Research and Application News
Help NASA Measure Trees with Your Smartphone
26 March 2019
Healthy forests play an crucial role in Earth's ecosystem as growing trees take up carbon from the atmosphere. NASA satellites and airborne missions study forests to see how carbon moves through ecosystems – and now citizen scientists can help investigate this key question as well by using their smartphone to measure tree height.
The GLOBE Observer app provides a step-by-step guide for people to collect scientific data on their surroundings. With the new GLOBE Trees feature of the app, observers record tree height by tilting their phone up and down to align the screen with the tree's top branch and base, and pace off the distance to the tree; the app does the rest to calculate the tree's height.
Image credit: NASA - The GLOBE Trees tool is easy to use