This map visualizes street greenery in Cambridge, MA ... more

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"When great trees fall,
rocks on distant hills shudder,
lions hunker down
in tall grasses,
and even elephants
lumber after safety.

When great trees fall
in forests,
small things recoil into silence,
their senses
eroded beyond fear."

-Maya Angelou

Trees provide us shade, fresh air, and beauty. They create places to be in, to lean on, and to pass through. And they remind us of our essential connection with nature, and with one another. Trees can make a city feel alive, and places with no trees can feel barren.

This map visualizes the approximate amount of greenery on the streets in Cambridge. On the map, the relative amount of greenery at each point is represented by a marker's size and opacity. And the slider at the bottom allows you to see just the streets above a certain threshold.

To create this map, we crawled Google Street View images, and then ran a simple probabilistic classifier to approximate the amount of visible plant life for each street. These maps are approximate, in part because some street view photos were taken during the winter (for example, on Oxford Street), but they give us a sense of which streets are full of life.

Data Sources

  1. Google Maps StreetView Image API
  2. Geographic Information Systems, City of Cambridge,MA