Geospatial methods provide timely and comprehensive urban forest information

Kathleen T. Ward, Gary R. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Urban forests are unique and highly valued resources. However, trees in urban forests are often under greater stress than those in rural or undeveloped areas due to soil compaction, restricted growing spaces, high temperatures, and exposure to air and water pollution. In addition, conditions change more quickly in urban as opposed to rural and undeveloped settings. Subsequently, proactive management of urban forests can be challenging and requires the availability of current and comprehensive information. Geospatial tools, such as, geographic information systems (GIS), global positioning systems (GPS) and remote sensing, work extremely well together for gathering, analyzing, and reporting information. Many urban forest management questions could be quickly and effectively addressed using geospatial methods and tools. The geospatial tools can provide timely and extensive spatial data from which urban forest attributes can be derived, such as land cover, forest structure, species composition and condition, heat island effects, and carbon storage. Emerging geospatial tools that could be adapted for urban forest applications include data fusion, virtual reality, three-dimensional visualization, Internet delivery, modeling, and emergency response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-22
Number of pages8
JournalUrban Forestry and Urban Greening
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 20 2007

Bibliographical note

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  • GIS, remote sensing, forest management


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