Read the full story from the University of Minnesota.
How far are you willing to travel to visit a clean lake?
When Institute on the Environment’s Natural Capital Project lead scientist Bonnie Keeler wanted to better understand how lake users make decisions about their recreation choices and the value society places on water quality, she turned to U-Spatial, a center that provides technical support and worldwide spatial data — often in the form of highly detailed digital maps — for researchers across the University of Minnesota system.
Using Flickr photos of vacation spots in Minnesota and Iowa and associated information about the photographer’s home location, U-Spatial was able to plot the most likely route vacationers had taken to their destination, allowing Keeler to estimate distance traveled. She found that people are willing to drive farther to recreate on or near cleaner water.