Displaying all posts in the Open Source category.

Demystifying the process of building urban forestry software

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At OpenTreeMap, we want to expand the role of technology in solving some of the most urgent problems in urban forestry. We’ve started to do that by developing software that makes it easier for communities to collect and manage tree and green infrastructure data, and use existing socio-demographic data to drive planting decisions.

Over the past seven years we have had the opportunity to work with public and private institutions to build software that furthers community forestry efforts. This includes new features for OpenTreeMap as well as custom web and mobile applications like the platform for TreesCount! 2015, New York City’s street tree census. In fact, many of the OpenTreeMap features available today were developed in partnership with past and current customers. The ability to map green infrastructure, add your tree map to an external website, and automatically add a website link to each tree detail page are a few examples of customer-led development.

For people without a strong technical background, the process of working with a software company to develop a web or mobile application can be overwhelming. In an effort to shed light on how an idea can turn into an application, we’ve identified the four most important questions we ask our clients before starting a project.

What problem are you trying to solve?

Before writing a single line of code, we work with our clients to learn more about the problem they are trying to solve through software. For example, do you want to build an application to virtually inventory street trees or do you want to organize tree giveaways and volunteer planting events or do you want to manage tree crews and collect information on maintenance activities? It would be cumbersome and expensive to solve all three of these problems in a single software platform, which is why clearly identifying the problem and project scope is crucial. After all, the problem you want to solve will dictate nearly every decision made throughout the development process.

One of the most common pitfalls we see is the tendency to want to start software development before clearly outlining the scope of a project. If new project goals emerge during development or if a project has too many goals, it can be difficult to measure success. Further, it is critical to differentiate between essential functions of a new application, also known as the minimum viable product (MVP), and those that are not critical to the application’s initial release. Additional features can be added later pending time and resources, but by releasing an MVP you can get feedback from users and understand whether or not you’re on the right track.

One of the biggest challenges our users cited was the ability to quickly update tree records in the field. In response, we developed iOS and Android applications so users could add and update tree records from their phone.

One of the biggest challenges our users cited was the ability to quickly update tree records in the field. In response, we developed iOS and Android applications so users could add and update tree records from their phone.

What existing data or information do you have?

What existing data do you have that you want to incorporate into your application? How does that data help solve your problem? Data can come from a variety of different sources, but before designing a project that hinges on the availability of certain data, you must confirm that the data is available in the right format and at a price that you can afford. Cities and towns have lots of data including spatial files like building parcels, population data, floodplain scenarios and more. And data is not just limited to cities. Nonprofit organizations, universities, homeowners associations and consultants all use data to inform their work. At OpenTreeMap, we’ve worked with communities to map canopy coverage, upload historical planting information and use publicly available socio-demographic data to drive planting decisions.

Who is the intended audience?

Are you the only one that is going to use the software or is the software designed to be used by other people? A software tool used by 10 people is designed very differently than one used by 1,000 people. If you are building an application to solve a problem for another person or group, it is important to consult those people throughout each stage of the project. We consult with users to design applications that are easy to use and make information more accessible.

What is your time frame?

Is the software application designed to exist for a defined period of time or do you want it to exist well into the foreseeable future? A software application designed for long-term use is different than one built for an event or short-term project. Just like car owners take their cars to the mechanic for routine maintenance, software requires ongoing updates in order to ensure it continues to run properly.

Also related to time frame is the project timeline. How long until you need the application? Is the application connected to grant funding? If so, what information do you need to close out the grant? Do you need to be able to report on user data? Does the code need to be open source? Answers to these questions help us accommodate any constraints or additional requirements clients may have.

OpenTreeMap is open source which means our source code is available for anyone to use and improve. Want to set up your own tree map? Find out more here.

OpenTreeMap is open source which means our source code is available for anyone to use and improve. Want to set up your own tree map? Find out more here.

With answers to those four questions, our project managers can work with you to develop a project proposal and pricing estimate. All projects are reviewed by a team of senior software developers who segment project goals into a list of discrete tasks and estimate the time and resources required for completing those tasks. This includes time for designing the application, testing functionality, and incorporating client and user feedback. Throughout project development, project managers work with the client to provide monthly status updates and solicit ongoing feedback to ensure the final product meets client goals.

OpenTreeMap is a product of Azavea, a Philadelphia-based geospatial software company. In addition to building the tree mapping platform, Azavea works with public and private institutions to develop web and mobile applications for organizations working on issues related to the environment. Do you have an idea for an new software application? Not sure how to get started? Drop us a line at opentreemap@azavea.com. We would love to hear from you!

Defining the Open in OpenTreeMap: What Does it Mean for OpenTreeMap to be Open Source?

Volunteers for Asheville GreenWorks at a tree planting event.

Volunteers for Asheville GreenWorks at a tree planting event.

Being an open source software means our source code is available for anyone to use and improve at no cost. Any software engineer whether or not they work at Azavea, the company that makes OpenTreeMap, can help us improve the software or take the code and create a custom tree map. The only requirement is that all changes are made freely available. In contrast, proprietary software has source code that only the original authors can legally copy and update. Because many groups do not have the time or resources required, we created a paid subscription service. In exchange for an annual fee, we host the map for you. We are able to spread out the hosting costs across our entire customer base, which for many makes purchasing a subscription less expensive than setting up and hosting a map.

Our goal is to make communities greener and more sustainable, and doing so is only possible if people around the world have the opportunity to build off the work we’ve done. Allowing software developers outside Azavea to contribute means we’re able to add new features and functionality more quickly than if we relied exclusively on our small but dedicated team of developers. Incorporating features built by people outside the company also ensures we continue to build a product that meets the needs of users worldwide.  

Many municipalities and nonprofit organizations, including the City of Asheville, North Carolina, have used OpenTreeMap code to build their own tree map. By using our code, the city saved time and resources that would have otherwise been spent building a tree mapping application from scratch. While Asheville’s map looks and functions very similarly to maps we host through our subscription service the city does not pay us.

The City of Asheville's tree map can be found at http://ashevilletreemap.org/.

You can access the City of Asheville’s tree at http://ashevilletreemap.org/.

The City of Asheville crowdsourced tree data in order to reduce the costs associated with an inventory and engage citizens in urban forestry efforts. Building an inventory for a city the size of Asheville can strain limited economic resources and be incredibly time consuming if done by the city’s small urban forestry staff. By creating a map the public could update, the city in conjunction with Asheville GreenWorks a local nonprofit, has engaged hundreds of volunteers and collected data on thousands of trees.

Today, the map is primarily managed by Asheville GreenWorks but continues to be maintained by the city’s Information Technology (IT) department. The nonprofit uses the map to fill out the city’s inventory, and track plantings and maintenance. Asheville’s Department of Parks and Recreation also adds data to the map on their new plantings. By collecting tree data in one centralized location, the city is better prepared to create an urban forest management plan. According to Rick Carpenter, the Urban Forest Coordinator for Asheville GreenWorks,

“You need an urban forest inventory analysis to create policy change and you need input and backing from citizens. We could hire a large tree corporation who for a lot of money would complete and analyze our inventory for us, however, this does not create a sense of place or vested interest from the community members. If you want to change policy you need the backing of people in the area and the best way to do that is by using OpenTreeMap.”

Carpenter has noticed that by mapping, volunteers feel a vested interest in the trees they survey and are more likely to support urban forestry initiatives in the future.

In order to receive funding from the city, Asheville GreenWorks must create site plans, planting plans and project proposals. Historically, they have prepared these reports using QGIS and SketchUp, but Asheville GreenWorks plans to begin using OpenTreeMap’s new modeling and prioritization module in the future. This new suite of features will allow them to more easily create deliverables they previously gathered from a variety of different sources.

Asheville GreenWorks engages students of all ages in their planting programs.

Asheville GreenWorks engages students of all ages in their planting programs.

Carpenter has recruited students studying ecology and forestry at local universities to map trees. By engaging students the city gets additional data that helps them better manage their inventory and the students get an introduction to GIS and data collection. Students and other volunteers use a dichotomous key to identify tree species before entering information on the map. Carpenter fact checks random samples of data and has been impressed by the accuracy of the data. Click here for an summary of Asheville GreenWorks’ urban forestry initiatives and the impact they’ve had across the city.

We realize not all cities and organizations have the technical expertise of Asheville. There are many communities with OpenTreeMap subscriptions that want to see additional features added to the software, but do not have the time or resources to contribute code themselves. In cases where we think feature requests from individual customers would have utility for the broader OpenTreeMap community, we are able to cost share on software development. In other words, we discount the cost of building a feature in return for the ability to share that feature across the entire platform. If you are interested in seeing a particular feature built, please reach out.

Since 1973, tens of thousands of volunteers have worked with Asheville GreenWorks to plant trees, clean rivers and improve the environment.

Since the organization’s founding in 1973, tens of thousands of volunteers have worked with Asheville GreenWorks to plant trees, clean rivers and improve the environment.

In addition to bringing collaboration and transparency into our development process, we believe being open source gives us a competitive advantage. For this reason, the same principles that guide our product development help shape our business development efforts. We are committed to building a community of urban forestry practitioners and build a platform for people to share ideas and use those ideas to strengthen their own communities. To receive urban forestry news and product updates consider signing up for our newsletter here, or to have your work featured please get in touch with us directly.

To set up a “production” version of OpenTreeMap, we recommend reviewing our installation guide. If you want to set up OpenTreeMap for development and contribute to the open source project, additional information can be found here. To ask specific questions related to use of OpenTreeMap source code, please join the user group.

Azavea has made a demonstrated commitment to building and contributing to open source software beyond just OpenTreeMap. For a list of tools and libraries, you can check out our GitHub as well as the GeoTrellis, OpenDataPhilly and DistrictBuilder projects.

Building the Best Technology for the Longterm Monitoring of Urban Trees

A tree-lined street in Philadelphia's Fairmount neighborhood.

A tree-lined street in Philadelphia’s Fairmount neighborhood.

Trees in urban settings play a vital role in our communities. Whether newly planted or decades old, urban trees provide crucial environmental, economic, community, and aesthetic benefits. A healthy urban forest can assist with stormwater mitigation efforts, shade buildings to save energy, beautify neighborhoods, increase property values, positively impact human health, and encourage community members to spend time outdoors.

A new report prepared by Azavea for the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society and the USDA Forest Service Philadelphia Field Station explores how technology can be used to support the long-term systematic monitoring of urban trees; assist with tree planting and maintenance data processes; and enable data to be organized and shared between researchers and practitioners. Growing a vibrant urban forest requires maintenance, stewardship, and the regular planting of new trees.

Planting campaigns by governmental, non-profit, and community groups have resulted in millions of young trees added to cities throughout the U.S. in recent years. While many of these new trees are catalogued and counted as part of the planting initiative, less data is available about urban trees as they grow and die.

Information about stewardship activities such as pruning, watering, and planting site improvements is also seldom tracked consistently after trees are planted, despite research demonstrating that such activities may directly impact the health and growth of the tree. Long-term monitoring data related to urban tree health, growth and mortality rates, and longevity is useful to urban forestry professionals, scientists, and local community groups for four key purposes:

  • Gathering tree growth, mortality, and health data for planting programs as a means to evaluate performance, inform program management, and adapt practices over time
  • Coordinating community stewardship activities to encourage tree health and survival
  • Understanding how urban forests change through time in terms of population dynamics, including growth, mortality, and species diversity
  • Generating empirical data for use in accurately projecting urban tree populations and the related future estimated ecosystem services in order to demonstrate the value of planting campaigns toward environmental targets and goals

As part of long-term monitoring, it is essential to track longitudinal data about the same individual trees and planting sites. However, that process can be time-intensive, require extensive staffing resources, and result in large amounts of data that may be difficult to organize and quickly access or search. To increase the amount of available empirical data, it’s crucial to explore how to use technology to accurately gather tree data over time using field crews with varying levels of experience and then manage that data in a way that enables sharing information between groups. Through interviews with researchers and forestry practitioners, the authors built a list of the system requirements for an ideal software monitoring system, and evaluated 11 of the existing software platforms including OpenTreeMap.

The OpenTreeMap iOS and Android applications are designed to allow for easy data collection and query in the field.

The OpenTreeMap iOS and Android applications are designed to allow for easy data collection and query in the field.

While developing software that meets data collection and management needs is a critical first step, caring for urban trees is a collaborative task. As non-profit groups, municipal foresters, researchers, student interns, citizen scientists, and others work together to grow and maintain our urban forests, technology can be a valuable tool to assist in gathering data, coordinating management and planting activities, and demonstrating the economic and ecological value of trees. The report advocates for continued innovation in urban forestry data monitoring and technology development to support collaboration among between the many individuals in involved in tracking tree health, growth, and longevity.

Improving the process of long-term tree monitoring is essential for creating high-quality data that can inform adaptive management decisions, guide future planting initiatives, and assist with research on understanding how urban forests change through time. By providing opportunities to share that data more widely, organizations can learn from other programs and work together to build stronger urban forests. We’re excited to be part of the ongoing conversation on how software can assist with long-term tree monitoring, and welcome your feedback and experiences using the tools available.

Parts of this post were republished with permission from the report, Data Management for Urban Tree Monitoring – Software Requirements.

Recorded Webinar: NYC TreesCount! 2015

Coordinating a street tree census in the biggest city in the United States is exciting and challenging. Jacqueline Lu, the Director of Data Analytics at NYC Parks, discusses how NYC Parks developed and conducted TreesCount! 2015. Deborah Boyer from Azavea describes the software used to gather the data and how digital tools can assist with large-scale urban forestry data collection. We received a lot of great questions during the webinar and have compiled answers to some of the most common questions below. 

Is the TreesCount! 2015 software available for other municipalities?

TreesCount! is an open source project and the code is freely available at https://github.com/azavea/nyc-trees. Software development experience will be needed to set up the code, and the mapping process relies on the existence of a file of street block edges for your city or town. For groups without the technical capacity or budget to set up the code, OpenTreeMap may be another solution. OpenTreeMap is a cloud-based platform for helping groups map trees, track stewardship activities, and engage the community around caring for the urban forest. Although it does not include the event management features available in TreesCount!, it does support volunteer mapping as a citizen science initiative.

Why did NYC Parks conduct a volunteer-led tree inventory? Was TreesCount! more expensive than hiring an independent contractor?

NYC Parks’ goal was not simply to collect tree inventory data. From the project’s inception, they also focused on encouraging citizens to engage with the urban forest through the census. If the goal was to get data only, it likely would have been more cost effective to hire contractors to use satellite imagery to plot trees or complete an on-the-ground tree survey. NYC Parks’ focus on citizen engagement was central to the design and functioning of the software Azavea created for them.

Azavea team members volunteering with NYC TreesCount! 20145. Azavea team members volunteering with NYC TreesCount! 2015.

Are ecosystem benefits incorporated into the data?

The TreesCount! software does not calculate ecosystem benefits. After the 2005 census, NYC Parks’ ran the gathered inventory data through the U.S. Forest Service’s iTree Streets (formerly STRATUM) and they plan to complete a similar process with the 2015 data. The software platform for TreesCount! was focused on supporting Parks’ staff, individual volunteers, and partner organizations in their effort to inventory trees. The data was collected so that little manipulation is required for upload into iTree Streets and other analysis tools.

Were there areas that volunteers could not survey due to concerns about personal safety or data quality?

Before sending volunteers into the field, NYC Parks identified block edges where they thought there may be access issues or that would be challenging for volunteers to survey. Challenges included but were not limited to the location of the street, the direction of the street, and the existence of trees in a median. These areas were set aside for volunteers with advanced training or NYC Parks staff. There were also instances where expert surveyors visited a site and determined that the area was too dangerous to survey (example: trees located on a narrow median on a multi-lane street). The project excluded private streets, which fall outside the Parks’ jurisdiction.

How did NYC Parks encourage safety while mapping?

NYC Parks’ encouraged volunteers to map in pairs and groups, and all volunteers wore bright green vests designating them as a volunteer surveyor. Mapping events were often co-sponsored by partner organizations familiar with the area and were generally accessible via public transit.   

How did NYC Parks’ deal with naturally occurring or self-seeding trees?

TreesCount! 2015 was explicitly focused on mapping planted street trees located along street block edges. The surveying methodology worked well for single trees along streets and was not as well suited for gathering data on groups of trees that may appear due to natural regeneration.  

One of the thousands of blocks volunteers inventoried during TreesCount! 2015.

One of the thousands of blocks volunteers inventoried during TreesCount! 2015.

What does the NYC Parks define as a sign of stewardship?

A sign of stewardship is defined as evidence that a tree received tending or maintenance by someone. This can include tree guards, signs of proper pruning, flowers planted in the tree bed, and mulching. These categories of stewardship were taken from a study NYC Parks completed in 2006 on the effect of stewardship on tree growth and mortality. The study concluded that visible more signs of stewardship for a tree often resulted in greater longevity for that tree, especially when the tree was younger or newly planted.

How were volunteers trained?

Before mapping, all volunteers completed an online training and then received field training from NYC Parks staff or a partner organization. Training materials can be viewed online at https://treescount.nycgovparks.org/static/training/TreesCount2015Training.pdf

SeattleTreeMap.org: Mapping Trees for the Birds that Live in Them

SeattleTreeMap bannerA few weeks ago, I was on the phone with Brian Windrope, the Executive Director of the Seattle Audubon Society. We were talking about one of the newest additions to the OpenTreeMap community, the Seattle Audubon’s new SeattleTreeMap.org site, when Brian stopped me. “Woah! I just saw a hummingbird outside my window!” he said.

Whether you’re a migrating hummingbird or an urban tree, spring is a busy time of year. Tree root systems shuttle water and nutrients up to the longest branches, and flowering trees like the beautiful Kwanzan Cherry blossom with spectacular color to greet the longer, sunny days.

As the trees are awakening, so too are urban foresters. This March saw the launch of two large OpenTreeMap instances ready to serve foresters and citizen scientists in two west coast US cities: TreePeople’s TreeMapLA.org, one of the first maps on our new OpenTreeMap.org cloud platform, and the Seattle Audubon’s SeattleTreeMap.org, the latest site to take advantage of the OpenTreeMap project’s open source code.

SeattleTreeMap.org has been a long time in the making, thanks to the support of the Seattle Audubon and the volunteer software development work of Alan Humphrey, a member of the Seattle Audubon himself. I’ve gotten to know Alan a little bit over the months through his invaluable contributions to the OpenTreeMap-user mailing list. The work he’s done to get SeattleTreeMap.org up and running with a whole host of new features is quite impressive – everything from server side “tree dot” clustering to re-writing much of OTM1’s JavaScript in the new Dart language. Alan and the Seattle Audubon completed and launched SeattleTreeMap.org entirely without Azavea’s involvement. That’s the mark of a thriving open source software project!

While SeattleTreeMap.org is interesting on the software level, the real story here is how the map fits into the Seattle Audubon Society’s hollistic nature conservation strategy. The Seattle Audubon was founded in 1916 and is the oldest environmental organization in the State of Washington. With a long history of achievements in conservation, more recently the Seattle Audubon has come to recognize the dominance of urban environmental issues within the growing Seattle metropolitan area. “When you look at it from the point of view of climate change, birds themselves…water retention and so on…there is a range of issues from a lack of [urban tree] canopy,” said Brian. “We came to recognize that, and really wanted to show some leadership.”

Birds and trees in harmony in urban Seattle - by Flickr user rutlo

Birds and trees in harmony in urban Seattle – by Flickr user rutlo

SeattleTreeMap.org is part of the Seattle Audubon’s larger “Canopy Connections” project, designed to document, map and improve Seattle’s urban forest habitat. One objective of the Tree Map and the Canopy Connections project is educational. “[Many people are] not aware of the role of the urban canopy for all sorts of health reasons…and so there’s an educational purpose,” Brian said. “[Our hope is to] get people to know about, care about, and therefore act on that information.”

In 2007, The City of Seattle set a goal for 30% canopy cover by 2037. In 2011, Seattle Audubon conducted a study of the city’s current tree canopy cover and found it had hovered around 23% since 2007. Brian hopes the tree map will draw attention to the need to improve urban canopy, and also function as a tool the Seattle Audubon and other partners in the City can use for conservation, planning tree planting, and conducting further advocacy. “The Tree Map is a tool we can use to get people to pressure the City to take seriously their own established goal of restoring the urban canopy,” he said.

Growing the urban tree canopy and planning how best to do so is not a challenge unique to Seattle. Many groups struggle with prioritizing tree plantings in order to achieve the optimal ecological, economic, and social results. We’re investigating solutions to that challenge as part of our Urban Forest Modeling work that uses Azavea’s GeoTrellis toolkit. Over the next year, we plan to integrate heat maps, forecast models, and other tools into OpenTreeMap to assist users in exploring ideal places to plant trees.

While many urban forestry organizations are new to OpenTreeMap’s collaborative model of working with volunteers to collect data about the environment, citizen science is a well-established activity among the birding community. While the Seattle Audubon participates in the national Audubon Society’s famous Christmas Bird Count survey, it also conducts its own year-long surveys like the Puget Sound Seabird Survey and Neighborhood Bird Project. “The greatest benefit of this sort of citizen science is that data is spread out over the course of the year, so you get to see the trends across the seasons and you just have a lot more eyes looking many more days,” said Brian.

For the Puget Sound Seabird Survey, Seattle Audubon volunteers go out every month to locations around Puget Sound to count rare, migratory seabirds. Through the survey, said Brian, “we’re able to collect important baseline data on what we have. People have anecdotal stories left and right, ‘Oh, we used to see many more Grebes, oh, we used to see many more of this,’ but the State hasn’t done any systematic work on population surveys, and we’re filling that niche by working directly with our volunteers.”

Seabirds are not directly related to the Tree Map, but Brian is emphatic that it’s all a piece of a whole. “We’re Audubon: no one else is about birds the way we’re about birds,” said Brian, “But it would be silly to think of birds outside the context of everything else that they’re connected with.”

Among the Audubon Society, there’s a common expression that Brian brought up during our conversation: “Where birds thrive, people prosper.” I would agree, and add that trees are a crucial component of any such environment. There’s also something similar to be said about the necessary connection between an open source software project and its community. It’s tremendously exciting to see SeattleTreeMap.org take flight and demonstrate each one of these relationships!

Open Data from OpenTreeMap: Visualizing temporal data with CartoDB’s Torque

I just wrote up a meaty Labs post on my idea to visualize tree, species, and user edits over time within exported data from PhillyTreeMap.org, and already covered all the joining, formatting, converting, and uploading necessary to get to this point, along with some simple visualizations at the end. If you haven’t read it, go ahead. I’ll wait here. Because with this post I’m diving straight in to the temporal visualization features of CartoDB’s Torque.

Briefly, though, to reiterate: What are my goals for visualizing the 2 years of PhillyTreeMap user edits over time? I wanted to create something parallel to Mark Headd’s homicide data visualization (also done with Torque) but that told a story over time that was more uplifiting. (What’s more uplifting than trees?) I also hoped my visualization would give us a rough idea of what neighborhoods and areas around Philadelphia have the most active PhillyTreeMap user edits, as well as what times of year seem most active. One could use that knowledge to determine and plan where or when to do outreach about PhillyTreeMap or the programs of our partners, like PHS Tree Tenders. What neighborhoods don’t have many user edits? When does participation drop off? On the flip side, where and when are urban forestry efforts succeeding in engaging the community? A time based spatial visualization can help us answer those questions – and look really cool in the process!

Read more …

Open Data from OpenTreeMap: Visualizing tree data with CartoDB

Update 12:30pm, 8-16-2013: CartoDB is working on a fix for the WKT issues I stumbled upon in this blog and tweeted a workaround. Thanks Javier!

Many months ago, after the City of Philadelphia released some of its Part 1 Crime Incident data on OpenDataPhilly, I read a blog post by our very own Chief Data Officer Mark Headd where he visualized 6 years of homicides in the City of Brotherly Love on a temporal map using CartoDB’s Torque library. While the story the map tells is an important one, it is also depressing and sad – every second, as you watch, more dots appear on your screen representing way too many homicides in our city.

Mark Headd's Philly Homicides animated map

Mark’s map showing locations of homicides over time in Philadelphia. Click the image to see the animation.

I was talking with a friend outside Azavea about Headd’s visualization, and posed a question: “What positive, uplifting change over time in our city could we tell the story of?” I sometimes get the feeling that so much data and visualizations of it are negative or otherwise shock us: from our struggling education system, to stolen bikes, to the disparate impact of voter ID laws. While visualizations like these uncover important stories to tell, so much sad news (for me at least) can sap my motivation to help fix it all. We need to visualize the good and give praise for what’s working, as much as we should analyze the bad and criticize what still needs to be done.

Hearing my frustration, my friend asked, “What about tree plantings or something?”, I assume without even realizing the connection she had just made in my mind.

Of course! That’s it! I happen to work for Azavea, where we craft OpenTreeMap, the best open source public tree inventory software around! I knew I could easily export data from PhillyTreeMap.org for almost two full years worth of ongoing, crowdsourced tree inventory and edits to the map in Philadelphia. We know that having more green, leafy trees and nature around make people happier psychologically, increase property values, clean our air and water, and save electricity and our environment. This was going to be a fun project.

Read more …

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