Gardenology

Gardenology LogoThanks to Shirley Bovshow, I found out about Gardenology today. It’s a Mediawiki site (like Wikipedia) devoted specifically to plants.

Copious Information

Browsing randomly, the first thing to notice is that there is a lot of information about each plant. Take the Rose entry for example. There’s a ton of information to browse through there. It seems as though a good portion of it was imported from the Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture.

On the downside, all of this information makes things very text heavy. Gardeners love good pictures, and for many of the Gardenology articles, there is a lack of photos. It’s really a shame, but they have a plan for that…

iplantification

In the iplantification section you can find photos that have been uploaded by users. The purpose of this category is to allow users to tag and categorize photos.

This answers a very common need amongst gardeners of “What is this plant?” Just upload a photo, mark it as unlabeled, and hopefully someone will be able to figure out what it is. Then, they’ll link it to the plant article on Gardenology and you can go see what it is you took a photo of.

It’s an ambitious plan, and I wish them the best of luck, but it’s a pretty monumental task, and this message makes me skeptical:

5,113 unlabeled photos...ouch!

It will be tough going through a backlog of over 5,000 unlabeled photos.

What about folia?

My first thought when hearing about Gardenology was, “Hmm, sounds a lot like MyFolia…” They both seem to be angling toward building an online database of plant information.

However, the approach seems to be somewhat different. While folia is focusing more on social networking (such as with their Folia Faire), Gardenology is taking the more Wikipedia approach where the plants take center stage and the users are more of a buzzing background that “tends the garden” so to speak.

It’s good to see more and more online resources appearing for identifying and classifying plants. We here at DoLeaf will definitely be keeping an eye on Gardenology to see where it goes!