Why is the National Tree Benefit Calculator being discontinued?

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Why is the National Tree Benefit Calculator being discontinued?

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

*Post updated 19Aug2019 - Design development timeline updated to end of year 2019.

The National Tree Benefits Calculator (NTBC), treebenefits.com is scheduled to be discontinued by the end of 2019. This 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 & Planting - The Development process to unify online i-Tree tools is currently ongoing. At the time of this post (May2019), NTBC users are advised to consider using MyTree or i-Tree Planting online tools for similar type estimates. http://mytree.itreetools.org or http://planting.itreetools.org. These tools are both using i-Tree Eco underlying processing. The regional species lists available in MyTree and Planting are similar to Design and the National Tree Benefit Calculator but the estimates are based on i-Tree Eco.

i-Tree Design - Design is currently being updated to use underlying i-Tree Eco estimates and will differ from MyTree & Planting until development work is completed. Design development work is currently estimated to be completed around the end of 2019 year. i-Tree Design is currently somewhat of a hybrid using both Eco and Streets underlying processes. Design is currently using stormwater estimates based on i-Tree Streets and will differ from 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 avoided run-off or storm water managed by the tree resource. The avoided run-off quantity is typically considerably less than stormwater intercepted, and is what is monetized in Eco. Therefore, there is a significant difference in the dollar estimates between these tools currently.

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 available in the fall for web developers 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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