We know the names of all the things humans have made in the world, but we are surrounded by a nameless nature. A smartphone app that lets people explore and identify the natural world, resulting in a crowdsourced data set for a plant species location map. This geotagged data can then be used by researchers, governments, and park systems to inform crucial decisions in climate change, urban planning, and conservation.

This project is solving the Forest Monitor Mapping challenge.


For Learners:

We walk by thousands of plants every day that remain a mystery to us. Naming Nature lets you name the natural world you live in. Go exploring and translate nature as you roam.

For Conservationists:

Researchers, preservationists, and planners cannot make informed decisions because of the lack of plant species location data. Acquiring this data is extremely expensive due to the difficulty of the domain and the need for a dynamic data set that is constantly updated. Naming Nature employs the crowd to create and maintain plant species location maps and provides this data to decision-makers. We transform outdoor enthusiasts into citizen ecologists by capturing each valuable act of identification.

What’s Unique about Naming Nature?

-Uses a decision tree to walk users through a step-by-step identification process which requires them to engage with each discrete attribute of the plant specimen. This dynamic, digital field guide encourages real world interactions while streamlining the identification process.

-The platform will utilize A/B testing to incrementally improve the identification process by finding out which decision trees best achieve a positive ID.

-We will use live data analytics to provide predictive identification options that improve the chance of correct identification.

-The users of the Naming Nature app are engaged by its gamelike design as they are challenged to find more and more IDs for their collection. Users can also earn significant micro-credentials—Open Badges—as they achieve milestones in their fieldwork.

Project Information

License: Fair License (Fair)

Source Code/Project URL:


Naming Nature Profile -
Pitch -


  • Ellie Gordon
  • Sarah Baxendell
  • Jia Ji
  • Ellie Gordon