CITIZEN-GENERATED GEODATA FOR NATURAL PARKS USE ANALYSIS: INSIGHTS FROM FACEBOOK IN THE INSUBRIA REGION
Green areas such as natural parks provide citizens with a number of health and leisure benefits, often accessible with a few minutes of travel from urban centres. Moreover, the natural heritage enclosed in most green areas plays a pivotal role also in the economic integrity of these territories by driving local growth thanks to the establishment of tourism activities. In this context, the monitoring of both visitors and dwellers fluxes, as well as destination preferences, is key to provide land managers with critical information to shape local management and promotion strategies. This paper presents a preliminary investigation on the use of citizen-generated geodata -provided by Facebook- to empower the generation of space- and time-resolved insights into people fluxes in natural parks through a comparison with neighbouring urbanized areas. The Insubria region, a historical-geographical area between Northern Italy and Southern Switzerland, is considered a case study. Facebook users’ population and movements data are analysed to identify trends and metrics on fluxes and support the estimation of the recreational and tourism value of natural parks. Results are presented as graphs and summary statistics and discussed according to their possible integration into territorial management and promotional practices.