Using mobile phone data to measure and map visitation in Forest Promotional Complex ‘Sudety Zachodnie'
Wykorzystanie danych z telefonów komórkowych do pomiaru i mapowania wizyt w Leśnym Kompleksie Promocyjnym „Sudety Zachodnie”
Sylwan 166 (10):647-661, 2022
Available online: 2023-03-03
Open Access (CC-BY)
big data • Forest Promotional Complex • human mobility • mobile phones • monitoring

Due to the spatial distribution of forests and their area, there is currently no monitoring of society’s activities in forests on a large scale. However, the high level of interest of spending time in the forest, especially for recreational purposes, makes information about the spatial and temporal distribution of activities in forest areas important. This is especially true since introducing the concept of forests with increased social function in 2022. This forest category will include forests that are intensively used for recreational purposes, in the direct neighbourhood of recre− ation resorts and forests in zones A and B in health resorts. The information on the temporal and spatial distribution of social activities, including its intensity, seems to be an essential element for the correct identification of the aforementioned forest category. Taking the above into account, the aim of the study was to use the data generated by mobile phone users to: i) determine the number of people in forest areas in the Forest Promotional Complex ‘Sudety Zachodnie’ in different time perspectives and spatial scales (the entire area of analysis, forest range and grid); ii) determination of activity hotspots (decile 10=highest intensity); iii) defining the characteristics of visitors (gender, age and sports activity profile); iv) place of residence, divided into inhabitants of the counties within Dolnośląskie voivodeship, other voivodeships and foreign tourists. The main results indicate that in 2019, the research area (22.3 thousand hectares) was visited by over 370,000 unique visitors. The average monthly number of visitors to the research area was 30.8 thousand with the volume of visitors varying every month. The highest number of people was observed in July (48.3 thousand) and June (38.2 thousand), while the lowest was observed in May and November, 13.3 and 18.4 thousand, respectively. The study area was most frequently visited by people aged 30−44 (37%), followed by 45−59 (25%) and 20−29 (26%). Among the visitors, 56% were women whereas 44% were men. The analysis of the place of residence of forest visitors over the whole year showed that 46% of tourists lived in Dolnośląskie voivodeship, 40% in other voivodeships and 14% were foreign tourists. The most visited forest areas were located in the Szronowiec, Czerniawa, Kamieńczyk and Orle forest ranges. Data from mobile phones provided information about visits to forests in the Forest Promotional Complex ‘Sudety Zachodnie’. It should be stated that based on the existing literature that the use and specificity of data from mobile phones for visitors’ monitoring in forest areas can be a valuable source of information.

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