The Field Guides to Australian Fauna are a suite of eight apps designed to help users to identify Australian animals, birds, fish and invertebrates. There is one app for each Australian State and Territory, covering fauna found in that geographic area. Over 2200 species are included across the suite of apps.
This project extended an earlier one, in which Museum Victoria had created a single field guide for Victorian fauna. The national apps project was funded by the Australian government, through the Inspiring Australia, Unlocking Australia’s Potential scheme. It was achieved as a collaboration between seven museums and the Atlas of Living Australia. Museum scientists around the country wrote content, sourced images and – for birds and frogs – sounds. Project management, programming and design were done by Museum Victoria.
The finished apps are completely free to download for Apple and Android devices. Furthermore, the code for the apps is published on GitHub and other developers can freely use this resource. The apps have been downloaded over 150,000 times across all platforms.
The project was a remarkable example of cross institutional collaboration with over 300 contributors to the final products. Both the product and the collaboration have been recognized as outstanding, winning a number of awards in 2015 including the Best of the Web award for mobile, a Bronze MUSE award for Mobile Applications, and a Museums Australia MAGNA award for Interpretation, Learning and Audience Engagement.
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