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City Cooling: Google’s Tree Mapping

When summers get too hot in your city, the problem most often is the lack of trees. Google’s new experiment in the US measures the necessity of trees in a distinct overheating area during summertime.

We humans would be nothing without trees, that is for certain. Trees are there for us in every season of the year to help shelter us from many things (that often come from the sky), yet the one thing we often seek shelter from most of the time is the sun during summer, specifically.

In many cases, the comfort of a tree’s shadow has become a luxury for cities, particularly large metropolitan areas or peripheries that insisted on prioritizing concrete over green space. This move exposes the population and the local concrete environment to overheating during summers as sun heats up the streets and buildings and the lack of vegetation nearby forces the dissipating heat in the afternoon to be felt tenfold than it would be with a local tree canopy.

In this regard, Google has developed a new tool to help map where tree canopies are most essential. For now, this tool is developed and applied on cities throughout the United States of America and it uses aerial imagery and Google’s Artificial Intelligence to map every present tree-space in a city, then it processes that information and displays it on an interactive map where users can see the more heat vulnerable neighborhoods.

This tool is meant to then help people or local administrations accurately plant tree groups in order to grow new canopies. You can visit the tree-mapping lab here and take a look at the map and how it works right now! While this project is exclusive to the United States, this might come as an initiative in your local city with the help of Google’s satellite imagery.

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