Tracking Visitors in Public Parks

Experiences with GPS in Denmark


  • Henrik Harder Aalborg University
  • Peter Bro Aalborg University
  • Nerius Tradisauskas Aalborg University
  • Thomas Alexander Sick Nielsen University of Copenhagen




Very little scientific research based upon GPS tracking in a Danish context has been conducted and up until the present, no research at all has included comprehensive GPS tracking of human activity (cf. Jensen & Guldager, 2005; Jensen, 2003). There is therefore a need for explorative studies evaluating different tracking hardware and methodological set-ups and identifying various difficulties that may arise during data collection. From 2003 up to the present, the Diverse Urban Space (DUS) research project has conducted various experiments with the use of GPS tracking as a survey instrument relevant to urban planning. This work has involved cases including the simple testing of equipment and both small and large scale surveys.

This chapter will first provide a concise overview of the different surveys and tests conducted within the DUS and briefly explain the main methodological experiences. Hereafter, a specific case in which GPS technology is applied to track the movements of park visitors will be dealt with in more detail with regards to the methodological set-up, results and applied hardware.

in addition to the explanation of the general surveying technique and the results, one park in particular is used to illustrate a simple analysis of how Google Earth may be used in connection with real time visualisation undertaken on the basis of GPS tracking. Lastly, conclusions drawn from the park surveys and a number of more general conclusions on the basis of various other surveys are provided.

How to Cite

Harder, H., Bro, P., Tradisauskas, N., & Nielsen, T. A. S. (2008). Tracking Visitors in Public Parks: Experiences with GPS in Denmark. Research in Urbanism Series, 1, 63–74.



Author Biographies

Henrik Harder, Aalborg University

Henrik Harder Hovgesen works as an associate professor at the aalborg University, Department of Architecture and Design.

Peter Bro, Aalborg University

Peter Bro works as a PhD candidate at the Aalborg University, Department of Architecture and Design.

Nerius Tradisauskas, Aalborg University

Nerius Tradisauskas works as a PhD candidate at the Aalborg University, Department of Development and Planning.

Thomas Alexander Sick Nielsen, University of Copenhagen

Thomas Sick Nielsen works as an assistant professor at the University of Copenhagen, Forest & Landscape.


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Jensen, F.S. and Guldager, S. (2005) Den rekreative brug af tre parker i Københavns Kommune – Enghaveparken, Fælledparken og Amager Fælled, 2003-2004, Københavns Kommune, Copenhagen, available at publikationer/pdf/408_kbH_rapport_netversion.pdf, accessed 24 July 2008

Jensen, F.S. (2003) Friluftsliv i 592 skove og andre naturområder, Skovbrugsserien nr. 32, Skov & Landskab, Hørsholm, available at

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