I am now preparing a proof-of-concept installation for communities who want to monitor trees in their area. The functionality for the first stage of development:

  1. Every monitored tree is geotagged, photographed and described.
  2. All data are put in a form of indexed (#tags) wiki, linked to a private Openstreetmap overlay, showing localization.
  3. The address of the tree page is printed (QR code and human-readable) on a laminated tag, attached to the tree.
  4. People, using smartphones, can review information about the tree and provide comments if something happened (i.e. the tree is marked for cutting down) .

PoC components I have in mind are simple: – A wiki system (I am using wiki.js but it can be something else) – OpenStreetMap with “private” layer – Yunohost server for localised hosting.

If we go deeper and extrapolate, there is much more to it, but for now, I am trying just to open conversation and find out if:

  1. There’s anybody interested in joining forces and push the concept ahead, with the possibility of making it a standard tool and getting some funding to develop it.

  2. There is such or similar system (FOSS, possibly also decentralized / federated) we could build upon.

Also all hints are welcome.


Have you seen iNaturalist? It’s is an app currently run by a nonprofit that focuses on citizen science data collection (photos, location, etc) and crowd sourcing the identification of those collected data points. I couldn’t find their code with a quick search, but they might be more willing to share than a for-profit would be. You might even be able to set up a project in their app that gets you what you need and you can invest your time in cataloguing instead of coding :)


Sounds interesting. What exactly is the goal or a possible use case for this project?


The direct need that made me work on it is the situation now common in Poland, where local authorities, together with developers, cut down an enormous number of trees without or clearly against the consent of local communities. Information about planned cuts is usually unavailable or distorted, to prevent protests. At the same time, if there is any public discussion, people are usually without access to factual knowledge, as the tree inventory is kept by the same entities that approve cutting.

So the plan is three-step:

  1. Raise interest and awareness through getting people involved in making inventory (and in monitoring).
  2. Raise knowledge by installing environmental sensors in comparable locations with and without trees, to show real time how their presense influences living conditions.
  3. Create federated decentralized network of such installations, providing large-scale data and communication platform for tree-defending communities.
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