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Sep. 14, 2012 10:30 am

OpenTreeMap: Azavea wins $450k federal grant to continue work on tree software

You can now map Philly’s trees on the go, and with some help from the federal government, local GIS firm Azavea hopes to grow its library of tree-planting tools. Late last month, Azavea launched a mobile version of PhillyTreeMap, its crowdsourcing tool to plot Philly’s trees on a map. The tool was originally only a […]

You can now map Philly’s trees on the go, and with some help from the federal government, local GIS firm Azavea hopes to grow its library of tree-planting tools.

Late last month, Azavea launched a mobile version of PhillyTreeMap, its crowdsourcing tool to plot Philly’s trees on a map. The tool was originally only a web app, which, of course, made it a little tougher to participate in the effort, due to funding constraints, Technically Philly originally reported.

Download the app for iOS here.

Funding won’t be an issue for Azavea’s tree software efforts, at least for another two years, according to Azavea CEO Robert Cheetham.  The GIS shop was just awarded a $450,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to continue its tree-planting work.

Cheetham says the grant will fund two years of work and research to build a tool related to GeoTrellis, Azavea’s open source “high performance computing framework.”

The project has a long list of partners, Cheetham says, including the DVRPCPennsylvania Horticultural SocietyUrban Ecos, the Univ of Vermont Spatial Analysis Lab, the U-Penn Morris ArboretumTreeKIT, the Philadelphia Urban Field Station of the US Forest Service, and New York City Parks.

The federal grant Azavea received is a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant, which has funded previous Azavea work and also recently funded a project from online legal education startup Apprennet. Read more about these types of grants on Azavea’s website here.

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Juliana Reyes

Juliana Reyes began as lead reporter at Technical.ly Philly in July 2012. Previously, she was a city services beat reporter for the Philadelphia Daily News, as part of a project called “It’s Our Money.” She is learning to drive, learning to bike (in the city) but is an expert at taking SEPTA. She grew up in North Jersey and Manila, Philippines but she left the tropics for Bryn Mawr College, where she majored in linguistics. She now lives in West Philly.

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