Navigation Links
Stanford scientists use Flickr photos to assess value of natural tourist attractions

Scientists affiliated with the Natural Capital Project at Stanford University have found a way to use photo-sharing site Flickr to measure where and when people are using natural areas for recreation and tourism. This information can help measure the benefits and value that these areas provide to society.

Tourism is big industry, contributing $6 billion a year to the world economy, and it's expected to grow to $10 billion over the next 10 years. While a great deal is known about how man-made tourist destinations, such as Disneyland, contribute to local economies, it has been hard to figure out the contribution of natural areas such as parks and beaches.

Tapping into the big data collected by social media sites, researchers at the Natural Capital Project utilized information from 1.4 million geo-tagged images in Flickr, and the user profiles associated with them, to see where people were going and where they were coming from. Comparing this information to data from on-site surveys at 836 recreational sites around the world, they found that the information from Flickr can serve as a reliable indicator of how many people visit a tourist attraction each year and when they are visiting. Their research was published Oct. 17 in Scientific Reports.

This is the first study to ground truth the use of social media data to predict these visitation rates.

The research shows how "information from crowd-sourced social media is revolutionizing the way we study people and understand their choices," said lead author Spencer Wood.

"No one has been able to crack the problem of figuring out visitation rates and values for tourism and recreation without on-site studies until now," said Anne Guerry, lead scientist at the Natural Capital Project. Until now, researchers had to rely on local surveys and head counts to get this type of visitation information. Using social media to get ideas of where people are visiting, and where they are coming from, is faster, less expensive and better for looking at changes over time and space.

This new approach provides the chance to clarify what attracts people to natural areas, and to determine if changes in ecosystems lead to changes in visitation rates. It also holds the promise of better natural area management because land-use planners, park managers and government officials can use the information on visitation rates to better manage their lands for the people who use them.


Contact: Bjorn Carey, Stanford
Stanford University

Related biology news :

1. Technical Program Announced for TSensors (Trillion Sensor) Summit at Stanford University for October 22-25, 2013
2. Stanford researchers say peak oil concerns should ease
3. Recovery of Hawaiian green sea turtles still short of historic levels, Stanford-led study suggests
4. Stanford engineers monitor heart health using paper-thin flexible skin
5. Stanford researchers map out an alternative energy future for New York
6. Stanfords Markus Covert wins Paul Allen Distinguished Investigator Award
7. Stanford scientists calculate the carbon footprint of grid-scale battery technologies
8. Stanford scientists help shed light on key component of Chinas pollution problem
9. UC Berkeley, UCSF and Stanford join forces to help commercialize university innovations
10. Stanford researchers develop tool for reading the minds of mice
11. Going negative: Stanford scientists explore new technologies that remove atmospheric CO2
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Stanford scientists use Flickr photos to assess value of natural tourist attractions
(Date:10/29/2015)... , Oct. 29, 2015  Rubicon Genomics, Inc., ... U.S. distribution of its DNA library preparation products, ... Rubicon,s new ThruPLEX Plasma-seq kit. ThruPLEX Plasma-seq has ... preparation of NGS libraries for liquid biopsies--the analysis ... and prognostic applications in cancer and other conditions. ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... , October 29, 2015 ... biometric authentication company focused on the growing mobile ... wallet announces that StackCommerce, a leading marketplace to ... featuring the Wocket® smart wallet on StackSocial for ... ) ("NXT-ID" or the "Company"), a biometric authentication ...
(Date:10/27/2015)... -- In the present market scenario, security is one ... verticals such as banking, healthcare, defense, electronic gadgets, and ... secure & simplified access control and growing rate of ... bank accounts, misuse of users, , and so on. ... and smartphones are expected to provide potential opportunities for ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... Schlieren, Switzerland (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... more organotypic 3D cell culture models, has promoted Melanie Aregger to serve as Chief ... Manager, Ms. Aregger served on the management team and was promoted to ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - ProMetic Life Sciences ... today that Mr. Pierre Laurin , President and Chief ... at the upcoming Piper Jaffray 27 th Annual Healthcare ... on December 1-2, 2015. st , at ... one-on-one meetings throughout the day. The presentation will be available ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015 HemoShear ... on discovering drugs for metabolic disorders, announced today ... to its Board of Directors (BOD). Mr. Watkins ... of Human Genome Sciences (HGS), and also served ... Jim Powers , Chairman and CEO ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... YORK , November 24, 2015 ... in a European healthcare ... which the companies will work closely together in identifying European ... unmet medical need. The collaboration is underpinned by a significant ... fund. This is the first investment by Bristol-Myers Squibb in ...
Breaking Biology Technology: