Greetings from Lapland!
We were happy to finalize our most recent analysis with social media data while visiting Metsähallitus – Parks Wildlife Finland in Rovaniemi and park managers in the Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park both in Ylläs and Pallas areas.
The article User-Generated Geographic Information for Visitor Monitoring in a National Park: A Comparison of Social Media Data and Visitor Survey, published on 16 March 2017, presents a multifaceted comparison between traditional survey data and geotagged social media data from Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park. Based on these two data sources, we analyzed (i) where do people go within the park; (ii) what are their activities; (iii) when do people visit the park and if there are temporal patterns in their activities; (iv) who the visitors are; (v) why people visit the national park; and (vi) what complementary information from social media can provide in addition to the results from traditional surveys.
Results for most popular activities, and most visited locations were similar based on the two data sources. As social media users are younger than the average park visitor, social media could contribute by providing additional information about the activities and preferences of younger age groups in the park. Also, despite evident limitations and biases in the data, social media has the potential to provide information with higher spatial and temporal resolution in comparison to traditional visitor surveys.
The paper was published in a special issue for Volunteered Geographic Information in the International Journal of Geo-information.
Link to article: http://www.mdpi.com/2220-9964/6/3/85