Apps for Early Detection Efforts

Species identification, information about biology and ecology, distribution and location, management recommendations, sprayer calibration and mixing, application records, perimeter mapping...

…There’s an App for that.

There seems to be an app* for anything from work, to play and everything in between. Apps provide information at your fingertips (literally), and allow us to enter data directly to databases – skipping the paper and pencil all together.

The opportunities for apps are endless and costs are little to none. In this and future articles, we will share apps that may be useful to Invasive Plant Managers. Some are developed with invasive plant management in mind. Others can be adapted to fit. In this article, read about a collection of mobile applications developed to report occurrence of invasive plant species as part of early detection efforts.

Apps for Reporting Species

Early Detection and Distribution Mapping System



The University of Georgia Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health designed a mobile application framework that allows the user to report occurrence of invasive plants within a database. Users search for species by common or scientific name, input location, infested area, and other notes, then upload data which are emailed directly to local and state verifiers for review.

This framework has been adapted to apps for various geographic regions and project areas:

Missouri River Watershed Coalition


Calflora Observeris a smart phone application from the Center for Embedded Network Sensing-UCLA that allows registered users to quickly and efficiently report occurrences of over over 10,000 California native and non-native plant taxa. Reports are transmitted wirelessly to the Calflora database.

Stay tuned for reviews of apps used for identifying plants, management recommendations, measuring and mapping infestations, mixing herbicides, and tracking applications.

*Are you asking yourself, "What is an App?" App is an abbreviation for "application" and refers to a piece of software that can run on the Internet, on your computer, or on your phone or other electronic device. Dominant operating systems for Apps today are iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac) and Android.

MORE APPS: The USDA National Agricultural Library provides general resources for smartphone applications (apps) to assist in tracking, monitoring various species, including invasive species.