Tree Mapping

Feb 28, 2012 by

Our latest citizen science project is an exciting one- we are tree mapping the park!  Glen Providence Park was dedicated as a Bird Sanctuary and Arboretum, so we decided to see exactly what trees are in the park.  We were also inspired by the tree mapping of New York City’s Central Park(!), thinking if they could map 843 acres, we could map Glen Providence Park’s 33 acres…

So what is tree mapping?
We are documenting the species, diameter, location, and other data for individual trees in the park. We enter the data on PhillyTreeMap (now OpenTreeMap) a web-based map database of trees.  We will plot the park tree by tree!

Not only do we identify the trees, PhillyTreeMap computes the eco-impact of the trees: based on species and size, it calculates benefits such as stormwater gallons conserved and pounds of air pollutants reduced. The impact is calculated by township, so you can see those benefits by viewing the maps:

for the Upper Providence side of the park
for the Media side of the park

2021 Edit: it is not clear if OpenTreeMap provides a way to see the combined eco-benefit of the trees we have mapped. They appear to list the benefit of individual trees, or of all trees mapped in their system. 

Park Tree List

We  created a Park Tree List, which we will add to as we identify additional species.  We have documented 18 species so far, and we expect to find  a lot more!  You can also search by a tree’s species on PhillyTreeMap using the “Filter by Species” search box, to see where those individual trees are.

Where have we mapped?

We started our tree mapping with the 1.1 acres that would become a construction area for the 3rd Street Project. Some of our favorite species in that acre are: Umbrella Magnolia, American Sycamore, American Witch Hazel and Sassafras.  You can see the eco-benefits of the trees within the 1.1 acre summarized in the screen-captures below.

Where in the park will we tree map next?

Wherever the mood strikes us!  If you’d like to participate, just email us at  And check back periodically to see how we’re doing!

Click on images for a closer view.


PhillyTreeMap links updated to OpenTreeMap links in April 2021

Creative Commons License
This work by Friends of Glen Providence Park is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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