Nature Today

Capture the green explosion in your surroundings with the GrowApp; now also available on iOS

De Natuurkalender, GLOBE, Wageningen University
01-APR-2017 - Due to the extreme high temperatures, spring is quickly arriving in the Netherlands. Next week, several characteristic trees such as oak, horse-chestnut, lime, alder, apple and birch will start unfolding their leaves. The recently launched GrowApp is now also available on iOS, enabling you to capture the green explosion with your iPhone and iPad.

Since March 19th, spring development in gardens, streets and national parks can be visualized with the GrowApp. Making a daily update on your time-lapse video is easy. The GrowApp helps to make a picture on the exact same spot with the exact same orientation by transparently showing the first picture of the time-lapse video. Growapp.today shows you how currently over a thousand users all over the world have made their first pictures. The GrowApp was already available on Android but is now also compatible with iOS devices. Just in time for iPhone and iPad users to help capture the seasonal transformation that will take place in the next two weeks.

Locations in the Netherlands where pictures and time-lapse videos have been made already

Extremely high temperatures

The switch from a bare winter landscape with some early flowering plants to a spring scenery with crispy green leaves and abundantly flowering plants such as cherry trees and magnolias, happens extremely fast this year. This has everything to do with the extremely high temperatures that we currently experience. This year’s March will become the runner-up warmest March ever, only March 1991 was just slightly warmer. Also, February was already particularly mild. Several species such as the willow have started their leaf unfolding already, but soon they will be surrounded by several distinctive species, including oak, horse-chestnut, lime, alder, apple, pear, aspen, birch and some early beeches. Cherries, magnolias, forsythias and some early rhododendrons will flower richly in the near future.

Flowering of cherry trees

Help capture the incredible green explosion

Primary growth of young horse-chestnut treesThe GrowApp provides a perfect opportunity to visualise these amazing developments in nature. Besides the illustrative time-lapse videos, the pictures serve as valuable data for scientists of Wageningen University who study the changing climate and environment. We hope that a lot of people will join us and download the GrowApp and make pictures regularly. Considering the fast changes we experience at the moment, daily pictures are most useful to us.

Prize for GLOBE schools

One of GrowApp’s partners is the worldwide educational GLOBE programme. By using their smartphone as a measuring device, participating in the GrowApp research will be more attractive for students. On the GLOBE website, educational modules are available that can easily be implemented in the regular educational programme.

The GLOBE school that makes the most gorgeous, surprising or stunning time-lapse video of the unfolding spring in their surroundings, will win an online live lecture by biologist Arnold van Vliet.

To participate in the competition, add the following hashtags to at least one of the pictures of your time-lapse video: #GLOBE, #schoolname, #class/group and preferably the #species.

Time-lapse videos of one of the six target species of the European GrowApp programme will receive extra credit.

The six target species of the European GrowApp programme

Short tutorial on the GrowApp programme (Source: Resource, Wageningen UR)

Text: Arnold van Vliet and Wichertje Bron, Nature’s Calendar (‘De Natuurkalender’) , Wageningen University and Matthijs Begheyn, Dutch GLOBE Foundation (‘Stichting GLOBE Nederland’), translation: Nina van Bruggen