Maple Grove Tree Inventory Case Study

maple gorve

Maple Grove is a small community of approximately 60 000 citizens in Minnesota that promotes an outdoor lifestyle and rated high by residents as a great place to raise children because it offers plenty of opportunities for residents to live their life to the fullest. The area is full of natural beauties which need to be properly maintained and monitored.

…seven different lakes can be found within Maple Grove as well as over 1,000 acres and 36 miles of meticulously maintained parks and trails and 48 playgrounds. With the attraction of the Maple Grove Arboretum and two regional park reserves…

In order to have current and relevant data about their assets, the City of Maple Grove decided to use GIS Cloud as a tool for data collection and visualization. One of the first projects the City undertook was to identify the species and measure the size, and rate the condition of public trees in order to identify various pest threats, like the Emerald Ash Borer, that have been severely affecting the trees in that area.

Challenges

  • Complicated paperwork (processing, sharing, interacting and linking to multimedia)
  • Additional work in the office for data visualization
  • Non optimized work-flow
  • Poor data quality (data validation on entry)
  • No internet connection in some of the areas
  • Availability of GPS devices for projects of this scale
  • Volunteers with no previous GIS experience
  • Additional cost for volunteer training

The tree inventory as a project had different components which needed to consolidate cost-effective solutions, efficient data collection and quality of visualization. A challenge presented itself in terms of how to realize this project in the most effective way. The idea was to get the information from the field, make crucial decisions based on the collected data and share the information to the employees in other departments who can then react accordingly.

Maplezadnje

Solution

Mobile Data Collection for collecting data (location, photo and audio, along with data attributes on tree species) based on custom forms in real time optimized for iOS and Android devices.
Map Editor for visualization, classification and analysis of collected data, creating custom maps for managing your data in the office or/and in the field based on the needs of volunteers (orientation, points of interest), collaboration between various entities within and out of the organization, exporting data in various formats (.xls, .shp, .csv, .kml, etc.) and more.
Map Viewer for internal data sharing between employees across all departments, in or outside the organization, in the office or in the field, who need relevant and real time information in order for them to react accordingly and in a timely manner.
Map Portal for sharing the results of your projects to the community in form of a customized and simplified user interface which allows public to get the current and relevant information about the projects in their area

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Results

  • iOS and Android smartphone devices were used for collecting data which significantly reduced the project costs
  • No excessive paperwork and all information about a tree (text, photo, audio) gathered with one device in a single form
  • Offline mode allowed volunteers to collect data in areas without internet connection
  • Pinpoint tool is also available for volunteers to manually place the point on the map in case of low GPS accuracy in that area
  • All collected data in one place available to any department within and outside of the organization, in the office or in the field
  • High quality spatial data visualization, management and analysis for end users with different levels of GIS knowledge
  • Option to access all gathered data privately on tablets and smartphones in the office or in the field in case they need current information about the monitored asset
  • Option to have their projects open to public in form of a Map Portal which would allow them to see the results and the current projects in their area

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