Project Noah: Discover and Share Nature From Your iPhone

Smartphones and apps are accused of making us less social and more glued to screens than ever before. Most of us argue that apps help our lives, but in all honesty, most of us should spend a lot more time outdoors than we really do. So the question is, “can an iPhone app can inspire you to get out and explore the real world around you more?”

Project Noah just might be the solution. This award-winning app makes it easy to discover the wildlife right around you and share your own wildlife discoveries with the world. Whether it’s a deer in the woods, a snake in your garage, or that tree around the corner that you’ve always wondered about, we all have wildlife around us that we’d love to share with the world. Project Noah inspires you to find out what’s living around you to help both you and others learn more about our planet. Before we put on our hiking boots and hit the trail, let’s take a closer look.

Create An Account

The first thing you’ll notice when you download the app is its absolutely gorgeous icon and interface. It looks like a miniature field guide complete with taped-in pictures and cloth scout-style badges. We’re constantly amazed at the beautiful interfaces iPhone app designers create, and Project Noah takes this to a whole new level. Becoming a naturalist has never looked so easy or inviting!

If you’ve never used Project Noah, it’s easy to get started. You don’t have to make a new account; just sign in with your existing Google, Facebook, Twitter, Aol, Yahoo!, or Windows Live account. Project Noah will then import your name and avatar so you can start sharing wildlife without remembering yet another password.

Project Noah's gorgeous interface

Join Missions

The second option along the bottom lets you discover missions, which are organized groups looking for certain types of wildlife. From Birds of the World to The Color Red, there’s something that’s being discovered and categorized that will appeal to anyone. You can scroll through all of the global missions or find those close to you. Tap a mission to learn more about it, and if you’d like to contribute photos and info to this group, tap Join Mission. This is a great way to get ideas of what others are finding and get inspired to find wildlife of your own.

Discover and join missions to help catalog wildlife

Discover Wildlife Around You

The Field Guide is one of the more interesting sections. It will show you wildlife that has been spotted near you. You can help add info to plant and animal listings you recognize, or just see if anyone else has spotted that same black bear that keeps invading your back yard. Want to see a specific animal near you? Just enter it in the search box on the top left.

Find wildlife being spotted right around you

You can also sort the Field Guide listings by category as well, which is a fun way to see the types of wildlife around you. Rotate the category wheel to select from a variety of categories, each with a stylish icon of the animal. The category selector is amazingly detailed, and is the best showcase of Project Noah app’s design. Once the category you want is highlighted, tap the center Go button to view just those types of animals.

The category selector's artwork detail is incredible!

Share Wildlife You Discover

Ready to share your own wildlife discoveries with the world? Head back to the main My Noah page, and select New Spotting to add a photo of a new plant or animal you’ve found. You can take the picture right then, or select a picture you’ve already taken. For animal shots, it’s often easier to add one that you’ve already taken to make sure it doesn’t get away before you can open the app and take a shot. Either way, scale and crop the image to size when you’re done, then select the category of wildlife you’re adding.

Project Noah did crash on us the first couple times we tried to add new discoveries. If you have the same problem, try restarting your device – that cleared up the problems.

Scale and crop your image, then select a category for it

Then, you can add the location of the spotting. If you’re adding a picture right after taking it, then your current location will likely be correct. Otherwise, you can search for the location in the search box, and drag the pin to the correct spot on the map. Your new wildlife spotting is now ready to submit, though you can add some more info to your post first if you like. Alternatively, slide the Help me ID this species slider if you’re not sure what the animal or plant is, and others can help you identify it.

Mark the location you spotted the animal or plant in the photo

There’s tons of information you can add to your post, including the common and scientific name, description, habitat, and notes about this particular shot. You can also add tags to your post to make it easy for others to discover. Choose from commonly used tags, or add new ones related to your post. Then, don’t forget to add your shot to a mission if you’ve joined a relevant one. For example, I added my photo to the Birds of the World mission.

One of my favorite features is the ability to set the Date Spotted on any new shots you add. So, if you have some pictures you’ve already taken of animals or plants that you’d like to share or let others help you identify, you add them as a new spotting. Then, you set the date back to the day you took the picture and perhaps add a note about when you took the picture and why you’re adding it now.

You can add older photos, too, and still set their correct date

After you’ve added all your information, your new spotting post will contain plenty of data to let others learn from your shot or help you figure out what animal it is. You can go back to your posts from the My Spottings button on the home page, where you’ll see any updates that have been added to your posts.

View all of the wildlife you've spotted and see updates others added

Sharing Your Findings

Project Noah is not just an iPhone app; it’s also available for Android devices and as a webapp that can be used from any computer. You can follow other users to keep up with the animals they’ve spotted, and can also earn patches for your achievements and discoveries. It’s like Foursquare mixed with Instagram, redesigned for wildlife!

Plus, you can tie it into your other social networks such as Twitter or Facebook. Whether your friends are using Project Noah on their iPhone, or just check your Facebook page from their PC, they’ll be able to keep up with the new nature discoveries you’re making. Just open your profile and activate Twitter and/or Facebook sharing if you want to share your findings with your other networks.

Gain patches and share your findings with the world


Project Noah’s mission is to “encourage people to reconnect with nature and document local wildlife,” and they’ve definitely succeeded with that! The app is intricately designed and makes it fun to document the wildlife you’ve discovered and find other organisms that are being discovered nearby.

So go grab your iPhone or iPod Touch, download this free app, get outdoors, and find something new to document! It’s a great excuse to get away from your office and use your iPhone to learn more about the world around you!.


Discover and share wildlife around you with this award-winning, beautifully designed app.