“Using social media to assess how people use and value natural areas: Lessons from the Spit, Gold Coast

The use of social media continues to increase exponentially, with billions of images, texts, and location (GIS) data posted each year on popular sites. This includes large numbers of images on photo sharing websites such as Flickr with over 6.5 billion publicly available images. These images can tell us something about how people value and share images of cities and parks. Using cutting edge methods, Prof Pickering will present the results of an analysis of just under 500 images posted on Flickr by 141 people from the Spit Gold Coast, to see how people use and value this area. The results of the social media analysis are similar to that of the recent survey in The Southport Spit Master Plan Consultation Report, April 2018, where they found the natural environment and recreation were the most popular things people liked about the Spit.”

Professor Catherine Pickering and team at Griffith University School of Environment and Science have used social media data from Flickr photo sharing website to start to assess how people value and use a natural site. Social media provides a new way of a looking at sociocultural values of sites, and Professor Pickering and teams study is one of the first in Australia to use this method.

The Spit is one the largest and most popular open areas on the Gold Coast with important natural values and a destination for more than 35 recreation activities by tourists and locals both on land and in the water. With the development of the new Southport Spit Master Plan by the State Government, there is considerable interest in how people use and value The Spit.

Come along and find out what are the most common and popular images of the The Spit on social media and what they can tell us about The Spit now and for the future.

When:     6.45 for 7pm Wednesday 23rd May 2018

Where:    The Cove Room, Currumbin RSL

Cost:        FREE EVENT