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Assessing the validity of SafeGraph data for visitor monitoring in Yellowstone National Park

Abstract
Monitoring visitor demographics and temporal visitation patterns will help park managers allocate resources, develop infrastructure, and predict the demands of visitors. Previous studies have only validated temporal visitation patterns with big data and traditional survey data, while research on validation national park visitor demographics using mobile data is scant. This study compares SafeGraph data (a type of mobile Location-based Service data) and survey/count data, assessing visitor demographics and temporal visitation patterns in Yellowstone National Park. The comparison between two data sources suggests that SafeGraph data can serve as an additional and complementary source of information to traditional visitor use study/count data. However, biases of SafeGraph data, such as data at an aggregation level and data only in the United States, resulting in differences compared to traditional survey/count data. This study contributes to understanding visitors in national parks by validating a new data source.
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