Advanced spatial search criteria of AskWhere explained
AskWhere search engine is built on Europe-wide coverage of unified GIS data, that create a potential to discover new interesting regions and sites.
As a mean of integration of thematic information, the unified reference grid was implemented, that covers the European Union, Switzerland, Norway, Great Britain, Iceland and Balkan countries. On the base of this information, it is possible to conduct multicriteria filtering of cells representing destinations fulfilling user’s preferences. Individual cells of the 5km grid are coded with country name and representative values of the parameters introduced below.
The legend of a map of dominant landscape types covers nine most common and intuitively understandable landscape types which were delimited in respect to land cover and topography. The information on landscape type can be used independently to describe individual locations and as one of the significant set of criteria applied for touristic destinations selection. It could also be applied together with landscape attractiveness indicator allowing for selection of the most attractive spots of specific landscape types.
Methods of landscape attractiveness assessment based on multi-factor spatial analysis allowed for elaboration of spatial dataset quantifying landscape attractiveness. The modelled values were classified into 10 classes (1-10).
Despite of its fundamental role, the term climate is constantly confused with weather. Creating awareness of the actual meaning of provided information will be important not only for the climate datasets. The values provided for individual parameters are as follows:
Average monthly maximum daily air temperature,
Average monthly minimum daily air temperature,
Average monthly number of sunny days,
Average monthly number of rainy days,
Vegetation development status in precents,
Average monthly maximum daily water temperature,
Average monthly number of days with snow cover.
In many locations due to natural and human factors air quality could vary seasonally. The most important factor is growth of usage of fossil fuels for the needs of heating in winter season. Depending on quality of heating infrastructure and fuels applied this could have a major impact on gases and aerosols emission. Air quality index are expressed in values from 1 to 5.
Services availability constitutes other important factor impacting processes of touristic destination selection. In the system’s archive it is represented as a set of indices referring to: accommodation services, restaurants and bars, shops, entertainment entities and sport facilities in closest neighbourhood of the analysed location. Services availability indices are expressed in values from 1 to 5.
Method of analysis assume valuation of so-called friction of distance, expressed usually with the time needed to reach a target location from the starting point. The accessibility domain of AskWhere database covers time of travel using road networks to the nearest city above 100 000 of inhabitants, nearest railway station and nearest airport and to nearest sea or ocean beach.
Local services costs
Costs of services represent unquestionably one of the major factors impacting the availability of a specific region for potential visitors. Structure of costs connected with a trip are composed, at the most generic level, of costs of travel and costs of locally consumed services. Local services costs indices are expressed in values from 1 to 5.
Tourists, in their decision-making processes related to the choice of travel destination are often guided by opinions of friends, relatives and those gained from strangers over the internet. To simulate this factor and give system’s users opportunity to refer to social context of touristic experience, an index of touristic popularity was created on the base of statistics. Touristic popularity indices are expressed in values from 1 to 5.