Did you know that two trees provide enough oxygen to support the family of four?
To answer this question you will need:
1. MIT’s Senseable City Lab2. Google Street View3. Lots of Trees4. Your favourite City
Then mix everything together, shake, stir and you will get Treepedia – an online database of urban trees. A quick look at the site and I was mesmerized by the final effect MIT team got. Why did they even took this approach? According to accompanying research paper “the profile view of urban greenery that people see on the ground is different from overhead view captured by most remote sensing methods.” What that means is that satellite images are misleading as not all of the plants would be visible that way – take a look at green walls or shrubs under a canopy of trees. So naturally, the profile view would be more precise.
By using images from Street View MIT prepared a panorama for each site. Then they used technical mumbo-jumbo to extract the green color from RGB color palette used by SV. That way they identified the green areas and defined them by Green View Index metric. The higher the GVI the greener the area actually is. Sydney’s GVI is 25,9% and Singapore’s – almost 30%.
Treepedia is still in a development state but already maps 20 cities to date with aforementioned Singapore holding the first place. The main idea behind the tool is to “allow city dwellers to view the location and size of trees within their communities, and to submit input to help tag, track, and advocate for more such trees in their cities.”
This project is also great for another reason – not only it gives us access to valuable data, it also makes us think about our surroundings (for the first time for some of you). Especially during times when we’re not paying attention to anything than the speed of our own lives. Realising that trees were here years before us and will stay here longer than us is crucial…
But only if we take care of them the same way they take care of us.
5 million trees to be exact. Some time ago it was a seed-idea of the company, but few years later it bloomed to a dense forest where commitment, sustainability, shared economy, empowerment and action created a seamless eco-system that – like a natural perpetuum mobile – will continue to make an extensive, positive effect on the whole world.