2018

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    Evaluating Geographic Information System methods to enhance a park visit
    (Electronic version published by Vancouver Island University, 2018-05) Clouston, Cassandra L.; Zandbergen, Paul
    Visitors to a park may not be aware of all the activities the park offers, due to the lack of signage or an informational kiosk. Having a system in place to allow visitors to become informed of the park’s assets will enable them to enjoy it more fully. With today’s location aware technology, an interactive and informational experience can be achieved to enhance the public’s knowledge of their surroundings. This research project evaluated Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology as a basis for enhancing a visitor’s experience for park environments, using The Assiniboine Park English Garden located in Winnipeg, Manitoba as the grounds for this investigation. This research may set a precedent for other parks and green spaces to invest and adopt technology to create an informative and exploratory environment for their visitors. The methodology of this research was guided by multiple factors. The evaluation of existing GIS methods used in similar locations were reviewed to look at the capabilities of current technology: paper maps, QR Codes, Web Map Tours, Web Apps and Native Apps. A determination of how to use GIS to produce a database that would analyze not only the physical entities of the park like pathways and statues, but also the seasonal aspects were undertaken. A questionnaire was conducted with park visitors to gather an understanding of the visitors’ acceptance of the technology proposed. The results of the survey were used to evaluate which of the proposed technologies would be appropriate to implement and guide the prototype development and evaluation. The English Garden staff were supportive in providing their expertise about the existing methods at use in the garden and also as a source for data. This data included AutoCAD files, excel spreadsheets and hand drawn sketches. The data was converted and, along with newly collected data, was organized into a geodatabase for use in Esri ArcGIS software suite.