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Urban Forest Map and Ecosystem Calculator

The Challenge

WSC partner Amber Bieg and her team invented, designed, and developed the Urban Forest Map in an open-source collaborative web platform for crowdsourced tree inventory and information sharing, ecosystem calculations, urban forestry analysis, and community engagement.

The Solution

The team conducting interviews and shadowing arborists, citizen scientists and amateur tree aficionados to gain empathy. They engaged early feedback with user groups, even getting feedback with pencil and paper prototypes. The goal was to design for the core needs of these groups. After months of research, they arrived at a set of product features that were “must haves,” followed by others that were “nice to haves.” In the delivery of the final product, they met all the “must haves” as well as most of the “nice to haves.” Because so much time was spent up-front in the user research and design (the HEAR phase), they reduced the time and cost in development, ultimately producing an award-winning calculator and information tool that is now used worldwide.