Trees are a vital part of the Earth’s terrestrial ecosystem and play an important role in our environment. More and more organisations are striving to build greener working and living spaces. Given this situation, many Nearmap customers want to know how to use Nearmap AI to help them achieve their goals. In this technical blog, we will show you how to get vegetation insights for your AOI in a few simple steps.

Nearmap AI provides data for vegetation coverage calculation. With our image library of 10+ years, you can see the trend for vegetation growth or loss. Furthermore, with the availability of other geospatial layers, you can explore more deep insights.

To get insights into the changes in the vegetation cover for your AOI, follow these steps:

  1. From the downloaded Nearmap AI Vegetation Pack, import the Vegetation_MediumHighVegetation layer into the free GIS software QGIS or any other GIS software. 
    We recommend that you connect through our WMS Custom Service and select the matching survey to visualise the truth on the ground on that specific date.

  2. Go to Vector, Analysis Tool, Basic Statistics for Fields and select Vegetation_MediumHIghVegetation as the Input layer.
    Choose ClippedAreaSqm or ClippedAreasqft based on your requirement.

    You’ll get a variety of different statistics – the ‘SUM’ is the value for the overall tree coverage in your AOI.

If you have multiple vintages of Nearmap AI Vegetation layers, simply repeat the steps above and then you can plot the trend in Microsoft Excel. In the example below, we have a chart for the overall tree coverage within our AOI in 2010, 2014, and 2020. We calculated the growth percentage for 2014 and 2020 comparing it with its respective previous vintage.

There are many different insights to explore from here. The possibilities depend on the availability of your in-house geospatial layers.

For example, to understand specifically how green the residential area within our AOI is, we downloaded the 2021 Mesh Block layer from the ABS website. ABS Mesh Block layer has information including land use category. We clipped the Mesh Block layer to our AOI and filtered to only the Residential Mesh Block.

  1. In QGIS, go to Vector, Geoprocessing Tools, Clip.
  2. Clip the Vegetation_MediumHighVegetation layers to the residential Mech Block layers.
  3. Use Basic Statistics for Fields as in step 2 earlier to get the overall tree coverage, and explore the trend in Excel.

Another possibility is to analyse where to plant more trees with the Lawn Grass layer in Nearmap AI Surfaces Pack, which includes the following layers:

  • Lawn Grass
  • Water Body
  • Asphalt
  • Concrete Slab
  • Natural (Soft)

Use the Lawn Grass layer, clip out the existing tree coverage, and utilise other land title/land ownership data available to find suitable spots to green your area of interest. To find out more, please get in touch at

Judy Chang

Product Marketing Manager based in Sydney, Australia

Judy has been working in the geospatial industry for more than 10 years. She has extensive technical experience, and loves putting it to use to help customers work more efficiently and solve problems.

She’s worked at Sensis, HERE Technologies, NBN and MapData Services. Judy’s previous experience as a consultant providing professional services opened up her career in presales. She enjoys connecting with Nearmap users.