Abstract

The geographic distribution of current and potential customers is a major decision variable in tourism marketing. These distributions are most effectively modeled via the spatial analytic and visualization capabilities of a Geographic Information System (GIS). However, many businesses are not able to capitalize on these systems due to their complexity and/or expense. In these cases, a marketing decision support tool is needed which will allow the tourism industry and research community to capitalize on the value of GIS. This study explores the use of an open source web mapping system and a corresponding data structure to address this application gap. A customized web mapping application gives every user the ability to easily capture, display, augment and manipulate his/her own consumer related data to identify patterns and generate new hypotheses that could significantly improve their marketing analysis process.

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An Open Source Web Mapping System for Tourism Planning and Management

The geographic distribution of current and potential customers is a major decision variable in tourism marketing. These distributions are most effectively modeled via the spatial analytic and visualization capabilities of a Geographic Information System (GIS). However, many businesses are not able to capitalize on these systems due to their complexity and/or expense. In these cases, a marketing decision support tool is needed which will allow the tourism industry and research community to capitalize on the value of GIS. This study explores the use of an open source web mapping system and a corresponding data structure to address this application gap. A customized web mapping application gives every user the ability to easily capture, display, augment and manipulate his/her own consumer related data to identify patterns and generate new hypotheses that could significantly improve their marketing analysis process.