slides - Computational Thinking Across the Curriculum

Computing the DeepMap: a tool for
understanding social-ecological
interactions in a metropolitan setting
Liam Heneghan
Environmental Science Program
Computational Thinking
• Having to solve a particular problem
– How difficult is it to solve?
– What’s the best way to solve it?
• CT is reformulating a seemingly difficult problem into one we
know how to solve, perhaps by reduction, embedding,
transformation, or simulation.
• CT is using abstraction and decomposition when attacking a large
complex task or designing a large complex system. It is separation
of concerns. It is choosing an appropriate representation for a
problem or modeling the relevant aspects of a problem to make
it tractable.
(From Wing 2006)
William Least Heat Moon
(1940- )
An amplification of data…
“Early, I aimed to write about
the most spare landscape,
seemingly poor for a reported to
poke into, one appearing thin
and almost minimal in history
and texture, a stark region
recent American life has mostly
gone past, a still point, a
fastness an ascent seeking a
penitential corner might
discover. Chase County fit
PrairyErth [a Deep Map] 1991
Of Exactitude in Science
...In that Empire, the craft of
Cartography attained such
Perfection that the Map of a Single
province covered the space of an
entire City, and the Map of the
Empire itself an entire Province. In
the course of Time, these
Extensive maps were found
somehow wanting, and so the
College of Cartographers evolved a
Map of the Empire that was of the
same Scale as the Empire and that
coincided with it point for point.
From Travels of Praiseworthy Men
(1658) by J. A. Suarez Miranda
Deep Mapping
"Reflecting eighteenth century
antiquarian approaches to place,
which included history, folklore,
natural history and hearsay, the
deep map attempts to record and
represent the grain and patina of
place through juxtapositions and
interpenetrations of the historical
and the contemporary, the
political and the poetic, the
discursive and the sensual; the
conflation of oral testimony,
anthology, memoir, biography,
natural history and everything you
might ever want to say about a
place …"
Mike Pearson and Michael Shanks,
Theatre/Archaeology (Routledge 2001) page 6465works
Tim Robinson
(1935 - )
“A suggestion from the post
mistress in the western village
of Cill Mhuirbhigh gave me the
form of this contribution: since
I seemed to have a hand for
drawing, an ear for placenames
and the legs for boreens, why
should I not make a maps of
the islands, for which endless
summersful of visitors would
thank and pay me”
Stones of Aran: Pilgramage 1986
Maps and Fractals
Stone of Aran: Pilgrimage
“Computational thinking will have become
ingrained in everyone’s lives when ….trees are
drawn upside down.” Wing 2006
“The Problem”: Urban Forest Projects: Canopy Cover
 Planting Prioritization Project
 Chicago Trees Initiative
Regulation / Ordinances:
 Landscape Ordinance
 Energy Efficient Building Code
 Reflective Roofing Code
 Rooftop Garden Code
 Municipal Code
 Chicago Trees Initiative
 American Express Tree Planting
 Gateway Green Community Tree Program
 Openlands TreeKeepers
The Problem
Ambitious tree planting programs have been proposed and instituted across the
globe, from the celebrated Green Belt movement established by Nobel laureate
Wangari Maathai, which since 1977 has planted 30 million trees in Kenya, to
MillionTreesNYC, part of that city’s recent environmental planning initiatives with
the goal of planting and caring for one million new trees across New York City's five
boroughs over the next decade.
These plans are matched in Chicago with its urban forest of
750,000 park and street trees, and the city’s Urban Tree
Initiative of doubling the tree canopy cover by 2040. Currently,
the Chicago Park District alone plants an additional 2,000 trees
annually across 570 parks as part of its district-wide capital tree
planting program.
A DeepMap of Lincoln Park: A
Biophysical Map
We are currently creating a
map of the tree
distribution, diversity and
health in Lincoln Park,
Chicago. When
completed [in summer
2010] we will have data on
every tree in the park.
Since Spring 2009 we have
mapped from Hollywood
to Lawrence Avenue.
Social Significance of Lincoln Park: A
• Mapping the social component of Lincoln park:
– What are the most used parts of the park?
– How does the park figure in folklore, memory,
history, poetry
– What is the best way of capturing this information
Denning’s “The Great Principles
of Computing”
• Computation is the execution of
an algorithm, a process that starts
from an initial state containing the
algorithm and input data, and goes
through a sequence of
intermediate states until a final,
goal state is reached.
• Communication is the
transmission of information from
one process or object to another.
• Coordination is control (through
communication, for example) of
the timing of computation at
participating processes in order to
achieve a certain goal.
• Recollection is the encoding and
organization of data in ways to
make it efficient to search and
perform other operations.
• Automation is the mapping of
computation to physical systems
that perform them.
• Evaluation is the statistical,
numerical, or experimental
analysis of data.
• Design is the organization (using
abstraction, modularization,
aggregation, decomposition) of a
system, process, object, etc.
From: Computational Thinking Across the Curriculum: A Conceptual Framework by Ljubomir Perkovi´c and Amber
Settle College of Computing and Digital Media DePaul University December 18, 2009;
Breaking down the task
Identifying Trees
Measuring Tree Size
Spatial locations of Trees
Tree health assessment
• Snapshot of Diversity
• Comparison of Parks and
Semi-Natural Areas
• Evaluating use of park
– Frequency of visits
– Types of activity
• Evaluating knowledge of
• Memories/affiliation with
• Google Earth Map
summarizing the
biophysical data and social
Tree Identifications
White Ash
Fraxinus americana
Like the other ashes, white ash has speartip, lightly serrated leaflets, in opposite sets
of 5-13 leaflets per leaf, with odd one at the
tip. The unique trait of white ash is the
whitish underside of the leaves. The tree
has the characteristic diamond-forming
corduroy-like bark on older trees, and seeds
enclosed in papery paddle-shaped keys that
hang down in bunches. It is common in
woodlands as well as residential streets and
parks, and the leaves turn yellow to purple
in the fall. The dioecious flowers are windpollinated and inconspicuous. White ash is
common throughout the Eastern-central
United States to the East Coast.
Ash trees have long been used for baseball
bats and many other uses because of its
strong wood. Ash trees also are known to
have healing properties for skin ailments.
Julie Allen
Liam Heneghan, DePaul University
Tilia is the scientific name for the tree more
commonly known to North Americans as the
Linden or the Basswood tree. In addition to NE
North America, the Tilia tree is found in
temperate parts of Asia and Europe.
The Tilia is a deciduous tree (one that sheds its
leaves annually) that averages in height from 70
to 100 feet tall. The leaves of the tree are
asymmetrical, smooth, heart-shaped, and usually
from two to eight inches across. The veins on the
leaves are well defined, and the edges have small
Along with these leaves, the tree produces a
small fruit, resembling a pea, which has its own
“leaf” called a bract. The bract is ribbon-like and
yellowish. The tree also flowers which produces
a sweet honey that is very valuable for beekeepers. The flowers from the tree are often used
in herbal tea. The flowers can also be used
medically to cure ailments such as: coughs, colds,
headaches, and can be used as a diuretic.
The wood of the Tilia tree is soft and easily
worked which makes it ideal for wooden
modeling and for making guitars.
Alex Ulp
Liam Heneghan, DePaul University
• Each tree is identified to
• A Geographical Positioning
System [GPS] point of each tree
encountered is taken with a
handheld unit.
• A Diameter at Breast Height
(DBH) [1.37 m from the
ground] is taken.
• The tree ID, GPS points, and
DBH are entered into Google
Earth [this will be subsequently
transferred to a Geographical
Information System for more
extensive analysis.]
Social Significance of Lincoln Park: A
• Mapping the social component of Lincoln park:
– What are the most used parts of the park?
– How does the park figure in folklore, memory,
history, poetry
– What is the best way of capturing this information
Social Component
• Mapping the social
component of Lincoln
– What are the most used
parts of the park?
– How does the park figure
in folklore, memory,
history, poetry
– What is the best way of
capturing this
information etc…..?
Results to Date I
DeepMap Stories