Benefits of crowd-sourced GPS information for modelling the recreation ecosystem service

Abstract : Modelling cultural ecosystem services is an enduring challenge, raising issues about the integration and spatialization of immaterial values and benefits, and their contingency on local preferences. Building on the Recreation Opportunity Spectrum framework, we present a novel methodology for assessing the recreation service using GPS tracks downloaded from crowd-sourced websites: the Grelou model (Georeferencing REcreation in Local OUtdoors), here applied to the Grenoble living area (French Alps). GPS tracks revealed the complete spatial extent of visitor presence and enabled modelling visitation networks for ten recreation activities with great spatial accuracy, thus providing a spatial estimate of recreational multifunctionality-expressed as the sum of networks. After coupling track networks with landscape preference and proximity factors, Grelou assessed the recreation service as a combination of opportunity and preferences, and identified recreation hotspots of different profiles such as aroundoor leisure or outdoor sport. We performed an online survey among local sports associations using an interactive map to select districts visited by respondents (~1000 people). The declared visitor presence for recreation purposes was highly spatially congruent with Grelou outputs (R 2 = 0.89). Detailed analysis of responses on selection criteria for recreationists validates our choice of critical factors underlying both the recreation opportunity potential and the expected visitation frequency over the whole study area. We also analyzed outputs of the InVESt recreation model against the same visitation explanatory factors. Differences between the two models allowed us to pinpoint biases and weaknesses in the InVESt recreation modelling framework based on crowd-sourced photographs. By making use of an increasingly available data source (GPS tracks), Grelou offers a standardized and flexible way to assess the recreation service associated with multiple recreation practices. Its high spatial accuracy supports the analysis of spatial relationships with other ecoystems services and the integration of recreation into environmental assessments , land management and planning.
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Coline Byczek, Pierre-Yves Longaretti, Julien Renaud, Sandra Lavorel. Benefits of crowd-sourced GPS information for modelling the recreation ecosystem service. PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2018, 13 (10), pp.e0202645. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0202645⟩. ⟨hal-02404722⟩

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