I’m preparing to give my Woody Plant Physiology students their first opportunity to flaunt their new-found knowledge (aka Exam one) so only time for a short post.
As my fellow Garden Professors are aware, I am among the least tech-savvy people roaming the halls of academia these days and was long ago declared roadkill on the information superhighway. However, I recently found out about a new App for the i-phone that could lure me back into the 21st century.
Programmer Brett Camper has developed an i-Phone app called ‘Trees Near You’. The App is based on a street tree inventory for the City of New York and allows users to view maps of over 500,000 street trees. For each tree users can look up info about individual trees including their size and estimated environmental and economic benefits based on energy savings and storm water retention. The App also links to Wikipedia pages that provide more info on the tree’s botanical characteristics. For more info, including a QuickTime movie demo, go to: http://www.treesnearyou.com/
While it may be easy to quibble with particular estimates of tree values or a particular bit of info from Wiki, there is no arguing this is pretty cool stuff. Hopefully other App writers will be inspired and Trees Near You-type Apps will start appearing for other cities. This is a great educational tool and a great way for urban and community forestry programs to promote the value of trees where we live.