There are no angry birds in Field Guide to Victorian Fauna, the museum’s new free app for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. Instead, crazy-coloured snakes, critically endangered species, state faunal emblems, stinging jellies and a Baggy Pants Frog are among the animals included in the first release.
A screenshot from MV's Field Guide to Victorian Fauna.Source: Museum Victoria
The app lets you explore useful and interesting information about each species including: identification, biology, distribution, diet, habitat, scientific classification and endangered status. Wherever you are – a forest, a desert, a rocky shore, at Ararat or Apollo Bay – you’ll be able to find information on more than 700 animals at the swipe of your finger.
And, in a first for the museum, the code for the app is being released as open source. This means that museums and organisations worldwide can take their own data and build their own local field guide, too.
Developer Simon Sherrin and designer Simon O’Shea have built the app based on the Biodiversity Snapshots field guide, which was created for schools by museum sciences staff. In doing so, they’ve made this excellent resource available to anyone with an iDevice, not just school students. And this is just the beginning. We’re preparing more animals every day so that the app will span more of Victoria’s rich biodiversity.
Simon and Simon. These guys are developers, so we can't show their faces on the web.Image: Nicole AlleySource: Museum Victoria
Field Guide to Victorian Fauna can be downloaded free from the iTunes App Store. Simon Sherrin will also present the app at several conferences and meetings in the USA in coming weeks. It’s the second in the museum’s developing portfolio of apps which began in 2010 with Please touch the exhibit.
Is your favorite Victorian animal included in the app? If not, let us know what it is in the comments, and why it should be included in a future update of the field guide.
UPDATE: The Android version is now available from Google Play. Hooray!
Field Guide to Victorian Fauna support page
Please touch the exhibit
Currently, we don't have plans to release an Android version of the Field Guide as we do not have the in-house resources to do so. We will be releasing the source code for the Field Guide builder by the end of June. Our hope is that another organisation with Android development skills will create an Android version of the builder. If that occurs, we will definitely consider publishing the Field Guide to Victorian Animals as an Android app.
We have had many enquiries about whether we will be releasing the Field Guide to Victoria Fauna as an Android app. The Field Guide was developed fully in house at Museum Victoria. Our developer used the project as an opportunity for professional development, to extend and develop skills in writing code for a native app. We chose to write for iOS devices as we had to make a decision one way or another. We are very aware that there is interest in the community to have the app also available as an Android app but, currently simply don’t have the developer resources in house to make it happen.
We have since released the code for the app as Open Source, in the hope that someone in the developer community will port the code over to Android. No one has taken up the challenge so far.
For the documentation for the Open Source code and the blog that goes with it click here.
Thanks for letting us know about the broken link – it should work correctly now.
Hi everyone,Great news! Museum Victoria will be expanding the Field Guide app, making it available on more devices. It will also provide State and Territory specific versions, and all for free thanks to the Unlocking Australia's Potential grant program. More information will be provided on the MV website in the near future, so watch this space...!
As well as creating the Android version, the new grant will allow us to address another common feedback comment – “can you do one for Queensland?” or “I live in NSW, is there an app coming for us?” Using the Inspiring Australia grant, we will work in collaboration with six other Museums around the country to create a series of apps for animals right around Australia. These apps will have a similar format and presentation to the existing app, will also be free, and will be released for both i-devices and for Android devices. The new apps are due to be created over the next year and we plan to have them all delivered by December 2013.
We've checked with our app experts, and we think instead of downloading the app 'proper' (from the iTunes app store), you may have downloaded the source code - this won't show up as an icon on your phone or iPad, as this is the 'back end' programming, which we've made available here for other programmers to use how they wish. To dowload the operable app, go to the iTunes app store.
Hope this helps!
We love receiving comments, but can’t always respond.
Please see the answer two comments up to Bobble on the 18th of June. I hope that helps!
We’re happy to receive these items from the public but we cannot guarantee the given media will be used in the products.
Hi Katie, It’s coming! The MV Field Guide app will be launched on Google Play for Android devices in early 2013. We’re also working on 6 new field guide apps, one for each state/territory in Australia. And we’ll be delivering several significant updates to the existing MV Field Guide over the next 12 months – new species, improved design and some cool new functions. Stay tuned... (and a very Merry Christmas to you!).
Hi Brian, sadly, we still don’t have an official date for the Android version. But, we can tell you that it is being worked on and finalised at the moment so shouldn’t be too far away!
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