This online community is bringing scientific plant specimens into the 21st century, and they want citizen scientists around the world (that’s you!) to help them collect data.


As it stands, scientific specimens of plants are currently dead, pressed, and 2D. PlantGang is on a mission to immortalise the Earth’s plant species in a virtual herbarium with the assistance of citizen scientists, researchers, and plant enthusiasts around the world.

Why do we need a virtual herbarium?

The traditional way plant specimens are stored is as 2D pressings in physical herbariums. This not only limits access to these specimens as they’re in a single location, but also means they’re susceptible to damage and aren’t a true representation of what a plant looks like when it’s alive and thriiiiving. Some digitisation of these specimens is happening, however they’re all still 2D.

A virtual herbarium on the other hand, like PlantGang, would feature 3D models of real-world plants in their living state. Not only would this make specimens more widely accessible to the general public as they’ll be stored on a decentralised network, but there’s also no risk of damage.

Additionally, as the specimen data is collected via video, this allows for the scientific context of each specimen to be documented too, such as the geolocation, associated species, collection date, and phenology, grounding them more greatly in reality.


How does it work?

Granted, the planet has a damn lot of plant species, and they’re all over the place! So how are they all supposed to be documented?

Enter, the power of citizen science.

The founders of PlantGang are calling on plant lovers, researchers, and citizen scientists around the world to help them catalogue all of these planties. You could do it next time you’re out on a bushwalk!

You don’t need any new-fangled tech or science equipment – a smartphone will do. Just take a short video of your chosen plant specimen, upload it to the PlantGang website, and the team at PlantGang will use 3D modelling technologies to create photoreal 3D model specimens. How bloody neat!

If you’re feeling a bit techy, you can choose to upload a complete 3D model specimen yourself.


The Ultimate Mission & Vision

PlantGang wants to digitally immortalise the most endangered and rare plant species on the planet, in order to educate, inspire conservation, and drive research.

But it’s not all about preserving plant specimens digitally, the team is ultimately striving to make the preservation of real-life ecosystems easier and more effective.

Sound like something you want to get involved in? Join the PlantGang and start documenting and viewing unique plant specimens ASAP.