Sugar Maple Mapping

Posted by Range View Research on 2 January 2014 in English (English)

Hello OSM, I am new to OSM and very excited about the possibilities. I'd like to map sugar maple country and seasonal events--the date when sugar makers tap their trees, the first run of sap, the first boil of syrup. The dates are changing due to climate change. The sugar maple is projected to go extinct in almost all of its U.S. range in this century (U.S. Forest Service, Climate Tree Atlas). Other things are changing too--the sugar content of sap and the length of time in which sugar maple leaves stay green --they are turning brown and falling off earlier than usual due to hot dry summers. My imagined map would include the sugar maple's 31 million acre range--by counties. Sugar makers or schools that make sugar could download the map app and log in. They could create polygons around their sugarbushes. Their node info could include Name, Name of Farm, Town, Latitude and Longitude and some data about their operation--number of taps, to begin with. The first boil date could include a % sugar--all sugar producers measure their sugar content with a refractometer. The app could link to the sugar producer or school's site. Could the node include a photograph of the producer, her sugar house, or kids at their school's sugar house? The sugar maple is an iconic tree in New England, all along the Appalachians south to Virginia and into Chippewa country in the Great Lakes. The Maple Watch map could help educate people about climate change and involve lots of ordinary people in climate change on-the-ground science. Southern sugarers will begin tapping in early February. Can OSM help me get this map up and running by then? Any advice or thoughts would be welcome.--Martha Carlson

Location: North Line Road, Wolfeboro, Carroll County, New Hampshire, 03894, United States of America

Comment from russdeffner on 2 January 2014 at 16:20

Hello, welcome to OSM!

OSM cannot help you directly, but you are more than welcome to use OSM as component(s) in your map. Some of the information you are looking at collecting might not be 'good' data for OSM, but some of it may. For example, we definitely encourage folks to map wooded areas using natural=wood and other descriptive tags; and if you have more detail about individual trees you can also add those using natural=tree, species=, etc. But we don't want to include private information, like the name and photo of the producer. However you could link your data (contained in an external database as an example) to OSM or vice versa. I would suggest you look at this website for some more information and examples:

Happy Mapping, =Russ

Comment from Brylie Christopher Oxley on 5 January 2014 at 06:07

This sound interesting! I am curious how we can use or extend the OSM data model to support temporal knowledge such as this. Do you have any drawings of your ideas?

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