  It is relatively easy to upload a report.

What could be better:

The app was recently updated to cover the world – an example for other apps to follow.

 

 

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Data Entry CoralWatch

By CoralWatch, University of Queensland
Order free colour table www.coralwatch.org
Android: Phone, Tablet
iOS: iPhone, iPad
Type: Citizen Science, Coral Health and Bleaching
Species: Corals
Wifi: Connect to upload data
Search: Easy to follow steps to input data
Region: Tropical Reefs
Languages: English, Indonesian (only available if you are connected to the Indonesian store)
Price Range: Free
Recommendations:
What we liked:

Simple to use tool that makes it easy for snorkelers and divers to assess coral bleaching and health based on a colour chart (20,000 already distributed). Data collected can be entered into the app and uploaded to the CoralWatch database.  Information about how to use the chart is available in a companion ReefWatch app in Indonesian and English. The CoralWatch Do-It-Yourself Kit and Datasheets are available for free in Indonesian, English, traditional & simplified Chinese, Korean, Arabic, Portuguese, Japanese, Spanish, French, Italian, and German on their website.

What could be better:

Nice tool to interest and involve people in coral health. The research team continues to develop and improve the entire CoralWatch package.

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Philippines Coral Bleaching Watch

By University of the Philippines, Marine Science Institute
Android: Phone, Tablet
Type: Citizen Science, Coral Bleaching Reporting
Species: Corals
Wifi: Need to connect to upload data collected off-line
Search: Not applicable
Region: Philippines
Languages: English
Price Range: Free
Recommendations:
What we liked:

Easy to register.  Reporting system has a short and long version that is very easy to understand.  You can add photos and correct your data before uploading.

What could be better:

It would be nice to know what happens to the data that is collected and uploaded.

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Need 18% photo gray card for reference
Android: Phone
iOS: iPhone
Type: Science, Citizen Science
Species: Water Quality
Wifi: No
Search: Not applicable
Region: World
Languages: English
Price Range: 1 - 5 €
Recommendations:
What we liked:

This water quality application uses the smartphone’s camera to determine the reflectance of water bodies. HydroColor can estimate water turbidity (0-80 NTU), concentration of suspended particulate matter (SPM) (g/m^3) and the backscattering coefficient in the red (1/m). The data files are save automatically and can be downloaded on a computer in a text file the information about the measurement: latitude, longitude, date, time, sun zenith, sun azimuth, phone heading, phone pitch, exposure values, RGB reflectance, and turbidity.

What could be better:

Very cool app that provides good data. For more information about the app, see their webpage.

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GoodFish Guide

By Marine Conservation Society UK
Android: Phone
iOS: Phone
Type: Consumer Guide to Sustainable Seafood
Species: Fish and Shellfish
Wifi: Need to be connected for certain functions.
Search: By name or A-Z list
Region: UK
Languages: English
Price Range: Free
Recommendations:
What we liked:

Information for each species is provided such as the rating explanation, bio summary, capture/production information, and “management”.

What could be better:

Not eating seafood. There are 5 different ratings and the colours that correspond give a more positive assessment then the actual words. Information on fishing methods and seasonality is a link to their website. Recipes are provided. It is not clear if they are encouraging seafood consumption or trying to limit unsustainable consumption.

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Sustainable Seafood Australia

By Australian Marine Conservation Society
Android: Phone
iOS: iPhone
Type: Consumer Guide to Sustainable Seafood
Species: Fish and Shellfish
Wifi: No
Search: Yes, search by name, by sustainability, or A-Z
Region: Australia
Languages: English
Price Range: Free
Recommendations:
What we liked:

The colour-coding make the app simple to use. Good information provided for each species with map showing source locations. Easy to understand list of definitions. The Australian Marine Conservation Society appears to maintain more objective measures than some other organisations in other countries.

What could be better:

Not eating fish.

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