Mappy Monday: Tree Plotter

Do you ever wonder where the largest trees are in Grand Rapids? Or where the nearest Catalpa to your home is? How about the trees that are in bloom or the most colorful trees? Now you can know!

This week we’re introducing the new and improved Tree Plotter!

Friends of Grand Rapids Parks and the City of Grand Rapids have collaborated with the Michigan DNR and Plan-it Geo to add Grand Rapid’s street and park tree inventory to the Michigan Tree Plotter. With this app (accessed here: pg-cloud.com/GrandRapids/) you can now explore the trees of Grand Rapids by species, size, and even identify where potential planting sites are within the City of Grand Rapids.

The Tree Plotter replaces traditional GPS-based inventory programs with GIS and web cloud-hosting technologies. Use any device with Internet connectivity (iPad, Windows, Android, etc.) to access tree data throughout Grand Rapids. There are over 76,000 tree related points around Grand Rapids, so get to exploring!

With this app you can see trees all over the city and learn all about them.

Let’s use Grand Rapid’s lovely oak-rich Richmond Park as an example. You can zoom into Richmond Park, delineate the area and check the stats of what species are present in minutes! Check out the tutorial below to see how it works.

Tutorial: Tree Plotter Richmond Park

First zoom into Richmond Park and click the “Advanced Filter” icon. Draw a polygon around the area you want to research by selecting the “filter by map” key.

Filter the map ensuring that only the Park trees are visible. The legend shows tree diversity and quantity of the selected area.

The Stats sidebar can give you a printable version of many different attributes.

Each tree is interactive. Click on a single tree and check out its eco-benefits or even see the Google street view.

This example just scratches the surface of what this tool can do. Here at Friends of Grand Rapids Parks’ Urban Forest Project we have already used it in a few ways for our Citizen Forester classes and our After Work Tree Time series- identifying trees and finding nearby examples of common species. If you want to learn more, watch out for our Tree Plotter Training coming up in August. We will teach you all about how we have used the tool already, how you can use it to benefit your neighborhood, and additional tools including the Tree Tours and the Canopy Planner.

About Tree Inventories

All of this data came from a citywide tree inventory that started in November 2015 and finished in June 2016. Arborists from ArborPro Inc., a company that provides comprehensive GPS Tree Inventories and state of the art tree inventory software program to assist in efficient management of Urban Forestry, conducted the street tree and park tree inventory starting at one section of Grand Rapids and working their way, street by street throughout all neighborhoods.

Tree inventories are one way of keeping track of the benefits trees give back to the earth, along with records to aid in the maintenance, upkeep and diversity of the monitored forest. Urban forest inventories provide a unique advantage to resource managers, as many of the trees are within an area where many people live.  Armed with information such as reduction of air pollution, carbon storage, energy savings, functionality, and monitory worth, we can advocate about the worth of trees throughout our community!

To learn more about tree advocacy, check out our Citizen Forester Program!

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