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The use of GIS in establishing a trail inventory and trail-monitoring sustainability indicators

By Helen Farrell, Ken Boyle and Krysia Rybaczuk


The use of Geographical Information Systems is explored, in the context of monitoring long-distance walking trails in Ireland, and in the creation of an inventory of trail facilities. The use of simple indicators to monitor trail condition is also investigated. This study focuses on two contrasting Waymarked Ways: the Burren Way and the East Munster Way. The paper therefore seeks to explore the creation and maintenance of the GIS database, and the use of indicators to monitor environmental conditions. The environmental quality of trails is of interest to both the user and the manager of the route. It affects the user in terms of their experience of the trail and the region. The route manager is, effectively, concerned with improving or maintaining the environmental quality of the route for users. The study will include: (a) Factors affecting the user when on the trail – erosion, litter, scenery/ views, etc (b) Connectivity and access. The checklist indicators and results, and the use of GIS will be evaluated. Significant results include a concentration of poor results around parking places on the East Munster Way. Many of the survey points where scores were poor, fell within a 2km radius of parking facilities. The same, however, was not true of the Burren Way

Topics: F890 Geographical and Environmental Sciences not elsewhere classified, F891 Geographical Information Systems, F850 Environmental Sciences, N222 Recreation/Leisure Management
Year: 2004
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