Detailing an Approach for Cost-Effective Visitor-Use Monitoring Using Crowdsourced Activity Data


  • William L. Rice Pennsylvania State University
  • J. Tom Mueller Pennsylvania State University
  • Alan R. Graefe Pennsylvania State University
  • B. Derrick Taff Pennsylvania State University



Crowdsourced data, heatmaps, Strava, undesignated trails, visitor use, visitor use monitoring


Traditional techniques for monitoring and managing visitor flows are expensive and time consuming. This research note presents a novel, cost-effective, and quick method for managers to assess the level of use within their management area. Using free crowdsourced heatmaps provided by Strava, GPS recorded use was georeferenced with existing trail data. By overlaying the designated trail network with actual use, this note presents a method through which managers can quickly see where undesignated use is occurring and how extreme that use may be. Similarly, this method can be used as a first step in the process of deciding where traditional monitoring efforts should be employed. The advantages and limitations of this approach are subsequently discussed.Subscribe to JPRA





Research Notes