Museum Victoria launches field guide app

10 March, 2011

Museum Victoria’s Field Guide to Victorian Fauna
Museum Victoria’s Field Guide to Victorian Fauna
Image: Museum Victoria
Source: Museum Victoria

A museum-first field guide app from Museum Victoria lets users explore south eastern Australia’s unique and diverse wildlife.

Museum Victoria’s Field Guide to Victorian Fauna is an innovative new app for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch that lets nature-lovers discover more about Victoria’s rich biodiversity, whether in the comfort of their homes or in the great Australian outdoors.

“We’re really delighted with this project and the way it provides users with a new and incredibly rich, engaging way to learn about our wildlife,” said Timothy Hart, Museum Victoria’s Director of Information, Multimedia and Technology.

The field guide app, which was developed by Museum Victoria, is a valuable reference tool that can be used in urban, bush and coastal environments. Along with stunning images, the app includes recordings of animal calls – hundreds of croaks, chirps, grunts and squawks – and detailed descriptions that will enable users to identify more than 700 different species of Victorian animals. Both native and non-native species are included in the guide – from insects and spiders to mammals, birds, lizards and snakes.

“Whether you are in a forest, in the middle of a desert or on a rocky shore, you’ll be able to find information about the animals you see around you at the touch of your fingertips,” said Hart.

Museum Victoria’s Field Guide to Victorian Fauna also includes information about each species’ biology, distribution, diet, scientific classification and endangered status.

“This field guide app further develops content created for Biodiversity Snapshots, a web-enabled mobile tool created for school students by Museum Victoria to help them identify and record their sightings of animals in their local environments,” said Ely Wallis, Online Collections Manager, Museum Victoria. “This new app is an excellent resource for anyone with an iDevice, be they students, amateur naturalists or a visitor to the State.”

Museum Victoria will be making the source code for the app available under an open licence, allowing museums around the world to develop their own field guide apps.

“We’ve defined a species description format that allows any other museum to compile their own data and produce their own local field guide app,” said Simon Sherrin, Project Developer, Museum Victoria.

Museum Victoria’s Field Guide to Victorian Fauna is free for download from the iTunes App Store. Developed by Simon Sherrin and designed by Simon O’Shea, the field guide is the second app produced by Museum Victoria. Please touch the exhibit, Museum Victoria’s first iPad app on Melbourne Museum was launched in October 2010.

For more information on Museum Victoria’s Field Guide to Victorian Fauna, please visit http://museumvictoria.com.au/apps/fieldguide