Treedom Explained - Part 1: Geotagging

Dec 08, 2021 | written by:

Every tree is part of a project ... and, therefore, also part of a story. A story that needs two things to work: a photo and GPS data of the tree. In this post, we explain why they are so important.

Photographing and locating the trees is a gargantuan logistical task. But it starts very small – with a GPS device and one of the many smallholders involved in our projects around the world. Because one thing is certain: it is only through the great commitment of these people that it is even possible at all to process every single tree – after all, we are talking about over 2 million trees.

A photo, the GPS tracking and the picture goes online. The process itself is pretty straightforward. But better to let an expert speak about this: here, Theophane from Kisii (Kenya) explains how geotagging works.


Exciting, isn't it? The question of "why" remains, though. Let's look at the reasons why geotagging is so important to us.

  1. Quality control of the trees

Geotagging helps us in our daily work. To understand this, we have to look at it from several angles. First of all, there is the forestry perspective.

Our forestry managers are responsible for planning, implementing and controlling the projects. The photos of the trees help them with this a lot. Because, sooner or later, all the photos end up there – providing important information and insights into how the project is going. How many trees were actually planted during the season? Will the targets be achieved? Following the on-site visits, the photos are the next best opportunity for checking the quality and health of the young trees.

  1. Connection to the user

We want to provide every user with a picture of their tree. That is why the photos and GPS data are published on the users' profiles after transplanting. Two worlds come together – the digital and the real.

Why? It's quite simple: this is the only way to create a real emotional connection between the tree, the tree sponsor and the local smallholder who tagged the tree. We make an impact on behalf of the planet and, at the same time, are able to connect people around the world.

  1. Digital transparency

Geotagging enables us to guarantee that each of the trees has actually been planted. A tree cannot be sold twice. This is because the geodata are entered in a public tree register. There are now over 2 million trees in this register – every tree that we have planted since the company was founded in 2010.

The trees can still be viewed there after years, because we have long-term contracts with our project partners. It is not enough to just plant trees. They also need to be looked after. Registering the trees can guarantee that.

Of course, it would be easier to just plant the trees out. We could certainly plant significantly more trees that way. However, there are many good reasons not to do that: transparency, traceability, quality control and the ability to maintain a long-term perspective.

The most important reason, though, is yet another one. We want to do our work the right way.

Sounds interesting? If you want to plant a tree yourself, you can easily do that on – in just one click.

Plant now For businesses