Our mobile apps – a recap

Following on from our recent posts on the NAFI Fire Information and Slug Sleuth apps, we thought it would be good to highlight more of our work in mobile app development.

Over the years we have developed quite a range of apps in the biodiversity, fire, parks and citizen science sectors.

A range of mobile apps currently available in the App Stores

In the citizen science sector, a number of our apps have helped scientists engage with citizenry to monitor and report sightings of species of interest in order to broaden their research input. Our most long-running partnership is with the River Guardians team in WA’s Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, where the Dolphin Watch app has enabled the monitoring of the small population of Indo-pacific bottle-nosed dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) in Perth’s Swan and Canning River estuary. Over nearly a decade we have put enormous effort into supporting this significant program, where up to 1000 trained local citizens have contributed images, observations and surveys to the project. The project has since been extended to other sites in WA, such as Broome and Mandurah.

Two more recent project to aid species conservation were the I Spy Koala app, developed in 2019 for the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) for the collection of koala observation and survey data to improve the flow of Koala observation data into NSW planning and decisions tools; and Slug Sleuth, , an app that aims to help scientists, locals and visitors to collect observation data for slugs and snails within Mount Kaputar National Park and adjacent Nandewar Ranges within NSW, but especially the threatened Mt Kaputar giant pink slug (Triboniophorus< aff. graeffei).

Significantly, both these apps were developed to submit data to the NPWS BioSys repository. BioSys is an open-source, standards-based data management system built specifically for biological data. The system has a flexible data schema model that allows users to create a schema specific to the structure of their data, and that can apply to just about any biological and ecological data.

The Urban Wildlife app was developed for the NESP Clean Air and Urban Landcapes Hub, based primarily at the University of Melbourne, and contained multiple projects in which to record sightings of bell frogs, beneficial insects, flying foxes, or possums and gliders, usually across all states and territories in Australia.

Another take on the utility of apps – if they can help observe and conserve biodiversity, can they also assist in managing its major threatening processes? Here’s a couple of examples that we’ve brought into production in the last couple of years.

A range of mobile apps currently available in the App Stores

The NAFI Fire Information app brings the most used fire information resource for land managers in northern Australia to a mobile device, providing a constant eye on local bushfire threats.

And, the Essential Service Volunteers app helps volunteers automatically track the duration, location and type of work they undertook, an ID card service to show they’re an approved member of a legitimate volunteer essential service, and access to community discounts for firies and others essential volunteers.

And for the Wildcare Helpline app we worked with the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) to develop an app that provides a service for the WA public who find sick or injured native wildlife and are seeking advice on where to find care for the animal.

We’ve also developed a number of apps along with DBCA and Trails WA to help the community enjoy the natural beauty of WA as well!. Camping Mate and Marine Parks WA are both DBCA apps aimed at ensuring the user maximises their experience of the Park facilities in WA, both on land ad water. And Trails WA provides detailed information – even when off-grid – to hikers hitting the extensive bike and walking tracks in WA.

And finally, it’s worth noting we also develop apps that have a very restricted purpose. The Mosquito Monitoring App is the first for the Atlas of Environmental Health (AEH). It was made specifically for the use of Environmental Health Officers within WA local governments. More recently, the AEH and the Mosquito Monitoring app have become useful in the Victorian health arena.

You can read more about our work on mobile apps over the last decade, or check out our current mobile apps in the Apple and Android app stores. (Other apps we’ve developed can be found on our client app stores.)

If you’re interested in how our mobile data collection apps could help your organisation, feel free to email me, or start a chat with us via Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Alex

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