• July 20, 2024

Nearly 350 cities worldwide—including Quezon City—can now access Google’s AI-powered Tree Canopy tool, which maps urban tree cover.

The tool, a part of Google’s Environmental Insights Explorer (EIE) insights, was previously available in 14 cities. With this expansion, users can now access tree canopy data of Quezon City—one of the most urbanized and densely populated cities (20,000 population per square km) in the country.

Quezon City currently has an estimated 33% tree canopy with a total of 53 square kilometers coverage.

The tool aims to help cities “understand their current tree coverage and better plan urban forestry initiatives,” according to Google. Key insights from this data can be used by leaders and decision-makers in planning resources for planting and maintaining trees which is important in accelerating efforts against climate change.

EIE is a freely available insights tool that uses unique Google data sources and modeling capabilities to produce estimates of an area, infrastructure, or activity including greenhouse gas emissions, inventory boundaries, buildings, solar, transportation, and tree canopy.

Based on aerial imagery and machine learning algorithms, EIE uses specialized tree-detection AI trained to scan a city or neighborhood’s terrain, detect the presence of trees there, and compute an estimate of that place’s tree canopy.

Trees provide a wide range of benefits to a city, from managing stormwater runoff to increasing resilience against extreme heat. Shade from urban trees also reduces cooling costs, along with incentivizing walking, biking, and other outdoor activities.

“Google believes that accessible, actionable data plays a vital role in enabling the world’s transition to a carbon-free future. We are proud that the Environmental Insights Explorer (EIE) for tree canopy is now in the Philippines, which could serve leaders and foster studies towards greener cities,” said Mervin Wenke, Head of Communications and Public Affairs, Google Philippines.

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