Smartphone GPS tracking—Inexpensive and efficient data collection on recreational movement

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http://hdl.handle.net/10138/309431

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Korpilo , S , Virtanen , T & Lehvävirta , S 2017 , ' Smartphone GPS tracking—Inexpensive and efficient data collection on recreational movement ' , Landscape and Urban Planning , vol. 157 , pp. 608–617 . https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landurbplan.2016.08.005

Title: Smartphone GPS tracking—Inexpensive and efficient data collection on recreational movement
Author: Korpilo, Silviya; Virtanen, Tarmo; Lehvävirta, Susanna
Other contributor: University of Helsinki, Environmental Sciences
University of Helsinki, Environmental Sciences
University of Helsinki, Environmental Sciences

Date: 2017-01
Language: eng
Number of pages: 10
Belongs to series: Landscape and Urban Planning
ISSN: 0169-2046
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landurbplan.2016.08.005
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/309431
Abstract: This research note describes the methodological and practical applications of using smartphone GPS tracking (SGT) to explore the spatial distribution and density of recreational movement in multiple-use urban forests. We present findings from the pilot phase of an on-going case study in Keskuspuisto (Central park), Helsinki, Finland. The study employs an inventive and inexpensive approach for participatory data collection i.e. gathering GPS data from recreational users who have already recorded their routes for purposes other than research, using any kind of sports tracking application on their personal mobile phones. We used the SGT data to examine visitor spatial patterns on formal trails and informal paths, and present examples with runners and mountain bikers. Hotspot mapping of mountain bikers’ off-trail movement was conducted identifying several locations with clustering of off-trail use. Small-scale field mapping of three hotspot areas confirmed that the method accurately located areas of high use intensity where visible effects of path widening and high level of wear on the forest floor vegetation could be observed. We conclude that the SGT methodology offers great opportunities for gathering useful and up-to-date spatial information for adaptive planning and management as it highlights areas where conservation and visitor management measures may need to be adjusted. We suggest that this method warrants testing also for other user-centred research and planning purposes.
Subject: 1172 Environmental sciences
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