TreeTaggr

The Mobile Forest Health Tool TreeTaggr turns your smartphone into a tool that tracks diseased trees and delivers forest health data to scientists and forest managers around the world.

We Need TreeTaggr Forests cover one-third of the total land area on our planet. Yet millions of hectares of native forests are under threat each year by a host of new stresses induced by climate change, including a growing number of pests, diseases, and pollutants. Certain species such as the once-dominant chestnut and elm have been virtually wiped out by invasive disease.

So the fight is on to save the eastern hemlock, ash, and the suddenly vulnerable conifer stands from both native and non-native pests and diseases. And with the TreeTaggr app you can join the fight!

“There is no more pressing need than the need to preserve our trees, for our earth, and ourselves. Any way we can help gather information on the health of trees must be embraced. TreeTaggr is a much needed tool for researchers and citizens who, together, are fighting to save our forest trees.” – Lori Knowles, Health Law Institute, Canada

Developed by the Institute of Forest Biotechnology, the TreeTaggr app uses the camera and geolocation functions on a smartphone to ‘tag’ unhealthy trees in a healthy forest, or, alternatively, healthy trees in an unhealthy stand. This app is the first tool that would leverage the availability and connectivity of smartphones for forest health data collection. It would allow a user to walk into a forest, photograph a tree, add details about the tree, and send the information to a geographic database. The user can then note the tree type, if the tree appears diseased or healthy, and add other observations.

The app would incorporate a game aspect to further encourage people to explore forests and notice tree health. Points will be given to the user as he or she identifies and explores more forests. (Points for exploring – how great is that!)

Our goals for this phone app are two-fold: 1) to get the public interested and engaged in gathering forest health information for analysis, and 2) generate forest health trend information that can help curtail disease spread in forests. Anyone interested in promoting healthy forests – such as foresters, hikers, conservationists, citizen scientists, educators, and anyone else with a smartphone who cares about trees are all potential users.

The TreeTaggr App:
  • Automatic detection of the user’s location when making a report.
  • Ability for the user to enter information about the tree affected by disease or a parasite.
  • Attach photographs that will help the scientists evaluate the tree’s health.
  • Upload the collected information to a geolocation database.
  • Display leaderboard information so users can play while making reports.

A social funding campaign for TreeTaggr Was launched March 1, 2013.

Visit TreeTaggr.org/go to see the campaign, video, and how you can help.

 
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