Materials like glass, brick, asphalt and cement seem to dominate the New York cityscape. But the City is actually one of the most densely-landscaped urban hubs in the world, thanks to its extensive park system.
Digital design studio Cloudred recently used NYC Open Data, a digital catalog of City government data, to create a visualization of the variety and quantity of trees in all five New York City boroughs.
The visualization shows that the city boasts well over 600,000 trees, the most common genera being Maple with over 72,000 in Queens alone, and Planetree, with around 85,000 across boroughs. Other popular varieties include Oak, Locust and Linden.
Cloudred’s motivation for documenting the trees wasn’t curiosity alone — concentrations of certain species can increase the risk of pathogens, insects or environmental stress on the trees. The studio hopes to inform city agencies about the need for a greater variety of species within certain areas.
The benefit of their design was that users can quickly see distribution across the city. The data shows that there’s a wider variety of species in the Bronx and Manhattan compared to Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island.
Cloudred hopes to replicate this model with other elements of city life.
“While this visualizes trees which we personally love as an essential element of any urban city, we see this as an experiment or model to visualize other datasets in an additive/subtractive format,” they write on their website.
NYC Open Data makes the wealth of public data generated by New York City agencies and organizations available for public use as part of an initiative to improve the transparency and accountability of the government. The plan promises to make city data from over 200 agencies accessible to the public by 2018. BuzzBuzzHome recently reported on city agency progress toward this goal.