Using crowd-sourced photos to assess seasonal patterns of visitor use in mountain-protected areas
- 145 Downloads
Managing protected areas effectively requires information about patterns of visitor use, but these data are often limited. We explore how geotagged photos on Flickr, a popular photo-sharing social-media site, can generate hotspot maps and distribution models of temporal and spatial patterns of use in two mountain-protected areas of high conservation value. In Aconcagua Provincial Park (Argentina), two routes to the summit of Aconcagua were used in summer, but most visitors stayed close to the main road, using formal and informal walking trails and the Visitor Centre, while in winter, there was very limited visitation. In Kosciuszko National Park (Australia), alpine walking trails were popular in summer, but in winter, most visitors stayed in the lower altitude ski resorts and ski trails. Results demonstrate the usefulness of social-media data alone as well as a complement for visitor monitoring, providing spatial and temporal information for site-specific and park-level management of visitors and potential impacts in conservation areas.
KeywordsAconcagua Provincial Park ALPINE Geotagged photos Informal trails Kosciuszko National Park MaxEnt modelling
We thank Ruben Massarelli from Aconcagua Provincial Park who provided us with visitor statistics for the park and Dirección de Recursos Naturales Renovables, Mendoza, for providing the GIS layers for Aconcagua. We also thank Tim Greenville, Pamela O’Brien, and Anthony Evans for providing traffic counter location data and information regarding visitor use patterns in Kosciuszko National Park. Thank you also to Will Dorrington for providing GIS layers for Kosciuszko National Park, and Christopher Darlington for providing data on visitor use of the alpine area in the park.
- Antoniou, V., J. Morley, and M. Haklay. 2010. Web 2.0 geotagged photos: Assessing the spatial dimension of the phenomenon. Geomatica 64: 99–110.Google Scholar
- Bizarro, S., R.M. Nogueira Mendes, T. Santos, and R.P. Julião. 2016. Monitoring outdoor recreation in Serra da Estrela Natural Park, Portugal. In D. Vasiljević et al., eds. Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Monitoring and Management of Visitors in Recreational and Protected Areas: (Vol. MMV 8—Proceedings). 8th International Conference on Monitoring and Management of Visitors in Recreational and Protected Areas. Novi Sad, Serbia. 26–30 September. pp. 137–139.Google Scholar
- Debarbieux, B., M. Oiry Varacca, G. Rudaz, D. Maselli, T. Kohler, and M. Jurek (eds.). 2014. Tourism in mountain regions: Hopes, fears and realities. Sustainable Mountain Development Series. Geneva, Switzerland: UNIGE, CDE, SDC.Google Scholar
- Elith, J., S.J. Phillips, T. Hastie, M. Dudí, Y. E. Chee, and C.J. Yates. 2011. A statistical explanation of MaxEnt for ecologists. Diversity and Distributions 17: 43–57.Google Scholar
- Hammitt, W.E., D.N. Cole, and C. Monz. 2015. Wildland recreation: Ecology and management, 3rd ed. Chichester, UK: Wiley Blackwell.Google Scholar
- Hausmann, A., T. Toivonen, R. Slotow, H. Tenkanen, A. Moilanen, V. Heikinheimo, and E. Di Minin. 2017. Social media data can be used to understand tourists’ preferences for nature-based experiences in protected areas. Conservation Letters. Advance online publication.Google Scholar
- Heikinheimo, V., E. Di Minin, H. Tenkanen, A. Hausmann, J. Erkkonen, and T. Toivonen. 2017. User-generated geographic information for visitor monitoring in a national park: A comparison of social media data and visitor survey. ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information 6: 85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Hennig, S. 2017. OpenStreetMap used in protected area management. The example of recreational infrastructure in Berchtesgaden National Park. Eco-mont 9: 30–41.Google Scholar
- Johnston, S.W., and A. Growcock. 2005. Visiting the Kosciuszko alpine area: Visitor numbers, characteristics and activities. Gold Coast, Australia: CRC.Google Scholar
- Massarelli. 2016. Estadisticas del Parque Provincial Aconcagua. Unpublished report. Direccion de Recursos Naturales Renovables, Gobierno de Mendoza, Argentina.Google Scholar
- Musa, G., A. Carr, and J. Higham. 2016. Mountaineering tourism. Oxford, UK: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Newsome, D., S.A. Moore, and R.K. Dowling. 2012. Natural area tourism: Ecology, impacts and management. Bristol: Channel View Publications.Google Scholar
- Poushter, J. 2016. Smartphone ownership and internet usage continues to climb in emerging economies. Washington D.C.: Pew Research Center. Retrieved 18 September 2017. http://www.diapoimansi.gr/PDF/pew_research%201.pdf.
- Roy Morgan Research LTD. 2015. Annual visits to PWG managed parks in New South Wales. Brisbane, QLD. Retrieved 24 July 2017 from: http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/resources/research/2014-nsw-parks-visitation-survey-report.pdf.
- van Zanten, B.T., D.B. van Berkel, R.K. Meetemeyer, J.W. Smith, K.F. Tieskens, and P.H. Vergurg. 2016. Continental scale quantification of landscape values using social media data. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 113: 12974–12979.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Worboys, G., and C. Pickering. 2002. Managing the Kosciuszko alpine area: Conservation milestones and future challenges. Mountain Tourism Research Report Series: No. 3. Gold Coast, Australia: CRC.Google Scholar