Developments in big data for park management: a review of mobile phone location data for visitor use management

Peter Whitney, William L. Rice, Jeremy Sage, Jennifer M. Thomsen, Iree Wheeler, Wayne Freimund, Elena Bigart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Land managers and public agencies strive to manage parks and protected areas (PPAs) for a balance between the preservation of ecological health and the visitor experience. To fulfill this dual mandate, an understanding of recreationist visitation patterns in PPAs is vital. Mobile phones, passively capturing location data while in use throughout our daily lives, represent a significant opportunity for PPA managers and researchers. This study conducts a scoping literature review to understand how mobile phone location data has been used in PPA research to measure visitation, spatial patterns of use, and visitor experiences in PPAs. The body of research included in this review provides methodological guidance and highlights room for growth in our understanding of the use, limitations, and analysis of mobile phone location data. This scoping literature review presents existing applications of mobile phone location data in PPA research, limitations identified, and opportunities for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)758-776
Number of pages19
JournalLandscape Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2023


  • Mobile phone location data
  • cell phone data
  • parks and protected areas
  • scoping review
  • visitor use


Dive into the research topics of 'Developments in big data for park management: a review of mobile phone location data for visitor use management'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this