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References for this course

Online resources for the Jepson Manual

California resources

Smart phone applications useful to plant taxonomists

Plant collectors traditionally kept paper field notes, and used paper maps and a compass for navigation, but now there are apps for smartphones that make all this much easier. You are not required to either own a smartphone or use these apps for BOT343/L, but they'll save you a lot of time. I have used all the listed Android apps but have no experience with the others.

Android

  • My Tracks keeps a running list of coordinates, which it translates into a path showing more or less where you've been. Handy for keeping a record of yoru field work, and you can create "waypoints" to record the location of specific collection sites. My Tracks is free, and it has a simpler interface than ...
  • Trimble Outdoors Navigator also keeps track of where you go, plus it lets you take photos and record audio, which are also georeferenced. It lets you access USGS topo maps as well as several other map layers, and the paid version lets you download maps for use when you don't have a cell signal. It is much more complex to use than My Tracks
  • Maverick Lite is similar to the Trimble product. It has access to more maps, and you can download maps in this free version.
  • GPS Essentials is a whole toolbox to make full use of the GPS in your phone, including an accounting of available satellites, It includes maps and tracks, but they are not as robust as Trimble Outdoors Navigator or as easy to use as My Tracks. It also includes a compass and clinometer in a single screen, which makes it easy to get slope and exposure. Free.
  • There are many stand-alone compass apps; the only one that has an advantage over the built-in compass in Trimble Outdoors Navigator or GPS Essentials is Smart Compass, which superimposes your bearing on the view from the camera, so you can line up with distant objects. Unfortunately the free version only shows magnetic north, rather than correcting for true north, as many other compass apps do.
  • Biology Sample Collector combines features of Evernote and My Tracks, and may turn out to be very useful, but I haven't really used it.

iOS

  • Trimble Outdoors Navigator also keeps track of where you go, plus it lets you take photos and record audio, which are also georeferenced. It lets you access USGS topo maps as well as several other map layers, and the paid version lets you download maps for use when you don't have a cell signal.

Institutions

Scientific Societies

Western Native Plant Societies

Nomenclature