Mapping the Urban Tree Canopy in Major Cities

Mapping the Urban Tree Canopy in Major Cities
Which cities have the greenest streets? MIT’s Senseable City Lab is pushing toward an answer to this question with a new project called Treepedia. A map website that catalogues the density of the tree canopy in 10 global cities, Treepedia uses information from Google Street View to create what it calls the Green View Index—a rating that quantifies how green a street view looks according to the number of trees it contains.

Rating a huge number of street corners for the relative greenery of their appearance, Treepedia also allows browsers to click on a series of dots that reveal street view images of the location in question. The result is one of the most detailed catalogs of urban greenery available.

For anyone who loves to explore the texture of cities, the maps are certainly an engaging browse—and that engagement is the point. The project’s overarching goal is to make issues of urban and environmental planning (and the data that underpins them) more accessible for non- or semi- professionals.
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