ButterflyNet is a mobile capture and access system for field scientists. It enables scientists to quickly find their handwritten notes, photographs, sensor readings, GPS track logs, and other research content through a fast and information-rich interface.


ButterflyNet's capture component includes Anoto digital pens/notebooks, digital cameras, GPS devices, sensor networks, audio/video recorders, etc. The access component consists of a browser that presents multiple views of the heterogeneous data. These views are automatically linked by their time, location, or other metadata.


To capture notes, ButterflyNet requires an Anoto digital pen system, such as Nokia SU-1B or Logitech io2. To capture photographs, use a standard digital camera (we use Canon cameras, such as the Digital Rebel XT or SD300). For audio, use a digital audio recorder that can record to WAV or MP3. We use the iPod with iTalk from Griffin.


The fastest way you can get up and running with ButterflyNet is through the Release 1 webpage (October 2005) . Note that there are patches.

To play with the source (our source is licensed through a BSD license), follow the developer's instructions below. The source code is provided for learning purposes. Unfortunately, we cannot provide support for your deployments.

Compiling the Source Code

The easiest way to get the source code is to download one of our periodic releases.


We recommend compiling the source using the Eclipse IDE. ButterflyNet requires the Java 5 runtime environment and Java Advanced Imaging. Make sure to set the compiler to be compliant with Java 5.0.

There are several Eclipse projects included in the zip file. You'll have to import them into Eclipse (eclipse should take care of the dependencies automatically).

For access to the subversion repositories (i.e., if you'd like to collaborate with us on some aspect of the project) please contact us.

To subscribe to a mailing list where you can get announcements of new versions, report bugs, chat with other users, please send an email to majordomo @ lists.stanford.edu with the following body:

subscribe bnet-users