Planting trees

Sunday morning is a tough time for a presenter. Early departures, church services, brunch dates, or too much Saturday evening make it difficult for some to attend sessions at this time. I’m sure that Michael Barnett from Boston College was pleased to see a nice crowd at his session on “Using GIS to Model Urban Street Value.” He demonstrated a program that starts with a satellite image of an area. The students add the location of trees, buildings, parking lots, and grassy areas. He provided us with laptops to see the actual maps created by the students and then we ran an analysis program that calculated a summary of the economic benefit of the trees. But the really cool part was that the model could be modified to answer questions such as What happens if we plant more trees? Are some species of trees more beneficial than others? What happens if we pave over a grassy area to make a parking lot? Check out the Urban Ecology website for more information, including a nice tree identification resource.

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