[Talk-in] Seeking advice for tree mapping using OSM

Nikhil VJ nikhil.js at gmail.com
Wed Apr 6 07:12:39 UTC 2016

Hi Friends,

I want to find out how to bring integration into OSM or similar in tree
mapping / tree census exercises.

Some non-negotiable requirements are:

   1. The data we pool in remains extractable for all, the way we can
   granularly extract OSM data using overpass-turbo; doesn't get locked up
   anywhere *even if the survey/census is incomplete*.
   2. It's possible to build up over time. So the trees we map this summer,
   a few months later a team could curate that data with more fine-tuned info;
   the mapping exercise will not need to be done all over again. Or, growth /
   decline of a tree's height/canopy can be tracked yearly.

I'm using Overpass Turbo <https://overpass-turbo.eu/> to extract OSM data,
and running this query in the wizard:
*natural=tree | natural=tree_row*

As of now, in my city's central area, I can find a decent job of basic tree
mapping done for one of the main public gardens in my city (like this
<https://www.openstreetmap.org/node/2181434202>). But these only have the
most basic key-value pair in them, so far.

I want to know what are other key-value pairs etc I can use to put relevant
data in.
Some parameters I expect we would need:

   - local name of the tree species
   - scientific name of the tree species
   - height of the tree
   - canopy area
   - date or month of observation of above two properties
   - A URL to a photo of the tree that one might upload on imgur.com or so.
   - year of planting if known
   - was it transplanted (after sapling stage) from an earlier location
   - custom code / serial number assigned by the surveying group so they
   can keep track.

Following on from requirement#2, there will be a wide variance in what data
is recorded first and what will have to be left blank to add in later. Our
solution needs to make room for this variability.

Next, I want to learn how to upload a set of data at a go rather than one
by one points. For example, we would have a table/spreadsheet with all the
above parameters as columns and a latitude and longitude column. How do I
upload that table to OSM, mapping the columns to the relevant fields?

>> So can anyone help with figuring out the above?

As of now, the groups I want to do this with (reforestation, local tree
care-taking, environmental education, school projects) aren't aware about
OSM or the fact that data can be granularly extracted using it, so they
probably haven't tried it out yet. But I think this would be a perfect fit.
I want to figure everything out on the computers-end and give them a neat
and tidy process that they can adopt and integrate without needing a degree
in IT or a diploma in GIS etc.

PS: http://trees.metastudio.org is also a very promising platform, but
still I want to explore how one might go about this in OSM all the same;
and besides, the export feature isn't working on my end as of now, and bulk
upload isn't directly doable either.

Pune, India
Self-designed learner at Swaraj University <http://www.swarajuniversity.org>
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