Professori Toivonen Tuuli ja työryhmä

382000 €

Mobile Big Data for Understanding People in Nature: detecting short and long term changes and their implications to biodiversity conservation

Tieteellinen tutkimus / siihen pohjautuva työ | Nelivuotinen

In MOBICON, we aim to explore understand how people’s interaction with nature, and visits to nature in particular, change due to Global change. We will inspect explore both the physical visits and their digital representations, through the lens provided by Mobile Big Data sources, including social media, mobile phone records, Google, sports applications, etc. The gained knowledge will help to understand the implications of the observed and projected changes for biodiversity conservation. Together with a multidisciplinary team consisting of conservation scientists, human geographers, spatial analysis experts, and linguists, we are doing a project that is framed around the following main objectives: 1) Identifying short and long term changes in people’s visits to nature 2) Advancing the methodological framework around the use of Mobile Big Data in longitudinal research, 3) Understanding the role of digital media in changing physical and virtual nature visitation, and 4) Examining the impacts of changing visitation for biodiversity conservation and protected area management. To do this we will combine various unprecedented sources of Mobile Big Data and the rich data collections that we have made ourselves during the years. We will develop and apply cutting edge methods of spatial analysis, computer vision and natural language processing techniques, to unveil how nature visitations and people’s preferences for nature experiences change as a result of direct or indirect environmental changes, now or and in the future. We will explore these patterns and aim for future projections at global scale, but focusing on the Arctic (e.g. Finland) and Sub-Saharan Africa (e.g. Madagascar) for in-depth case studies. The outputs will be renewing science but also provide needed evidence to inform conservation organizations in 1) operationalizing monitoring methods with Mobile Big Data and 2) being proactively prepared for future changes in visitations.