New USGS App Helps Save the Piping Plovers!

Apr 9, 2015
Piping Plover standing in the surf

iPlover is a new app from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) for data collection about habitats on coastal beaches and the environment surrounding them.

That sounds like a really difficult and important task, but luckily for us, the app is designed for trained and vetted professionals. It is an example of another federal crowdsourcing app, but for experts. The app is actually intended for use by USGS officials and partners and will not function without an approved log-in.

To understand and manage dynamic coastal landscapes for beach-dependent species, such as the totally adorable Piping Plover (the app’s namesake!), research scientists require biological and geological data across a whole range of environments and habitats.

This can be very difficult; many existing data collections focus on either the biology or the geology, are collected by non-specialists, or lack observational uniformity.

This is where iPlover shines. The iOS-based app uses sensors on the iPhone to simplify and help ensure consistent data collection and data management.

USGS and partners use the app to:

  • Collect data from the field, online or offline.
  • Synchronize data with a central server to share across a workgroup.
  • Edit data on the device before and after synchronizing.
  • See an overview map of data from the workgroup.

The app was developed by the USGS Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center and the USGS Center for Integrated Data Analytics. It is currently only available on Apple’s App Store.

You can download this app and other cool mobile government apps with just a few clicks from our Federal Mobile Apps Directory. Federal agencies can get their apps in the directory by using the Federal Mobile Products Registry.