Using geotagged crowdsourced data to assess the diverse socio-cultural values of conservation areas: England as a case study

Crowson, Merry; Isaac, Nick J.B. ORCID:; Wade, Andrew J.; Norris, Ken; Freeman, Robin; Pettorelli, Nathalie. 2023 Using geotagged crowdsourced data to assess the diverse socio-cultural values of conservation areas: England as a case study. Ecology and Society, 28 (4), 28. 15, pp.

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•Humanity benefits immensely from nature, including through cultural ecosystem services. Geotagged crowdsourced data provide an opportunity to characterize these services at large scales. Flickr data, for example, have been widely used as an indicator of recreational value, while Wikipedia data are increasingly being used as a measure of public interest, potentially capturing often overlooked and less-tangible aspects of socio-cultural values (such as educational, inspirational, and spiritual values). So far, few studies have explored how various geotagged crowdsourced data complement each other, or how correlated these may be, particularly at national scales. To address this knowledge gap, we compare Flickr and Wikipedia datasets in their ability to help characterize the sociocultural value of designated areas in England and assess how this value relates to species richness. •Our results show that there was at least one Flickr photo in 35% of all designated areas in England, and at least one Wikipedia page in 60% of them. The Wikipedia and Flickr data were shown not to be independent of each other and were significantly correlated. Species richness was positively and significantly associated with the presence of at least one geotagged Wikipedia page; more biodiverse designated areas, however, were not any more likely to have at least one Flickr photo within them. Our results highlight the potential for new, emerging datasets to capture and communicate the socio-cultural value of nature, building on the strengths of more established crowdsourced data.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Biodiversity (Science Area 2017-)
ISSN: 1708-3087
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link.
Additional Keywords: big data, biodiversity, cultural ecosystem services, geotagged data, natural capital, value
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Data and Information
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Date made live: 04 Jan 2024 13:50 +0 (UTC)

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