Growing Geotrees: Applications of 3-D Visualization and GIS-based Modeling of the Urban Forest

Authors: Gary Coutu*, Geography and Planning, West Chester University, Joy Fritschle, Department of Geography and Planning, West Chester University
Topics: Geographic Information Science and Systems, Biogeography, Urban and Regional Planning
Keywords: Urban Forestry, 3D Modeling, GIS
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/12/2018
Start / End Time: 10:00 AM / 11:40 AM
Room: Bourbon Room, Astor, Mezzanine
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This paper examines the application of 3-D, GIS-based modeling software to map and manage urban forest resources within the Borough of West Chester, Pennsylvania, which includes the campus of West Chester University. This study is part of an ongoing Planning and Design Studio, a capstone course within the Master’s of Urban and Regional Planning program. Within the context of this studio project, faculty, students, and municipal partners used GIS software to create an urban forest database that was used to model canopy cover, simulate tree growth, geovisualize treescapes, and evaluate benefits such as stormwater reduction and carbon sequestration. The project used ESRI CityEngine 3D visualization software and i-Tree. The project provided students with a number of learning outcomes including the use and application of cutting-edge GIS technologies, while the database will help facilitate the long-term monitoring and adaptive management needs of municipal planners and managers.

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