NYC Parks Department TreesCount! Data Jam – Data Analysis & Visualization
My role: data visualization, data analysis
Tools used: OpenRefine, Tableau, CartoDB, SQL
Overview: My TreesCount! project was created for an NYC Parks Department challenge to create a data-driven project using 2015 Tree Census open data. In a span of six hours, my team of three built a website with four interactive data visualizations that addressed tree health within the five boroughs. Our project, “Keeping People Safe from Hazardous Trees,” won the data jam’s educational challenge and was selected for a follow-up presentation with Deputy Commissioner of NYC Parks.
The Project: For our project, we spoke with members of the NYC Parks’ forestry department to develop an internal tool that maps and provides details about large and unhealthy street trees – trees that may pose safety hazards for civilians in high foot traffic areas.
A Q&A with foresters from parks provided insights about what criteria makes a tree hazardous, and we used these insights to create visualizations with both Tableau and CartoDB. Our Tableau visualization gives an overview of distributions of trees by health as recorded in the tree census.
Parks staff communicated that they’re particularly concerned with identifying hazardous tree in high foot traffic areas with higher densities of children and the elderly. Thus, in addition to mapping hazardous trees, we also mapped all daycare, hospitals, nursing homes, schools, and homeless facilities within 100 meters of “large unhealthy trees” to indicate areas of high risk. These locations were identified with the NYC OpenData Selected Facilities and Program Sites dataset.