How does our open source map work?
Our app makes it easy to record newly-planted and existing trees and to place them on a base map, so that the record can be shared and new data linked to it. This data is visualised in an easy-to-understand way.
The map’s data is accessible to all users and allows interested parties to share information, such as the exact location, the age, the species, the tree’s history and its individual value. This information will be of use, both educationally and culturally, to walkers, amateur naturalists, school groups and visitors. Onto this base map are linked further layers which will be of particular value to research students, forest managers and ecologists, and for planners preparing for Climate Change. Many organisations are already separately collecting information about how trees can contribute to the soil, the water table, the local ecology or to environmental restoration schemes; this foundation draws these threads together.
Each individual tree and each forest area on the base map acts as a hub to which other data sources are linked.
Why is this important?
Most trees that are already registered officially, at a municipal or provincial level, are in public places such as streets and city squares. Private landowners may also hold records of their trees for land management purposes. This data already provides us with a valuable resource.
Sadly, many trees lack this visible presence and can easily be destroyed, along with their associated ecosystems; the value of an old tree to the environment may not be recognised. Registering such trees can be both enjoyable and productive.
Many woodlands and smaller natural habitats remain under-recorded, and hence under-appreciated and unprotected. To be included in the overall picture are also all the new trees in current planting campaigns. The value and the fascination of this app lies in the opportunity to chart the development of such natural habitats, and to influence them in a positive way.