Weather & Summer Spatial Behavior of U.S. National Park Visitors (Flickr data 2006 - 2018)

Resource Type
Dataset : geographic information system (GIS) data, images: photographs, drawings, graphical representations, program source code
  • Wilkins, Emily J. (Utah State University)
  • Smith, Jordan W. (Utah State University)
Publication Date
Funding Reference
  • National Science Foundation
    • Award Number: 1633756
  • Utah State University Office of Research
  • Institute of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism at Utah State University
  • Abstract

    This dataset corresponds to the following paper: Wilkins, E. J., Howe, P. D., & Smith, J. W. (2021). Social media data reveal ecoregional variation in how weather influences visitor behavior in U.S. National Park Service Units. Scientific Reports.

    In this paper, we investigate how daily temperature and precipitation in the summer influence visitors' spatial behavior in 110 U.S. National Park Service Units. We use Flickr data from 2006 - 2018 to uncover visitors locations within parks, and connect each geotagged point to the weather at the date the photo was taken (using Daymet data), as well as nearby infrastructure and environmental features (using OpenStreetMap data).

    While we cannot provide the raw Flickr data due to privacy concerns, we include the final database we used after all data collection, cleaning, and processing (all_ecoregions_Flickr.csv). All personally identifiable information is deleted from this database. This database was used to run the statistical tests presented in the paper, as well as generate the maps (R code included).

    We also include maps of each of the 110 study sites that show the general summer spatial distributions of Flickr posts in each park, and well as how the spatial distributions differ by hot and cold summer days.
Temporal Coverage
  • 2006-01-01 / 2018-12-31
    Time Period: Sun Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2006--Mon Dec 31 00:00:00 EST 2018 (Data only from May - September)
  • 2019-12-01 / 2019-12-31
    Collection Date(s): Sun Dec 01 00:00:00 EST 2019--Tue Dec 31 00:00:00 EST 2019
Geographic Coverage
  • 110 U.S. National Park Service Units
Sampled Universe
Any visitor to 110 U.S. National Park Service Units who has uploaded a photo to Flickr. .
We collected all Flickr data within the study sites, and filtered the dataset to only include one post per user, per day, within a 10 meter radius. 
Collection Mode
  • web scraping;

    All data was collected by writing Python and R scripts to interact with APIs.

This study is freely available to the general public via web download.
  • Is version of
    DOI: 10.3886/E119191
  • Wilkins, Emily J., Peter D. Howe, and Jordan W. Smith. “Social Media Reveal Ecoregional Variation in How Weather Influences Visitor Behavior within U.S. National Park Service Units.” Scientific Reports, 2021.
    • ID: (DOI)

Update Metadata: 2021-02-12 | Issue Number: 1 | Registration Date: 2021-02-12