OpenTreeMap is easy-to-use open source web software that enables individuals, organizations, and governments to search and contribute to a collaborative, interactive, and dynamic map and inventory of a community’s tree population. 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 provide municipalities with vital data to consult when managing the urban forest, creating a complete inventory was once a time consuming and resource intensive proposition. OpenTreeMap can accelerate the process of creating an inventory by providing a “crowdsourcing” platform through which organizations can engage community members to record urban trees. Utilizing the iTree protocol created by the US Forest Service, OpenTreeMap automatically calculates the ecosystem benefits of trees in a particular area, so users can help demonstrate how important trees are in their region. Users can also search for trees based on location, species, size, date planted, and other characteristics. Each tree has its own detail page that displays data about the tree, images, eco impact info, and a map of the tree’s location. OpenTreeMap is flexible. Anyone can add trees individually, and edit information about each tree including photo uploads, species name, location, height, trunk diameter, plot size and type, conditions, actions needed, and so on. With OpenTreeMap’s mobile version, users can add tree records, update existing tree information, and upload photos right from a tree’s plot using your smartphone. If an organization already has larger tree datasets available, staff can simply import them into the system to get started. As trees are added, export your data as KML and CSV files into other applications. Staff can monitor OpenTreeMap user accounts, comments, and system edits. Users are rewarded for consistently accurate entries with a point-based reputation system. An optional integrated tree key assists the public in identifying tree species from characteristics like leaf shape and bark color.
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