Azavea Builds Web App for Public to Participate in 2015 New York City Street Tree Census — TreesCount! 2015 is NYC Parks’ effort to map and catalogue every street tree in New York City. Individuals, community organizations, and schools are invited to participate in the next decennial tree census, starting this May.
Philadelphia, PA, April 24, 2015 – Today, Arbor Day, NYC Parks invites the public and community organizations to register to participate in the next New York City street tree census at nyc.gov/parks/treescount. As of today, on the TreesCount! 2015 site, visitors can register for tree mapping events, follow community groups participating in the census, and view and complete online training materials. Built by Azavea, a geospatial analysis (GIS) software development company, in collaboration with TreeKIT and the University of Vermont Spatial Analysis Lab, the TreesCount! 2015 website and related Treecorder mapping software will enable users to collect tree data that will assist NYC Parks in planning the future of the city’s urban forest. From May to October 2015, in partnership with volunteers and local organizations, NYC Parks is hoping to map and record information on more than 600,000 street trees across the five boroughs.
Urban street trees have many proven benefits including providing shade, improving air quality, intercepting stormwater runoff, raising property values, decreasing utility bills, and enhancing the look and feel of communities. Every ten years, NYC Parks conducts a tree inventory that enables them to estimate the environmental services provided by New York City’s street trees and guides planting initiatives. While past censuses were helpful in launching block pruning tree maintenance programs and the MillionTreesNYCinitiative, they were address-based inventories primarily conducted on paper.
Leveraging a 2013 prototype mobile mapping application developed by TreeKIT, CartoDB and OpenPlans, Azavea built a new open source application that is accessible through mobile devices and enables users to:
- Collect street tree data following the TreeKIT mapping method;
- Create, search and register for mapping events and training sessions;
- Follow mapping progress through a progress map;
- Reserve existing street block edges they will map;
- Create and manage custom group profile pages.
The NYC Parks’ TreesCount! 2015 is presented by Whole Foods Market, with additional support from Amazon Web Services, AT&T, Azavea, Con Edison, The Durst Organization, New York Presbyterian Hospital, Histree, andTreeKIT. The software is also being made available under an open source license in order to enable re-use by other cities.
“TreesCount! 2015 is a unique tree mapping project that enables New Yorkers to contribute to counting and caring for trees throughout the city. We’re pleased to join NYC Parks and many others in gathering the data that will help plan for a healthier and more vibrant urban forest,” said Deb Boyer, Azavea Project Manager.
Azavea has long been committed to creating urban forestry solutions that successfully incorporate geographic elements in an easy to use manner. The company is the lead developer of OpenTreeMap, a subscription-based platform for collaborative geography-enabled urban tree inventory. Its expertise with forestry issues, the U.S. Forest Service i-Tree software, and building high performance geoprocessing and scalable applications, enabled Azavea to win four United States Department of Agriculture Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants to perform advanced research related to community forestry, urban ecosystem benefits, planting prioritization and simulation modeling.
“The decennial tree census in New York has been a wonderful opportunity to combine Azavea’s work in urban forestry with that of our partners at TreeKIT and UVM. We’re very excited to see this new software support both civic engagement by the people of New York City, and the future planning and maintenance of the urban forest by NYC Parks,” said Robert Cheetham, Azavea President and CEO.
For more information about the NYC Parks’ TreesCount! 2015 and to register to participate in the next NYC street tree census, visit: nyc.gov/parks/treescount
About Azavea – Azavea is a certified B Corporation that applies geographic data and technology for civic and social impact while advancing the state-of-the-art through research. Find out more athttp://www.azavea.com/.
About NYC Parks – NYC Parks is the steward of approximately 29,000 acres of land including over 5,000 individual properties ranging from Coney Island Beach and Central Park to community gardens and Greenstreets. They operate more than 800 athletic fields, nearly 1,000 playgrounds, 550 tennis courts, 66 public pools, 48 recreational facilities, 17 nature centers, 13 golf courses, and 14 miles of beaches. They also care for 1,200 monuments and 23 historic house museums, and look after 650,000 street trees and two million more in parks. Find out more at: http://www.nycgovparks.org/
About TreeKIT – TreeKIT builds tools to help city dwellers measure, map, and collaboratively manage urban ecosystems. Through TreeKIT’s educational mapping workshops, we aim to promote long term stewardship of the urban forest, one tree at a time. Find out more at: http://treekit.org/