The Arnold Arboretum is pleased to announce the launch of two new mobile applications to facilitate explorations of the Arboretum’s plant collections. These releases are part a wider initiative to expand access to the Arboretum’s resources as a landscape for science, learning, and recreation.
All accessioned plants at the Arnold Arboretum are mapped, documented, and tracked by staff with the help of a collections database, BG-BASE. Until recently, availability of this data was restricted to complex software systems used by Arboretum curation staff, or locked away in paper files. Last fall’s launch of Collections Researcher represented a leap forward in sharing this information globally by linking Arboretum data with a powerful GIS (geographic information system) for desktop explorations of the Arboretum. This week, the Arboretum marks a further milestone in this effort with the release of test versions for two software applications that map the Arboretum’s accessioned plants on mobile devices.
These mobile applications are Arnold Arboretum Navigator and Mobile Collections Researcher, and are introduced for public testing as part of festivies celebrating Lilac Sunday on May 13. Arnold Arboretum Navigator allows users to locate plants in the collection and is compatible with most smartphones currently available. Though limited in functionality at this time, future versions will deliver features consistent with those available in our second application, Mobile Collections Researcher. This second tool is optimized to function using the latest technology from Android manufacturers and Apple’s iOS platforms for iPhone and iPad. Mobile Collection Researcher enables you to search the collection, view seasonal plant highlights, and link to individual plants at the Arboretum.
Try one or both of these applications as you explore the Arnold Arboretum landscape with your mobile device. Please offer your feedback, which will be useful to staff in engineering new features and functionality for the Arboretum’s mobile applications.