Annotated Bibliography

Part I: Applications of GIS in Planning Wilderness Recreation Spaces

1. Boers, Bas, and Stuart Cottrell. “Sustainable Tourism Infrastructure Planning: A GIS-Supported Approach.” Tourism Geographies, vol. 9, no. 1, 2007, pp. 1–21., Accessed Oct. 2021. 

In this paper, Boers and Cottrell examine an approach to planning for and developing a “sustainable tourism infrastructure planning (STIP) framework” to wildlife areas using a geographical information systems approach. This approach involves three phases and this process was applied in the Sinharaja Forest Reserve in Sri Lanka to test efficacy. This research aims to identify, map, and implement transportation to and within wilderness areas in a way that best supports visitors and minimizes effects on the wilderness area itself. GIS is central to this strategy, since it can assess current infrastructure, identify new locations suitable for project objectives, and facilitate visualization and simulation of multiple proposed alternatives. Data was collected in 2000 via interviews, surveys, and qualitative observations to best assess the carrying capacity for trails and visitor services. This data was then added to a GIS in a weighted raster format to determine zones of interest. Finally, the ‘Least Cost Path’ function was used to optimize a path which served the most visitor opportunities and was closest to the most service facilities. Finally, the cost of each path was calculated and the results ranked. This study provides a framework through which trail planning for new wilderness recreation areas can be achieved and optimized. 

2. Olafsson, Anton Stahl, and Hans Skov-Petersen. “The Use of GIS-Based Support of Recreational Trail Planning by Local Governments.” Applied Spatial Analysis and Policy, vol. 7, no. 2, 2013, pp. 149–168., Accessed Oct. 2021. 

This study looks at the applications of GIS in recreational planning in Denmark to determine the extent, specificity, and potential for uses of GIS technologies in park planning. Surveys were distributed to 98 Dutch municipalities’ parks departments, questioning their approaches to trail planning using GIS technologies. The results show that in planning for recreation trails using GIS, three primary factors are most important to success: experience of the user, quality of the data used in the GIS (both digital and physical), and field work/ground-truthing. This study points to the viability and, indeed, necessity of using GIS in planning for wilderness recreation areas, though the authors emphasize  that this is the case only when the users are advanced/highly proficient. 

3. Brown, Greg. “Public Participation GIS (PPGIS) for Regional and Environmental Planning: Reflections on a Decade of Empirical Research.” Urban and Regional Information Systems Association Journal, vol. 25, no. 2, 2012, pp. 7-18., Accessed Oct. 2021.

This study is an examination of  public participation GIS (PPGIS) and how it can be used in planning for national parks. Brown discusses a case study where PPGIS was employed and highlights the usefulness of PPGIS, as well as its limitations in managing a National Park for both visitor use/enjoyment as well as conservation/preservation. Throughout the analysis of the case study, Brown points to the long history of PPGIS being used as a governmental and nongovernmental tool to facilitate public engagement in park and land planning. Specifically, Brown mentions that PPGIS is beneficial in park planning since it helps break open the often closed-door stakeholder meetings to give perspectives from stakeholders who may not have been able to get representation at the table. To demonstrate, the author looks at the procedures from 17 studies done in three countries over a decade. These studies collected geographic data from random park users about their use of parks and specific spatial attributes which were valuable to them. This data can help inform decision-making processes, identify areas of social interest and significance, and can lend local and regional stakeholder input to a planning process for new and existing parks. 

4. Brown, Greg, and Delene Weber. “Public Participation GIS: A New Method for National Park Planning.” Landscape and Urban Planning, vol. 102, no. 1, 2011, pp. 1–15., Accessed Oct. 2021.

Brown and Weber discuss public participation GIS (PPGIS) in this 2011 paper. PPGIS methodology is dissected from a 2009 park planning study and the strengths and weaknesses of the approach are highlighted. This case study used  PPGIS to gather community input for planning of 9 park units across 5 national parks, a wilderness area, and three historical sites. This study came at a time of review of the management plan of the parks and seeks to help update the plan to incorporate public feedback on where visitor experience could be improved as well as perceived impact on the environment of the study areas. The 2009 survey procedure consisted of two parts and was administered to both visitors and park staff. Part one was interactive mapping by participants to measure the experiences and perceived environmental impact of the area. The second part was a characteristic survey of the participant to generate participant demographics. Results were then translated into a GIS and used to generate differing management zones and levels of service for visitor amenities. As Brown and Weber point out, this information gives park planners terrific insight into several key metrics which can be incorporated into a decision-making process: visitor experience and preferences, visitor impacts as identified by staff, and staff experience and preference(s). These metrics could be collected for any new or existing park plan to create enhanced service areas, visitor experience, and to minimize visitor impact in sensitive areas. 

5. Kliskey, A.D. “Recreation Terrain Suitability Mapping: A Spatially Explicit Methodology for Determining Recreation Potential for Resource Use Assessment.” Landscape and Urban Planning, vol. 52, no. 1, 2000, pp. 33–43., Accessed Oct. 2021.

In Kliskey’s paper, the author details the application of GIS software to transform survey data into a suitability map for recreational snowmobilers in British Columbia. Kliskey uses a recreation terrain suitability index (RTSI) technique to best represent the users stated preferences. 309 snowmobilers were asked about their regular habits when they went out to recreate and also about their preferences for sites to recreate at. There was a respondent rate of 45%. Using principal component analysis, researchers got 6 principal components from the surveys which were important to recreationalists (openness, road access, remoteness, slope, snow conditions, and topography). Next, canopy and topographical data was taken from the BC Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Forests to be used in the suitability analysis. Each of the principle components were then weighted and the overlay of the maps was conducted in the Tangier watershed in the North Columbia Mountains. The result was a map showing different classes of suitability for snowmobiling. This paper is immensely powerful as a recreation planning tool, since it allows for user preference to dictate suitability. This can then be integrated with ecological data showing sensitivity, for example, to create a map showing where a new wilderness recreation area could be designated. This would have the effect of creating an area with high user satisfaction and low ecological impact. 

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