Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists use Flickr photos to assess value of natural tourist attractions

Date:
October 21, 2013
Source:
Stanford University
Summary:
Scientists use social media -- vacation photos from Flickr -- to study how people use natural areas for tourism and recreation.

Yellowstone vacation. Scientists are using vacation photos from crowd-sourced social media to study how and when people use natural areas for tourism and recreation.
Credit: Liz Rauer

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 human-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.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Stanford University. The original article was written by Elizabeth Rauer. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Spencer A. Wood, Anne D. Guerry, Jessica M. Silver, Martin Lacayo. Using social media to quantify nature-based tourism and recreation. Scientific Reports, 2013; 3 DOI: 10.1038/srep02976

Cite This Page:

Stanford University. "Scientists use Flickr photos to assess value of natural tourist attractions." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131021211722.htm>.
Stanford University. (2013, October 21). Scientists use Flickr photos to assess value of natural tourist attractions. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131021211722.htm
Stanford University. "Scientists use Flickr photos to assess value of natural tourist attractions." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131021211722.htm (accessed October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) Inspired by the way a chameleon changes its colour to disguise itself; scientists in Poland want to replace traditional camouflage paint with thousands of electrochromic plates that will continuously change colour to blend with its surroundings. The first PL-01 concept tank prototype will be tested within a few years, with scientists predicting that a similar technology could even be woven into the fabric of a soldiers' clothing making them virtually invisible to the naked eye. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jet Sales Lift Boeing Profit 18 Pct.

Jet Sales Lift Boeing Profit 18 Pct.

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) Strong jet demand has pushed Boeing to raise its profit forecast for the third time, but analysts were disappointed by its small cash flow. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) Now that the U.S. is restricting travel from West Africa, some are dropping questions about a travel ban and instead asking about visa bans. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) Stepping up their vigilance against Ebola, federal authorities said Wednesday that everyone traveling into the US from Ebola-stricken nations will be monitored for symptoms for 21 days. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins