Saturday, September 27, 2014

Meet Fast Forward Presenter >> Christopher Taylor

What is your Big Idea for Philadelphia?
Open Source Applications

Designers and planners around the world help shape the future of sustainable communities on a daily basis.  We take many factors into account when forming our decisions around designing communities, including geospatial, socio-economic, and environmental conditions.  Much of this data is accessible via “open data” policies and platforms such as Open Data Philly, but as designers we need a way to access this data in a format that is easy to use and analyze.  This is where open source web applications like OpenTreeMap are born.

OpenTreeMap is a web application built by Azavea to monitor, analyze, and sustain the health of our urban forests.  OTM makes it easy to use crowdsourcing and engage volunteers to inventory and maintain all the trees that make up an urban forest.  With the information obtained, cities are able to calculate ecosystem benefits such as CO2 sequestration and storm water runoff reduction.  The data collected is displayed in a  user friendly interface that utilizes geospatial technology to show the overall health and benefits of urban forests.  Designers and planners can utilize technologies like OpenTreeMap to help drive decisions to create better communities.

Open Source Applications are the future of Philly.  By creating more accessible, open tools like OTM, we can put information in the hands of both citizens and decision makers to create a more vibrant, sustainable Philadelphia.

Azavea Website
Christopher Taylor is a UI/UX Designer for geospatial software firm Azavea, where he works with software development teams to design and build engaging user experiences for projects that focus on creating more sustainable communities.  Christopher has a BFA in Architecture from the Savannah College of Art & Design, and has several years of experience designing software and applications.  He enjoys using design principles rooted in architecture to create user interfaces that seek to engage and inform decision makers and the general public.

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