ParkData 2.0 – Real Time Info Available to All
Being prepared for any outing to a National Park is a good idea, but in a busy park like Zion, the planning process starts before reaching the gates.
In 2019 and 2020, grass-roots donors contributed to the ParkData project, funding the procurement of remote data base-stations, laptops, rugged batteries, software, and an essential workforce composed of staff and students from Dixie State University, Dixie Technical College, and Southern Utah University. Now, the data has converged and for the first time the hard work of this interdisciplinary team is on display in a very real way.
Are there lines at the entrances? How full are the parking lots? Are the shuttles running? What trails are open and are they busy? Rather than relying on tips from Twitter or advice left on Facebook posts, park guests get a real-time snapshot of the park through a publicly available app.
Visitors are not the only ones who benefit from the data. Park staff, with access to a live visitation dashboard, can include these new insights into planning adjusted shuttle schedules, parking and roadway management, and future infrastructure projects.
Your support means a continuation of technology-centered internships focused on interpreting the results of the data network. It encourages students to pursue meaningful careers in their field by offering an enriching experience inside the park.
This second round of investment will take this innovative project mainstream, serving as a model to other parks and agencies, getting to the core issue of helping guests plan their trip with an increased feeling of preparedness and space.