An analysis of Amud Anan - A unique volunteered geographic information platform for nature-based recreation in Israel

Rotem Elinson*, Noam Levin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Nature-based recreation activities are popular worldwide, yet traditional monitoring methods and their derived databases often limit spatial studies of these activities, partially due to the large area and remoteness of many open spaces. Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI) from crowdsourced data could be used to study nature-based recreational activities. Most studies using VGI for recreation analysis are based on international English-speaking apps, and thus may miss information which is only available in local languages. Here we used a database from the Israeli unique VGI app and Hebrew website ‘Amud Anan’ ( to study spatial patterns of recreation activity, using the points of interest's (POIs) density as the response variable, and several explanatory variables such as accessibility and attraction of the POIs. We also conducted in-depth interviews to study the motivations of users to share POIs. We found strong correlations between POIs' density and accessibility variables such as distance from roads and hiking trails, as well as with attraction variables such as distance from camping and picnic sites. We conclude that the Amud Anan database and VGIs in general can serve as effective tools for mapping nature-based recreational activity Israel and world-wide.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number102791
JournalApplied Geography
StatePublished - Nov 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
First and foremost, we thank Yoav Rofe’, the founder of Amud Anan, for letting us use the Amud Anan database in our research. We want to thank the Center for Interdisciplinary Data Science Research, the Advanced School of Environmental Studies and the David Amiran Scholarship for academic Excellence for the generous scholarships, that helped fund scholarships for Rotem Elinson. We also thank Adi Ben Nun from the GIS Center of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem for technical GIS help, Yoav Rofe' from Amud Anan, and the users of Amud Anan who consented to be interviewed.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Ltd


  • Amud Anan
  • Crowdsourcing
  • GIS
  • Nature-based recreation
  • VGI
  • Volunteered geographic information


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