Skip to content

Fruit trees lining the streets of Vancouver mapped thanks to open data

Fruit trees on the boulevards in the City of Vancouver.

Late Tuesday night, I noticed that the City of Vancouver had released Vancouver Street Trees into their Open Data Catalogue.

Wednesday afternoon, our awesome intern, Gideon, went to work to import the data into the Foodtree API, so we could get it mapped.  It needed some cleanup prior to uploading, including approximating street addresses from the City’s grid system and sorting the food producing trees from the Conifers and Arbutus. He grabbed the data set and merged it into a single file and then uploaded to Google’s Refine tool to sort out the fruit trees. After adding the common name to the City’s numerical name, we uploaded it to Foodtree. Using our Sourcemap integration, all of the fruit trees on the public boulevards of Vancouver are now mapped. You can search by name, so it is now easy to find the 13 fig trees in the City. If you want to embed the map somewhere, you can get the embed code here. And, if you are in Vancouver, simply opening on your smartphone browser now shows you where the nearest public fruit trees are, in addition to farmers markets, grocers, food trucks and restaurants.

Hopefully we’ll soon be able to add the fruit trees in city parks. It is part of our ongoing effort to map all of the available food sources in the City of Vancouver.

24 Comments Post a comment
  1. gs #

    Not sure this list is complete, there are 2 fruit trees – fig I think – on Willow and 17th. If I put this update here are you able to add them?

    February 5, 2012
    • Thanks, gs. We are pretty certain that the list is INCOMPLETE. It is the City’s data set, and it only pertains to those trees that they define as along boulevards. The way to add them is through our free iPhone app, Foodtree. Simply snap a photo of each tree and tag them with name and location. If you don’t have an iPhone, email me anthony at and you can beta test our web upload. Thanks again!

      February 6, 2012
  2. Wow, super! I should have known you guys would jump on this! I am wondering if many of the trees listed as “cherry” or “plum” are actually only ornamental. Is there any way to confirm that what you’ve mapped is edible? I’m hoping to get a GIS guru I know to overlay your map with our known trees database. Maybe we’ll be able to pick more on each outing if we know of extra trees in the area.
    Vancouver Fruit Tree Project

    February 25, 2012
  3. Hi Erin. We attempted to quickly remove ornamentals, but we aren’t certain at this point. We’re working on tweaking our mobile application so that people could submit a photo and confirm. It would be great to collaborate with you (and we’d be happy to work on the overlay too). Email me anthony at foodtree dot com.

    February 27, 2012
  4. Ben #

    Thanks for posting this. I started a map a few years ago, but haven’t had much time to develop it. See I was able to get a paper copy of the tree list from the city at the time but found that many of the listed trees are ornamental varieties. Most of the trees listed on the linked map are fruit producing and have been checked/tasted by myself or a volunteer. Would be interesting to see how many of these match…

    March 3, 2012
  5. Ben, great stuff! It’s nice that the data is increasingly being shared in formats other than print, right?

    Now that we have a strong list the question becomes how to keep it updated. Our iPhone app let’s people actually share photos of these trees as they find them, maybe even including some comments on their condition. We’d like this kind of thing to be possible from any mobile phone, which would let the community self-monitor these trees.

    Would love thoughts in that direction.

    March 5, 2012
  6. Greenstorm #

    Oh no! You forgot to add the Castanea sativa! :)

    March 8, 2012
  7. Lee #

    Just wondering…are all fruit trees that line the streets of Vancouver, are they for everybody? Some lady said that the tree was in front of her house so it’s on HER property (even though there is a sidewalk separating her front lawn from the green area where the tree is) and therefore, the tree is off-limits to everyone.
    What do you think?

    July 2, 2013
  8. UrbanHuntress #

    Street trees belong to the City of Vancouver and are under the care of the Parks Board. They are fair game. If the tree is in the city’s database of street trees, it’s one of theirs. You’re pretty much guaranteed that the curbside (between the street and the sidewalk) is city property and is public. Negative people get very territorial. Best to avoid them even though that may mean seeing fruit rot. Full listing (not a map) of all street trees is here

    July 17, 2013
  9. UrbanHuntress #

    Is this still available as an app?

    July 17, 2013
  10. Excellent blg here! Also your web siite loads
    up fast! What host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to your host?

    I wish my web site loaded up as quickly as yours lol

    October 21, 2013
  11. I will immediately snatch your rss as I can not to find your e-mail subscription hyperlink
    or newsletter service. Do you’ve any? Kindly allow me realize so
    that I could subscribe. Thanks.

    October 29, 2013
  12. Pretty element of content. I just stumbled upon your weblog and in accession capital to say that I acquire in
    fact loved account your weblog posts. Anyway I’ll be subscribing
    in your feeds and even I fulfillment you get right of entry to consistently fast.

    November 11, 2013

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Map of Fruit Trees on Vancouver’s Streets « Urban Studies
  2. Alex Reid» The fruit trees of Vancouver
  3. Spacing Creative Mapping Contest & Vancouver Maps | Car-Free Vancouver
  4. Guerrilla Meals « CollTales
  5. Vancouver Plants Orchards in Parks and Golf Courses | Care2 Causes
  6. Vancouver Plants Orchards in Parks and Golf Courses |
  7. Vancouver’s urban fruit orchard blossoms in city parks, golf courses — City Farmer News
  8. #370 Vancouver, B.C., plants urban orchards | This gives me hope
  9. Fruit Trees Need Proper Care | emschiefs
  10. Cities are starting to take advantage of the fact that unlike money, food does grow on trees — City Farmer News
  11. Fruit Trees Call For Suitable Care | Catering Brea

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s