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

Crowson, M., Isaac, N. J. B., Wade, A. J. ORCID:, Norris, K., Freeman, R. and Pettorelli, N. (2023) Using geotagged crowdsourced data to assess the diverse sociocultural values of conservation areas: England as a case study. Ecology and Society, 28 (4). 28. ISSN 1708-3087

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To link to this item DOI: 10.5751/ES-14330-280428


Humanity benefits immensely from nature, including through cultural ecosystem services; geotagged crowdsourced data provide an opportunity to characterize these 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 sociocultural value (such as educational, inspirational and spiritual value). 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 here compare Flickr and Wikipedia datasets in their ability to help characterise 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 sociocultural value of nature, building on the strengths of more established crowdsourced data.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Geography and Environmental Science
ID Code:113667
Publisher:Resilience Alliance


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