Why is the National Tree Benefit Calculator being discontinued?

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azelaya
i-Tree Team
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Joined: Fri Jun 27, 2008 10:50 am

Why is the National Tree Benefit Calculator being discontinued?

Post by azelaya » Tue Apr 30, 2019 12:36 am

*Post updated 20March2020 - Development timeline will be re-evaluated and updated in months ahead.

The National Tree Benefits Calculator (NTBC), treebenefits.com is still scheduled to be discontinued but the estimated timeline is TBD due to global uncertainty impacting ongoing Development Team work and production plans. This will be revisited and updated when information becomes available. Details as follows:

NTBC phase out is part of an effort to unify several online tools including i-Tree Design, MyTree and Planting, to use one common and consistent underlying platform based on i-Tree Eco. The National Tree Benefit Calculator uses the i-Tree Streets regional model for estimates and will not be updated in the future as other i-Tree Tools provide similar estimates and will replace the NTBC.

MyTree v2.1.9 & Planting v2.0.2 - The Development process to unify online i-Tree tools is currently ongoing. At the time of this updated post (March2020), NTBC users are advised to consider using MyTree or i-Tree Planting online tools for similar estimates. http://mytree.itreetools.org or http://planting.itreetools.org. These tools are both using i-Tree Eco underlying processing. The species lists in MyTree is using a more extensive list based on i-Tree Eco. Planting and Design are still using an limited regional species list in the interim but estimates are based on the underlying i-Tree Eco processing.

i-Tree Design - Design v7.0 has been updated to use underlying i-Tree Eco estimates but has limitations related to processing large size projects. Design is now using similar avoided runoff estimates similar to MyTree, Planting and Eco. Eco-based stormwater modeling is based off i-Tree Hydro modeling which uses a with-and-without trees scenario comparison. This approach considers interception, transpiration, infiltration, depression storage and evaporation processes and how mulitple hydrological processes differ with and without the contribution of the tree resource. The quantity of storm water that is not accounted for in other hydrologic processes is considered avoided run-off or storm water managed by the tree resource. Thus, the avoided run-off quantity is typically considerably less than stormwater intercepted, and is what is monetized in Eco and the online tools. Therefore, there is a significant difference in the dollar estimates between these tools in their more recent versions.

Please see this document for more on stormwater modeling and estimated value differences between i-Tree applications: iTree Streets/Design/Eco Rainfall Interception Model Comparison http://www.itreetools.org/eco/resources ... risons.pdf

National Tree Benefit Calculator Webservice - More information on a new i-Tree API will be posted when available for users currently using the NTBC webservice. The NTBC Webservice is used by web developers to generate estimates for external applications such as interactive tree maps based on the National Tree Benefit Calculator. If you are currently using the NTBC webservice, you are advised to contact i-Tree Technical Support at info@itreetools.org to help us communicate updates directly with you to avoid service loss in the future. Updates will also be made available on the i-Tree website, Newsletter and through the webservice output pages.
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