I’m hoping to use the INVEST tool to model data for my Masters thesis, looking at the public use patterns of various urban green spaces in Beijing, China.
I know that the Visitation and Recreation model is based on user generated data from Flickr, however this website is among several social media platforms that is currently banned in China (or only accessible by those of the population with access to a VPN)
Is there any possibility of still being able to use this model in the Chinese context? For example, drawing on Weibo data? I know that one of the major partners of NatCap is the Chinese Academy of Sciences, so maybe they have sourced an alternate data source for this part of the INVEST suite?
The dataset used by the InVEST recreation model is indeed based on Flickr data between 2005 and 2017, and it is not currently possible to use other data sources, though I know our Recreation modelling team is looking into other possibilities. I would suggest trying out the model and seeing how it compares with what you’d expect.
After a quick search through the forums here, I also came across this post from @dave that you might find helpful:
Let us know if there’s anything else we can help with,
Hi @jdouglass, thanks for your swift response.
Unfortunately when I run the model for any/all years between 2005 - 2017, I receive no data within my AOI (Beijing). Attribute table pulls up nothing under each of the headers. I’m 95% sure that this is because flickr data isn’t available for China, but just wanted to check in and make sure. What do you think?
Hi @Georgie, Well, that is interesting that there are no results being returned from the model at all, since there are some points in the flickr dataset that correspond to that region so I’d expect there to be some result coming back to you for the Beijing region. This makes me wonder if there’s something else going on. Would you be able to share your inputs and logfile from a recent run with me so I can take a closer look? Feel free to share them here if you’re comfortable with that, or else feel free to email them to me at
email@example.com if you prefer. Any filesharing service will typically be best.
I used the file ‘natural.shp’ as my AOI, and have attached here the log file from a recent run, as well as the results.
What am I doing wrong?
InVEST-Recreation-Model-log-2020-08-20–10_45_25.txt (2.57 KB)
(Attachment natural.shp is missing)
(Attachment aoi_BJ.shp is missing)
(Attachment pud_results_BJ.shp is missing)
monthly_table_BJ.csv (1.11 KB)
(Have sent those files to your stanford email address! Thanks)
Thanks @Georgie! I don’t see your inputs in my inbox, though, and it doesn’t look like they all attached to this forums post either. Could you try uploading them to a filesharing service and then sharing the link to the directory?
How did you go accessing those files? Any update on this query?
Hi @Georgie, James or I can help you out. Sorry for the delay. There are several files missing from the google drive upload. Each shapefile is actually represented by several files of the same name, but with different extensions (
.shx, etc) . It’s a good idea to zip all these files into one zip file and then share that.
If you want to troubleshoot on your own, check the coordinate system of your AOI. It should have units that make sense for your chosen cell size. For example, cell size 100 makes sense for units of meters, but not for decimal degrees (a 100 degree-wide cell probably does not fit within the bounds of your AOI). If your AOI is in an unprojected, decimal degree, coordinate system (wgs84) I might expect results like you described.
Oh shoot, I’m so sorry for the delay on this, @Georgie!
Hello, I am from Jiangxi Normal University. May I communicate with you about the recreation module of InVEST model? This model is based on data generated by users from Flickr, but the site is one of several social media platforms currently banned in China. Do you have to hook up a VPN to run it?What measures did you take to solve the problem?
The recreation model might still work for you, because it does not query flickr directly. It connects to a Natural Capital Project server that has the flickr data. Please do let us know if it seems to be blocked for you!
@dave @esoth ：I want to use the Creation model to study a city in China, but I find that only a few photos in Flickr website are about this city. Does that mean that my research is not applicable to the Invest model ?
@CAI , it’s hard to make a general statement without knowing the research questions you are trying to answer with this model. But in general, photo data availability is often a limitation. Sometimes aggregating the photos at a larger “cell size” can mitigate the problem, but again that depends on your specific research objectives.