iBird Photo Sleuth

iBird Photo Sleuth

By Mitch Waite Group

  • Category: Reference
  • Release Date: 2018-05-11
  • Current Version: 1.1
  • Adult Rating: 4+
  • File Size: 779.11 MB
  • Developer: Mitch Waite Group
  • Compatibility: Requires iOS 11.0 or later.
Score: 5
5
From 7 Ratings

Description

Every now and then an app breaks out from the pack with features that are simply astonishing. iBird Photo Sleuth fits that mold; use its machine learning "brain" to identify a photograph of any bird of North America, regardless of the photo’s quality. Photo Sleuth uses Apple’s new CoreML machine learning system to figure out the species in even the most distorted, fuzzy and poor contrast photograph. The Photo Sleuth app has been “trained” by over 2 million photos of bird species to ID birds with uncanny accuracy. You can use iBird Photo Sleuth in the field -- no internet connection is required, because its CoreML database is contained in the app. Take a photo with your camera or select it from the built-in iPhone Photos gallery (Dropbox, Google Photos and OneDrive coming). Don’t worry if the bird is a tiny blob in the frame; Photo Sleuth is smart enough to find the features that distinguish it from all other 900+ bird species of North America. After you submit your photo to the Sleuth, it will give you a list of its top 3 guesses as thumbnail sized images. Each will display a “Confidence” value between 0% and 100%. When the Sleuth is really sure of its analysis, it will produce a high value; when unsure it will display a low value. If the app thinks that you have submitted a photo of something other than a bird, it will display “Not a Bird.” Of course, some people’s faces look like birds, so it may still suggest a bird species. For example, my selfie came up with “Not a Bird” for the #1 spot and the Barn Owl for #2. To help confirm the 3 guesses made by Photo Sleuth, you can tap on any of the thumbnail images to open more species details, including an enlarged illustration, text that explains important field marks and a range map that shows the migration coverage of the bird. The range map includes a range and habitat paragraph that helps confirm that the species is indeed located in your GPS area. A future update will add our “Birds Around Me” technology to further narrow the choices that Photo Sleuth guesses. On this same screen you may open a rich content species account in our iBird app (should you have it on your phone) to review much more information, including playing the bird’s songs and calls, seeing similar birds, behavior details and much more. Sharing of your results can be done two ways: you can share your photo and the Photo Sleuth guesses with your friends via Apple Messages, Email, Facebook, Twitter and all other functions such as printing, which appear on the standard Apple activity menu. There is also a button for optionally sharing your photo and the results of the Photo Sleuth guess with Mitch Waite Group, so that we can improve our neural network. Both correct and incorrect guesses help us improve the performance of the artificial intelligence. Or course, we only use the photograph for training, and the copyright remains with you. If you would like more information about using iBird Photo Sleuth please visit: http://ibird.com/sleuth/sleuth.html

Screenshots

Reviews

  • A good tool for bird ID

    4
    By Philbler
    I don’t use this app to confirm an ID, but it certainly does help in narrowing the possibilities when I am dealing with a less than quality photo.I really find this app quite useful. I’m still waiting for a quality app that will do the same thing with regard to audio recordings of bird song.
  • Love the newest iBird app!

    5
    By dacidom
    A very enjoyable and easy to use app. I challenged iBird Photo Sleuth with blurry photos taken on my old iPhone 5. It correctly identified most of the birds and all good quality photos. I’m really excited to use this app on my new phone during my next bird outing!
  • Awesome!

    5
    By Dilahvena
    Sent in a very blurry (due to snowfall) pic of water pipit and it ID’d it easy peasy - great job! Totally recommend this app & it will sure come in handy when hawks fly by and all I get is a blurry shot but wonder who the heck was that :)
  • Uncanny

    5
    By naturefaith
    I tried to stump this app with some pretty funky photos. It still got about 75% correct in the first guess. When I gave Photo Sleuth good photos it was more like 100% correct . I tried sending it a photo of my pet poodle and it reported with 99% confidence that Nick’s Not a Bird. It’s second choice with 0% confidence was that Nicks a Spotted Owl. I’ll be taking this app on every field trip but I’m going to try and hide it from my birding buddies.
  • Good for a beginner

    5
    By amurderofcrows
    I’m a beginning birder but I’d like to get better at it and this app seemed like a good way to start. This app uses new tech from Apple called CoreML (ML=Machine Learning) to analyze a photograph of a bird and guess what species it is. The app displays 3 small images with names and a percentage representing how likely each represents what’s in the photo. I used my iPhone 8 Plus camera to snap some shots of seagulls, pigeons and a few crows. The photos were pretty bad but the app was still able to identify them. I googled several bird names, saved them to my photo gallery and used the app to open and identify. It got everyone right. I tried a Monarch butterfly photo and it’s first choice was a Ruby-throated Hummingbird at 63%. Second choice was Not a Bird at 19%. I think the developers need to work on the part of the app that decides what’s a bird, but I had fun using it and think it will be a great way to learn how to identify birds. Few things I’d like to see; a way to look up a bird without needing a photo so I can use it as a field guide, some kind of sighting system like eBird and a way to upload my observations to eBird, more photos of the bird I identified (don’t have their iBird reference app).
  • Amazing

    5
    By HornedPuffin
    I was skeptical of this app since I’d already purchased a similar app that claimed to ID birds by song. It was a total failure. But this app is good. If iBird Photo Sleuth represents the future of bird identification my days as a birding expert may be numbered. I submitted a collection of difficult to identify photographs I’ve taken and was surprised at how well it worked. Out of 10 hard to identify photos it got 8 correct. I was actually relieved when it got confused telling a Chipping-Sparrow from a House Sparrow, so there’s still hope for my skills. But the app was able to identify some very poor quality photographs that stumped my buddies. A Golden-crowned Kinglet was just a fuzzy blob on a branch; it must have keyed an orange-yellow crown you can barely make out to identify it correctly. I think the price is fair, especially given the app provides range maps and good quality illustrations. As an iBird Pro owner I like that it will open that app from its own ID page. However I’d actually prefer if this was an in-app purchase for iBird instead of YAA (yet another app), as my iPhone is just too cluttered with birding apps. They ask your permission to train the AI using your photos. Given how bad the quality of the ones I submitted are, I wish them luck. Overall I’ll give this app 5 stars, mainly for the accuracy and the simplicity of the interface.
  • Awesome app

    5
    By Janeybug55
    What a fun app! Been spending the morning ID’ing birds in my photo gallery. Have not been able to stump it yet. Nicely done. Super easy to use.

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