Trailgazers: A Scoping Study of Footfall Sensors to Aid Tourist Trail Management in Ireland and Other Atlantic Areas of Europe
2.1. Trail Management and Footfall Data
2.2. TrailGazers Pilot Trail Sites
2.2.1. Inch Levels, Donegal, Ireland
2.2.2. Knocknarea/Killspugbrone Loop, Sligo, Ireland
2.2.3. Vía Verde Del Plazaola, Navarra, Spain
2.2.4. La Caldera De Taburiente, La Palma, Isla Canarias, Spain
2.2.5. Sete Vales Suspensos, Algarve, Portugal
2.2.6. Chemin De Mémoires, Ille-Et-Vilaine, France
2.2.7. Taff Trail, Central Valleys, United Kingdom
2.2.8. Serra d’Arga, Alto Minho, Portugal
2.3. Sensor Usage on Trails
3. Footfall Sensor Technologies
3.1. Camera/3D Based Visual Sensors
3.2. Wi-Fi/BLE Device Monitor ‘Sniffer’
3.3. Radar (Doppler) Sensor
3.4. Pyro (Thermal) Sensor
3.5. Passive Infra-Red (PIR) Sensor
3.6. Pressure Slab
4. Choice of Sensors
4.1. Guide to Appropriate Sensor Selection
4.2. Sensor Technology Recommendations for Pilot Trails
- Sensors are not always functional, readings can be erratic and cannot be corrected in the database, as the data is stored by another company. Occasionally this can be caused by changes in the environment surrounding the sensor, particularly over longer periods of time.
- Readings can be affected by nearby construction works. Reverberations of heavy machinery can affect the readings of acoustic/pressure sensors.
- Sensors are often vandalised, and expensive to repair.
- Sensors do not provide enough detail about the trail visitors e.g cannot differentiate between people, cars, bus and bicycles.
- Data requires manual collection, physical site visits.
- No feedback on fault conditions.
- Sensor data is not reliable and requires aggressive calibration (discovered through experimentation) to increase confidence.
- Multiple entry/exit points from trails complicate the accuracy of data presentation.
- No cellular (3G/4G) signal on-site—automated data collection is not suitable.
4.2.1. Inch Levels, Donegal, Ireland
4.2.2. Knocknarea/Killspugbrone Loop, Sligo, Ireland
4.2.3. Vía Verde Del Plazaola, Navarra, Spain
4.2.4. La Caldera De Taburiente, La Palma, Isla Canarias, Spain
4.2.5. Sete Vales Suspensos, Algarve, Portugal
4.2.6. Chemin De Mémoires, Ille-Et-Vilaine, France
4.2.7. Taff Trail, Central Valleys, United Kingdom
4.2.8. Serra d’Arga, Alto Minho, Portugal
- Early identification of future trends—e.g., cyclo-tourism or accommodation of regular walking groups/swarms. Previously, some trails have been managed on how they are currently utilised. Prediction of trends will help produce future-proof management plans.
- Targeted area monitoring will help identify localised areas of the trails to develop strategies to minimise soil erosion and mitigate geomorphic effects . Managerial decisions can contribute towards soil erosion, due to increased footfall or trail usage which has a detrimental, and lasting effect on trails .
- Footfall data will be used to develop management strategies to minimise off-trail use, which can have a damaging effect on nature around the established trails. Off-trail exploration can also indirectly create unmanaged informal trails .
- Data will be used to monitor visitor behaviour, which routes are most commonly used, and provide insights on how to enhance the visitor experience such as: maintaining vegetation, providing more safety measures, and justifying the introduction of outdoor eating facilities.
Conflicts of Interest
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|Discussion Section||Sensor Type||Detection Range||Mounting Requirements||Power Requirements||Data Connectivity Requirements|
|Section 3.1||Visual/3D||Lens and mounting position-dependent.||Overhead.||Mains DC||Ethernet/WiFi/GSM|
|Section 3.2||Wi-Fi/BLE Sniffer||Approximately 20 m radius.||3 m or above.||Mains DC||Ethernet/WiFi/GSM|
|Section 3.3||Radar||6 m ‘conical’ area.||Parallel (~1.2 m from floor).||Solar/Mains DC||Model dependent|
|Section 3.4||Pyro Thermal||4 m ‘conical’ area.||Above 70 cm.||Solar/Mains DC||Ethernet/WiFi/GSM|
|Section 3.5||PIR Sensor||10 m linear beam.||Above 70 cm.||Battery DC||None|
|Section 3.6||Pressure Slab||Equal to size of slab.||Underground.||Battery DC||None|
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Madden, K.; Ramsey, E.; Loane, S.; Condell, J. Trailgazers: A Scoping Study of Footfall Sensors to Aid Tourist Trail Management in Ireland and Other Atlantic Areas of Europe. Sensors 2021, 21, 2038. https://doi.org/10.3390/s21062038
Madden K, Ramsey E, Loane S, Condell J. Trailgazers: A Scoping Study of Footfall Sensors to Aid Tourist Trail Management in Ireland and Other Atlantic Areas of Europe. Sensors. 2021; 21(6):2038. https://doi.org/10.3390/s21062038Chicago/Turabian Style
Madden, Kyle, Elaine Ramsey, Sharon Loane, and Joan Condell. 2021. "Trailgazers: A Scoping Study of Footfall Sensors to Aid Tourist Trail Management in Ireland and Other Atlantic Areas of Europe" Sensors 21, no. 6: 2038. https://doi.org/10.3390/s21062038