screen capture from Treepedia


Scientists and city dwellers can use this interactive website to evaluate and compare urban tree coverage in cities across the globe.

This interactive website uses Google Street View data to measure the urban "Green Canopy," or the aboveground portion of trees and vegetation in cities around the world. Treepedia allows city dwellers to view the location and size of trees within their communities, and a future iteration of the website will allow users to submit input to help tag, track, and advocate for more such trees in their cities.

The green canopy is an important and integral part of urban life. Trees help mitigate extreme temperatures, provide a natural respite from traffic, noise, and congestion, and improve the quality of life for those living in urban environments. However, the average citizen is often removed from understanding the individual features of their unique environmental habitats. How, then, can citizens be better engaged in this process so that they can play a more integral role in helping to shape the green canopies in their neighborhoods?

In order to address these questions, the MIT Senseable City Lab has developed an innovative metric utilizing Google Street View (GSV) panoramas—called the "Green View Index"—by which cities can evaluate and compare green canopy coverage. The Green View Index enables scientists and city dwellers to play a more active role in addressing concerns about the adverse effects of climate change, and to campaign on behalf of the landscapes in which they dwell.

Treepedia launched in 10 global cities, including Boston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Sacramento, and Seattle in the United States, and will continue to expand in more municipalities across the globe. Users can immediately perceive which areas are green and not green in a city, investigate the amount of green coverage at a given point, and compare their city to different cities around the world. In the future, users will also have the ability to add unique tree information on an open-source street map and engage with city officials in order to request that new trees be planted in certain areas.

Last modified
10 May 2024 - 12:16pm