iPhone App Finds Trees in NYC's Concrete Jungle

Adam DuVander
Apr. 13 2010, 12:19PM EDT

New York City is probably best known for its skyscrapers and millions of people, not the trees that line its avenues. A new iPhone app goes out on a limb to give a little credit to the oaks and maples. And it's doing it thanks to open government data.

Trees Near You was an honorable mention in the recent New York City BigApps mashup contest. The Trees app used the Street Tree Census data collected for all five boroughs, one of many datasets available at NYC Datamine.

If you load up the app in New York City, you'll see a map of trees that are near your location. You can then view additional information about each individual tree, such as its species, its trunk thickness and the nearest address. And for a view of multiple trees, the app shows the reduction of CO2, how much energy is saved by the shade it provides and how many gallons of run-off the trees prevent.

The app was created by Brett Camper, who also recently created an 8 Bit New York City map, a concept he is now expanding to several more cities.

Adam DuVander -- Adam heads developer relations at Orchestrate, a database-as-a-service company. He's spent many years analyzing APIs and developer tools. Previously he worked at SendGrid, edited ProgrammableWeb and wrote for Wired and Webmonkey. Adam is also the author of mapping API cookbook Map Scripting 101.

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