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OpenTreeMap: Urban tree inventory and ecosystem services calculations tool (opentreemap.github.io)
9 points by rkda 1304 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 11 comments

I found their other website[0] to be a bit more informative about what the project was actually aiming for. (Of course, the github page is better for working with the code.)

It's an interesting (and useful) project idea, but the subscription rates seem _very_ steep to me. It also isn't clear why there isn't a minimum free version for individuals to utilize? It seems like having a free tier to encourage individuals to add info to the database (a la openstreemaps) would be the easiest way to grow the database of information -- once that database exists, it could be monetized using the subscriptions they have. I'd probably walk around and add info to their system, but I wouldn't pay $90/mo to do that. Is that the purpose of the open source code? Would I then have to run my own database?

[0] https://www.opentreemap.org/

Hello! Glad you're interested in the OpenTreeMap project! My name is Andrew Thompson, and I work for Azavea, the GIS company behind OpenTreeMap (OTM).

To answer your questions, I feel a clarification is needed. The subscription levels and pricing aren't really meant for end users like yourself, but for the larger governments and agencies, environmental nonprofits, schools and campuses, tree care companies, and other organizations that have a need to conduct urban tree inventories and ecosystem benefits analyses. We have several such organizations as clients, from TreePeople (nonprofit) in Los Angeles, the City of Edmonton, Canada (government), and the Open University in Great Britain (academic). For each of these maps and others where the map-owning organization has decided it wants public "crowdsourced" contributions to its tree inventory (OTM provides the option of private maps and editing permissions too, though we encourage clients to take advantage of crowd sourcing and open data), we provide FREE Android and iphone mobile apps (which are open source too) and a public tree map website that's free for public contributors to view and edit data.

If you live in Tampa, Grand Rapids, Philadelphia, Seattle, Asheville, San Francisco, Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Diego, Edmonton, or Great Britain, there's a public OpenTreeMap available for your area that would love to have your data contributions!

Also, the maps in Tampa, Asheville, and Seattle were created from the open source code we have at github.com/opentreemap. So we're glad to have a growing open source community around the project in addition to our SaaS subscription cloud offering.

We're a certified "B Corporation" (bcorporation.net) that works on civic software for social impact. Interested in working on projects like OpenTreeMap that advance open data, open source, and open government? We have several positions open at http://jobs.azavea.com/ !

Are any of your clients sharing their raw data with the public?

(By 'raw' I mean in a format that is complete and convenient for machine processing)

Gosh, HN, I apologize for the mess of links and my earlier entirely-italicized post. It seems the formatting options are quite limited and I can't seem to save edits after posting :(

Yes! Azavea built the City of Philadelphia's official open data catalog (http://www.opendataphilly.org/), we represent Philadelphia as a "node" in the Open Data Institute (theodi.org), and we are huge proponents of machine-readable, bulk, open data (http://www.azavea.com/blogs/atlas/2014/05/which-candidates-f...)

Right now, most of our client tree maps have elected to make their raw data downloadable to the public. On most/all of the OpenTreeMap version 1 sites, on the bottom of the map, there's a few links: "Export this search: KML | CSV | Shapefile". KML is the format native to Google Earth but is really an XML-based, officially adopted open geographic data standard many tools support (http://www.opengeospatial.org/standards/kml). Shapefile is a semi-open geodata format invented by Esri - even though it's only a de facto standard per se, the vast majority of GIS analysis tools use and support it (http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Shapefiles). CSVs are, well, CSVs. On our OpenTreeMap version 2 sites, running on our SaaS infrastructure (the only major public ones at the moment are Edmonton http://www.opentreemap.org/edmonton/ and Los Angeles http://treemapla.org/), there is an "Export Search Results" button that allows you to download a CSV of bulk data. (I believe in the future we would like to support other formats than CSV again, but don't quote me yet and that's "down the roadmap" anyway...)

Sites with bulk downloads: Version 2 (SaaS): https://www.opentreemap.org/latreemap/ - LA https://www.opentreemap.org/edmonton/ - Edmonton Version 1 (self-hosted, sometimes Azavea built, sometimes built from open source code): http://phillytreemap.org/map/ - Philly http://treemap.urbanforestproject.com/map/ - Grand Rapids, MI http://urbanforestmap.org/map/ - San Francisco http://greenprintmaps.org/map/ - Sacramento area http://sandiegotreemap.org/map/ - San Diego http://treezilla.org/ - Great Britain (yes, they are aiming to cover the entire country) http://seattletreemap.org/map/ - Seattle (open source and they re-wrote a lot of the client side in Dart!) http://www.tampatreemap.usf.edu/map/ - Tampa, FL (open source but with some consulting by Azavea) http://ashevilletreemap.org/map/ - Asheville, NC (open source)

I didn't try very hard, but I didn't see links to any maps from the main page (maybe this is on purpose, I don't know, I was curious what they looked like and no example was obvious).

The shp export from phillytreemap.org doesn't include trees.shp. Nor does a search in Grand Rapids and another in Seattle. Am I misunderstanding how the data is organized? The other formats seem to include the trees, but they are not especially conveniently organized.

For version 2, I tried to download "Edgemont" from Edmonton, 150 trees. The preparing box came up and nothing happened for several minutes and I gave up (well, really I tried it in a different browser that has a cleaner profile, but it didn't work there either).

I don't need the data for anything, just looking at how it works and what comes out.

Yes, the main page on opentreemap.org is mainly our marketing site about the system in general. Our clients really decide how they want to spread the word in their local region about their individual map URLs. Perhaps in the future we might make it easier for others to discover what maps there are from the homepage.

SHP exports: Correct, the SHP exports from v1 maps will only have a plots.shp file and no trees.shp file. However, if you open that file in Esri ArcMap or the open source QGIS, you'll find that the tree data does exist, it's just in a second "attribute table". The way OpenTreeMap is architected, we have two data concepts: plots or "planting sites", and trees. A particular plot has the latitude/longitude location associated with it, and a particular tree is associated with a particular plot (but the tree doesn't have a location, itself). This allows us to keep track of the history of a particular plot/planting site - which may host multiple trees over the years as they grow, die, or are cut down. I covered a bit of this in a blog exploring how to use exported OpenTreeMap data: http://www.azavea.com/blogs/labs/2013/08/open-data-from-open... You may want to use the CSV export option depending on what you want to do.

Version 2 exports: What you're describing is a bug we need to fix. Occasionally, when you're not logged into an account, exports don't work. As far as we've been able to test, exports always work when you are logged in. You can sign up for a free account on Edmonton's map at https://www.opentreemap.org/edmonton/accounts/register/. (Actually, your account will work on any opentreemap.org map for editing/viewing, including TreeMap Los Angeles).

But since you just want to explore, I've put an example CSV export of the Edmonton neighborhood "Abbotsfield" up on my Google Drive for you to download and take a look: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3KytMYbF2eoQ08yZ1ZMQjJUdjg...

Does OpenTreeMap use OpenStreetMap?

I have the same question. OpenStreetMap definitely has the necessary infrastructure see: http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:natural%3Dtree

People have also added a large number of trees on OpenStreetMap -- see: http://sk53-osm.blogspot.com/2013/02/quicker-mapping-of-stre...

Andrew Thompson from above again - OTM uses Leaflet.js to display our maps, so we can and do give our clients the option of using OpenStreetMap tiles, but most have opted for GoogleMaps so far.

If you poke around on the site privong linked they even show what looks like Google tiles in their apps, so I guess not.

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