Monday, April 28, 2014

Mapping Urban Tree Canopies

The National Geographic celebrated last Friday's Arbor Day by creating maps of the tree canopy coverage in some of America's biggest cities.

In Nine Cities That Love Their Trees the National Geographic has used MapBox to map the trees in nine US cities. The maps reveal the areas of greenery in each of the cities and also explores some of the tree planting campaigns carried out in each selected city.

If your city is missing from the National Geographic map then check out OpenTreeMap. OpenTreeMap is a crowd-sourced platform for creating city tree coverage maps. You can view tree maps created with the platform at the Urban Forest Map (San Francisco), PhillyTreeMap and GreenPrintMaps (Sacramento).

OTTrees is a Google Map that visualizes Ottawa's open data of trees owned and cared for by the city. The database includes information about more than 40,000 individual trees.

Using the map it is possible to view the seasonal foliage of any species of Ottawa's trees. The foliage is estimated by taking the diameter at breast height of each tree and calculating the approximate spread of the tree given it’s species and estimated age.

The filters in the sidebar allow the user to visualise the foliage in different seasons, select individual species of trees or any combination of species and also to show the allergen potential for different locations in the city.

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