So, to explore this new platform, we took the data from biodiversity snapshots along with some additional data on marine species and produced the Field Guide for Victorian Fauna. We deliberately kept the app simple, to let the content speak for itself. The primary purpose of a field guide is to help the user identify animals in the wild. We wanted to replicate the functionality of a paper based field guide, without slavishly imitating a book.
The user can approach the content in a number of of ways, they can browse through lists of animals, grouped by type..
They can search for an animal by common or scientific name, as they would with an index….
The “page” for a species contains both pictures and text as you would expect from a field guide, but unlike paper based guide, the user can change the layout of the page
So that they can just focus on the text…
Or just show only the images. One feature you don’t get in a paper based field guide is the ability to zoom in an look at the image in more detail.
Another feature you don’t get in a paper based field guide is the ability to hear an animals call. A particularly useful tool to have when you can hear an animal, but you can’t see it. The same app runs on both the iPad and
The iPhone, although the layout is different to accommodate the smaller screen. While it’s easier to casually browse on the iPad, people are more likely to be carrying their phone, and the best field guide is the one you have on you at the time. A single download is all you need to have over 700 species on both your iPad and your iPhone. For all that information at your finger tips, how much would you expect to pay? We put it up at the start of March this year for
And we’ve had over 22 thousand downloads in the first eight months, and out of 130 reviews, we have an average rating in the Australian app store of 5 stars. Now I know that you’re possibly sitting there thinking that’s great, for you, but how does it help us?
Museums and mobiles: The good, the bad and the ugly :: Simon Sherrin, Museum Victoria