Title

Advantages and Limitations of Using Mobile Apps for Protected Area Monitoring and Management

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title

Society and Natural Resources

Publisher

Taylor & Francis Inc.

Publication Date

2-18-2019

Volume

32

Issue

4

First Page

473

Last Page

488

Abstract

Digital technologies, including participatory internet mapping, social media and smartphones, provide new avenues for research in outdoor recreation and tourism. The potential to reach a greater audience and collect visitation data on a broader scale, with less costs than traditional paper surveys, are key advantages that have increased the use of these novel technologies. Using of mobile apps for data collection is still at the experimental stage. We evaluate previous attempts to use apps for monitoring recreation and tourism in protected areas, as an alternative to other in situ or online methods. We present a pilot study implemented in Jotunheimen National Park (Norway), where we developed a mobile app for visitor monitoring and real-time mapping of values and experiences. We present the lessons learned, give suggestions on how and for what apps can be used, and discuss the advantages and limitations of using smartphones for visitor monitoring in protected areas.

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