Incorporating social spatial data in sustainable management: Mapping tourism-recreational activities of locals and tourists in Hood Canal, Washington using ArcGIS.
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The Hood Canal watershed is a saltwater fjord that provides ample and diverse opportunities for tourism and recreational activities such as camping, boating, shellfishing, swimming, and hiking. The current tourism literature does not have a strong focus on local recreation trends and whether locals partake in different recreational activities than tourists who visit the same region. In order to address this gap, I collected and analyzed social spatial data using an online map survey to understand the activities of Hood Canal locals and people who visit the region. InSEAM, an online tool, was used to test if this method is useful in gathering spatial data. The survey asked various demographic questions and perception questions about the health of the Hood Canal and the impact of tourism-recreational activities. On the actual map, participants drew polygons, lines or points to represent locations of where they enjoy tourism/recreational activities. I recoded the data into seven larger categories and analyzed using ArcGIS and a Pearson 2 test. Non-motorized shore activities accounted for the most activities done in Hood Canal. Results show there are differences among the types of activities locals and tourists participated in as well as in their perception of how their activities impacted the overall health of the Hood Canal. InSEAM was effective in collecting data stored in GIS format and removed the need to digitize paper maps or convert them into GIS formats. It provided a simple way to engage stakeholders by allowing them to complete the survey at their convenience. To make the tool more effective, educational information about mapping should be sent out to users beforehand. The results provide tourism brokers, local residents, tourists and managers with visual representations of how the watershed is being used for recreation and tourism purposes by locals and by tourists.
- Marine affairs