REVEURS - Recognition and inventory of plants in urban environments - Citizen science and social customs of a smartphone interface (2014)

Scientific coordinators: Thierry Joliveau (EVS) – – Florian Charvolin (CMW) –
Disciplines: Sociology – Geography – Information technology
Laboratories: EVS – CMW – LIRIS


Folia is a free plant recognition smartphone application developed in a previous project. It enables identification of species of trees and shrubs native to France from a photo of their leaves and the type of natural environment determined by geolocation.

The tool should simplify and democratise outdoor plant recognition by non-specialists based on digital technology, which will ultimately raise their awareness of nature issues. It raises the question of a change of status of naturalist knowledge among laypersons, amateurs and specialists, and opens up the issue of citizen science in a new technology context.

The planned methodology track is as follows:

– Familiarisation with the Folia technique, which will be an opportunity to track the sociology of the virtual user as contained in the object;

– Organisation of four nature tours in the form of focus groups in two different regions of the Lyon metropolitan area;

– Launch of a website dedicated to Folia users to initiate the possibility of feedback between designers and users.

Combining tool design sociology to see which “audience” is integrated into its script, and outdoor experience of the application in a focus-group-based approach, the project will enable investigation of the technical instrumentation of citizen science.