Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Computer Science


Computer Science


Franz Kurfess


A field guide is a tool to identify an object of natural history. Field guides
cover a wide range of topics from plants to fungi, birds to mammals, and shells to minerals. Traditionally, field guides are books, usually small enough to be carried outdoors . They enjoy wide popularity in modern life; almost every American home and library owns at least one field guide, and the same is also true for other areas of the world.

At this time, companies, non-profits, and universities are developing computer
technologies to replace printed field guides for identifying plants. This thesis
examines the state of the art in field guides for plants. First, a framework is
established for evaluating both printed and digital field guides. Second, four
print and three digital field guides are evaluated against the criteria. Third, a
novel digital field guide is presented and evaluated.