Sunday, May 1, 2011

Azavea Launches, a Web Application to Inventory Philadelphia's Urban Forest - Philadelphia, PA

Azavea Launches, a Web Application to Inventory Philadelphia's Urban Forest |

Azavea, a geospatial analysis (GIS) software development company announces the launch of PhillyTreeMap (, a wiki-inspired web application that enables the public to collaborate with the project partners -- City of Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS), and the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission – to map, inventory, and preserve the Philadelphia urban forest. PhillyTreeMap was unveiled as part of Philly Tech Week's Green Tech Showcase, today, Arbor Day.

Urban street trees have myriad proven benefits for communities including providing shade, improving air quality, assisting with stormwater runoff, raising property values, decreasing utility bills, and enhancing the look and feel of communities. While tree inventories ensure that municipalities have data to consult when managing the urban forest, creating a complete inventory is a time consuming and resource intensive process. PhillyTreeMap provides an easy-to-use public inventorying platform that encourages the public to contribute to an interactive and dynamic map of the city's tree population. While the initial database load has resulted in over 175,000 trees in the system, public help is needed to ensure the data is both current and complete. With a free registration, users can add trees to the system, edit or add to existing tree records, and upload tree images. All changes are immediately visible in the system, but a group of trained administrators will also review changes and new entries to ensure accuracy. The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society and the City of Philadelphia Parks & Recreation will share the management and monitoring of the system.

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