Yesterday, nine of us (TreeKIT/PlanningCorps crew plus a few new faces) gathered on the top floor of OpenGeo to hash out some of the many ideas that have been floating around about tree tagging.
Placing tags on trees would be useful to either communicate or provide access to several types of information to people walking by:
– basic information about a tree (species, size/age, etc.)
– that the tree has been mapped by a community effort and added to a public database
– how the tree could be cared for, and how you can help
– who has been active in taking care of the tree
– other stuff
Technical-hypothetical discussions ranged from RFID, sidewalk stencils of unique IDs, portable dog tag printers, and biodegradable packs of fertilizer that could be laid over the soil. We realized that the moment when volunteers are actually out mapping is ideal for going ahead and hanging some kind of tag on the tree, but there is probably not time to hang any sort of unique ID on each tree while also rolling the wheel, recording the nearest address and all the rest of the protocol. By the end of the discussion, Brendan offered that as mappers measure a block segment, they could hang a single larger informational tag to invite locals to go online and print out their own tags for each tree, since now all that information would be part of a public database. There will be more coming on this over the leafless months.