Noah's PDC Blog

Trees in Pittsburgh

By Noah Scholfield

January 30, 2019

For my project I decided to look at trees in Pittsburgh. The WPRDC has a dataset of over 45,000 trees that are maintained by the Pittsburgh Public Works Forestry Division. To better visualize how where the trees are located in the city, I decided to make a heatmap using Mapbox which is a website you can use to make custom maps. My heatmap also shows the diameter of the trees so that the age and size of the trees is also taken into account. You can also click on individual trees on the heatmap to see more specific information about them like their type, condition, diameter, and their assessed monetary value. This monetray value is assessed based on many factors like CO2 absorption ability, rain water runnoff control, and energy savings potential, among many other variables.

I also looked at the data in Excel and made some PivotTables to get a better of what the data was showing. I summarized all of the trees by neighborhood to get a better idea of which neighborhoods have the most trees, and which have room for improvement. I was surprised to see that Squirrel Hill South was an outlier, even amongst the other top 10 neighborhoods as having way more trees. The visualizations that I think really help illustrate how the trees in Pittsburgh are not evenly distributed and make it easy to see areas that could use more trees.

Take a look at the article here.