Wired News: Hack That Urban Forest
Mar 12, 2007, 12:00 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Rachel Swaby)
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"The Urban Forest Mapping Project is infoporn for the eco set.
The open-source database, which launched Wednesday, gives anyone
access to all sorts of information about 140,000 public trees in
San Francisco. Believe it or not, there's actually a lot to track
about a tree--type, location, permit records, nasty parasites and
miscellaneous pruning issues. Oh, and all the graffiti tags.
:But that's just the start: Roughly 80 percent of the U.S.
population either lives or works in urban environments, and local
governments often struggle with tracking and maintaining their
foliage. Typically--as previously was the case in San
Francisco--troops of volunteers hit the streets with
fill-in-the-blank paper forms and old-fashioned maps. Oftentimes,
the crew would expect to find a group of trees based on historical
records, but instead would find the trees missing (or, perhaps,
incorrectly mapped in the first place). Then, there would be the
two hours of data entry to set the record straight..."