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How to measure a tree

October 24, 2012

Yesterday I went to a DataKind datadive as part of the Strata big data conference. As you might remember, I was a data ambassador a few weeks ago when we looked at pruning data, and they decided to take another look at this with better and cleaner data yesterday.

One of the people I met there was Mark Headd, the data czar/king/sultan of Philadelphia (actually, he called himself something like the “data guy” but I couldn’t resist embellishing his title on the spot). He blogs at civic.io, which is a pretty sweet url.

Mark showed me a nice app called Philly Tree Map, which is an open-source app gives information like the location, species, size, and environmental impact of each tree in Philly; it also allows users to update information or add new trees, which is fun and makes it more interactive.

They’re also using it in San Diego, and I don’t see why they can’t use it in New York as well, since I believe Parks has the tree census data.

I always love it when people get really into something (as described in my coffee douche post here), so I wanted to share with you guys the absolute tree-douchiest video ever filmed, namely the hilarious cult classic “How to Measure a Tree“, available on the FAQ page of the Philly tree map:


Categories: data science
  1. c.gutierrez
    October 26, 2012 at 7:49 pm

    Another one of the projects at the NY Parks Department Data Dive last month was to come up with a longitudinal model of the tree population across the five boroughs, based on a tree census the City undertook a few years back along with supporting data sets. Adam Laiacano was the ambassador for that team, and he, Andrew Hill, Chris Reed, and Brian Abelson were a driving force. With some notable support from others (who will excuse me for not listing out here), they came up with a project they’ve dubbed Canopy. Check it out on GitHub at: http://seeread.github.com/canopy/


    • October 26, 2012 at 7:53 pm

      Cool, Christina, thanks! I didn’t know that was publicly available.



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