Understanding Your Trail Users: Enhancing Trail Management Using Location Intelligence

Using anonymized mobility data via location intelligence technologies to look at park and trail usage.

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Event Details

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July 28, 2022

10:00 AM to 11:30 AM (Pacific Time) {more time zones}

11:00 AM to 12:30 PM (Mountain Time)
12:00 PM to 01:30 PM (Central Time)
01:00 PM to 02:30 PM (Eastern Time)


FREE for members
FREE for nonmembers

Learning Credit Cost: FREE


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Webinar Outline

How well do you know your trail users? Common methodologies for calculating visits and general trail usage require manual surveys and the physical placement of sensors. This presentation shares how new movement and location intelligence technologies can provide trail agencies, builders, and planners with better information about where people access trails, when they’re most likely to visit, how many times they return, and general characteristics (like income, race, ethnicity, social vulnerability, distance from home, etc.) of visitors.

While trails and green spaces are built and maintained to serve nearby communities, it is often difficult to plan amenities, ensure equitable use, measure the impact of special events, compare visitor metrics with similar parks, measure the impact of marketing initiatives and justify and evaluate grants for funding using anonymized location data and insights regarding trail users. Better data is the first step to making trails and recreational areas more accessible, inclusive, and fun for the people who use them.

The presenters will share information about some new technology intended to improve trail analysis. Join this webinar to dive into use cases and learn what innovative methods have been used by organizations and agencies seeking to improve public trails.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand general definitions about anonymized mobility and location data, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and relevant metrics (like density and dwell time) and how these analytics are being applied to trails, parks, and public green spaces.
  • Understand how to use movement and location intelligence to augment your surveys and sensor data on trail use and visitors.
  • Understand how occupancy models support planning, maintenance, and trail design efforts.


This webinar qualifies as a Health, Safety, and Welfare (HSW) course (via LA CES).

Webinar Resources

  • RS21 Localia - Understanding Your Trail Users Presentation (pdf)
  • Localia: Mobile Location Data for Community Insights
  • Learn more about Localia, privacy-first location intelligence for trail management
  • November 2021 Webinar: How GIS Can Be Used to Save the Places We Love

    Webinar Partners


    Mike Passo, Executive Director, American Trails
    Marshfield, Wisconsin

    Mike Passo is the Executive Director of American Trails. Mike has also served as the Executive Director of the Professional Trailbuilders Association and the owner and operator of a sea kayak outfitter called Elakah Expeditions. Mike has led groups of all backgrounds, ages and abilities on sea kayak expeditions in the San Juan Islands of Washington, Vancouver Island in British Columbia, and in Glacier Bay, Alaska. Mike has conducted an extensive study of outdoor developed areas nationwide to determine the cost implications of construction according to proposed Americans with Disabilities Act standards, and a Congressional study on improving access to outdoor recreational activities on federal land. He has a B.S. in Recreation Resource Management from the University of Wisconsin—Madison, including three years’ coursework in Landscape Architecture and Civil Engineering. He has presented on Universal Design and Programming at several national conferences and served on the Board of Directors of American Trails since 2000. His love of the outdoors and his own paraplegia has given him a great interest in the creation of an accessible outdoor environment that does not ruin the characteristics and value of that environment.


    Breece Robertson, Director of Partnerships and Strategy, Center for Geospatial Solutions, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy
    Santa Fe, New Mexico

    Breece Robertson combines geospatial technology and storytelling to inspire, activate, educate, and engage people to protect our planet. She is a noteworthy leader in the conservation and parks field with over two decades of experience. She is the Director of Partnerships and Strategy at the Center for Geospatial Solutions at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. In this role, she engages in global initiatives to connect partner ecosystems and guides game-changing geospatial innovations to fill critical gaps and improve upon legacy methodologies to meet ambitious land, water, climate and equity goals. Prior, she created and led the GIS, research and planning unit at The Trust for Public Land and built strategic initiatives like ParkScore, ParkServe, and Greenprinting since 2001. In 2006, she was awarded the Esri Special Achievement in GIS award and in 2012, the “Making a Difference” award. She authored a book called “Protecting the Places We Love” published in April 2021 by Esri Press. When she’s not protecting places, she’s exploring and enjoying them.


    Umang Shah, Director of Product, Resilient Solutions 21 (RS21)
    Pittsburgh, PA

    Umang Shah is the Director of Product at RS21. He is responsible for RS21 product innovation and development and go-to-market strategy.

    Umang has helped grow start-ups for the past decade. He has a strong understanding of complex cultural and interpersonal relationships as well as motivations that allow him to strategize win-win situations. His approach to designing best-in-class solutions using teamwork and agile approaches enables technological innovations that use data, logic, and other solutions to fill market needs.

    Prior to joining RS21, Umang handled a wide range of roles in some of the largest telecom companies in the world and co-founded a company in which he managed a team of 40 people across 3 cities and multiple countries.


    Closed Captioning

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    Learning Credits and CEUs

    American Trails is proud to be a certified provider of the following learning credits and continuing education opportunities:

    • American Institute of Certified Planners Continuing Maintenance (AICP CM)
    • Landscape Architecture Continuing Education System (LA CES PDH) (most HSW approved)
    • National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) CEU equivalency petition
    • CEU/PDH equivalency petition for other accepting organizations

    Learning credits are free for attendees for American Trails webinars and the International Trails Symposium, as well as for other conferences, webinars, and workshops we offer credits for. Learn more here.


    While we may individually agree (or disagree) in whole or in part with any or all of the participants, the views expressed in these webinars are not necessarily representative of the views of American Trails as an organization or its board and staff. Unless specific situations are noted by presenters, nothing in American Trails webinars should be considered to be interpreted as a standard.

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    5,057 views • posted 06/09/2022