[Talk-us] Municipal Tree Survey

Kevin Kenny kevin.b.kenny+osm at gmail.com
Mon Sep 19 17:26:40 UTC 2016

I really like these experimental projects, especially if their methods are
documented. Where I get nervous is if there is some other source that is
'authoritative', and OSM winds up becoming a repository for stale data.
That doesn't appear to be the case here, but it's certainly something to
watch out for.

As far as "palm trees vs other broadleaved trees" - come up with a tagging
scheme. The existing scheme isn't actually supposed to be conifers vs
broadleaved trees - it's supposed to be evergreen vs. deciduous trees. In
my part of the world, laurel and rhododendron scrublands would correctly be
tagged as 'evergreen' despite unquestionably being broadleaved. On the
other hand, the tamaracks (Larix spp.) are correctly tagged as 'deciduous'
because they lose their needles every fall. The Eastern white pine (Pinus
strobus) doesn't conveniently fit the scheme, since its leaves sprout in
spring and typically last 18 months, with the previous year's needles being
shed by abscission every autumn. ('Evergreen' suits better than
'deciuduous', since satellite photography will show leaf cover year-round,
which is really where the classification originates.)

If you do come up with such a tagging scheme, expect some controversy about
whether cycads, tree ferns, or grasses such as bamboo, will be included
among the 'palm trees'. Taxonomically, that's wrong in so many ways, but
the popular eye sees them all as being similar - a bare trunk with a
cluster of fronds at the top. And mapping geeks love to argue about just
such fine points.

On Mon, Sep 19, 2016 at 12:13 PM, Rihards <richlv at nakts.net> wrote:

> On 2016.09.19. 18:13, Adam Old wrote:
>> Hello all, I am a fairly novice mapper, although I am learning quickly.
>> This is my first post to talk-us, so let me know if this is the wrong
>> place to ask these questions.
>> I am currently sitting on a "Tree Board" in a small city in South
>> Florida. One mandate of the board is to survey the existing tree canopy
>> in an ongoing fashion and to provide recommendations for trimming,
>> removal, or new plantings, to note diseases and damage, and to collect
>> species information.
>> I am a proponent of OpenStreetMap and crowdsourcing as much of the data
>> collection as possible, as we are without much of a budget or staff. But
>> I wonder whether this is an appropriate use for OSM, and if so, whether
>> there are caveats or special things we should be thinking of. One of the
>> other members of the board is an experienced GIS user, and he also likes
>> the idea of using OSM.
>> For the most part we would like to send people out using their mobile
>> devices and an app like Go
>> Map!! https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/go-map!!/id592990211?mt=8 or a
>> paper survey form that we could then update OSM with. Hopefully this
>> would introduce a good number of new people to OSM as mappers and/or
>> users. We also were hoping to add some datapoints for the diameter_crown
>> and height using LiDAR and aerial data. Any suggestions on this?
>> There is some information that isn't standard for Tag:natural=tree that
>> would be useful for us in this pursuit, for example whether the trees
>> are damaged, need trimming, date of last trimming, etc. Maybe that is
>> too specific to map and we shouldn't add that kind of data? If I were to
>> add it, would I simply add my own tags? I would like to do this right.
> that information is a bit specific, as you mentioned - but if you would
> properly document how you are doing it, i think it would be an interesting
> proof of concept project, and there would be no significant harm with
> placing that data in osm.
> in the worst case (hopefully never happening :) ), if the data is
> abandoned, it should be easy to remove those tags for one city as being
> outdated and becoming useless.
> Also, is there a map view with diameter_crown displayed as the actual size?
>> Also also, is there any thinking on differentiating between palm trees
>> and other broadleaved trees? Seems like a worthwhile distinction, here
>> in the tropics.
> http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:natural%3Dtree suggests tags like
> 'genus' and 'species' - those seem to cover your need well :)
> Thanks!
> --
>  Rihards
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