A management perspective to using Public Participation GIS in planning for visitor use in national parks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • Miisa Pietilä
  • Nora Fagerholm

Research units

  • University of Oulu
  • University of Turku


Academics have frequently used and endorsed the Public Participation Geographic Information System (PPGIS) approach for national park management. However, it is only minimally used by public agencies such as national park organisations. This study explores the potential that managers of Finnish national parks see in the PPGIS approach in the context of planning for the visitor use of parks. Ten semi-structured interviews with managers of Parks and Wildlife Finland were conducted. The managers perceived that PPGIS could help in optimising site management, and preferred PPGIS studies that are practical and clearly connected to planning site management actions. They envisioned a mobile phone application that would allow mapping visitor experiences on the spot. Overall, the managers were open to adopting place-based planning practices. The study increases the understanding of public agencies’ views towards PPGIS. It also produces practical information for conducting PPGIS case studies as well as for integrating PPGIS tools into planning processes.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1133-1148
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Environmental Planning and Management
Issue number7
Early online date23 May 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Research areas

  • Finland, outdoor recreation, park manager, PPGIS, visitor management

ID: 21696181