BCIT GIS students win again at the Esri Canada ECCE App Challenge

Congratulations to the BCIT Georgraphic Information Systems (GIS) students who placed first in this year’s ECCE App Challenge!

The annual app development competition is organized by Esri Canada to help promote innovation and creativity. Teams at ECCE schools across Canada are tasked to create new and unique apps with Esri technology and open data to help address a problem related to a specific theme. The team from BCIT this year was named BCITree and consists of David Choi, Jason Ellis and Logan Salayka-Ladouceur.

One city, one home

Growing up in Vancouver and loving the outdoors was synonymous with all the team members. The group began their research with a focus on tree loss from urbanization—a global trend that is no exception in the City of Vancouver. They found that although the City of Vancouver has set a city-wide tree canopy coverage target, Nature Canada notes that equitable access to trees at the neighborhood level is often inadequately addressed compared to city level.

Advocating for tree equity

For the ECCE App Challenge, the BCITree team created the Vancouver Tree Equity Visualizer app, which aims to empower citizens to advocate for better tree equity in their neighbourhood through a user-friendly platform to visualize the current state of canopy coverage. The app was developed based on the distribution of the 3-30-300 tree equity rule, which asserts that three trees should be observable by everyone from their home, 30 percent canopy cover should be present in all neighborhoods, and all residents should live within 300 meters of a greenspace of at least one hectare.

With this knowledge, citizens can effectively advocate for addressing tree inequity and the implementation of the 3-30-300 rule to decision-makers, ultimately contributing to the development of better environmental policies. Furthermore, the app allows planners and relevant stakeholders to approximate canopy coverage and identify areas in need of attention before a formal tree inventory is commissioned by the City of Vancouver, thus supporting more equitable urban forest planning and management.

A career that impacts your world

Geospatial technology is relied upon by every level of local governments, to United Nations, from community organizations to global corporations. A background in GIS opens a wealth of career opportunities and a greater level of impact in your field.

Learn more about the BCIT GIS programs.

Leave a comment