Interpreting how we value parks through photographs from social media : a case study of Zilker Park in Austin, Texas



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As social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have grown and evolved, users of these internet technologies have deposited a wealth of diverse data with the potential to inform research on a wide range of topics. In particular, the sharing of photographs of outdoor spaces through social media platforms provides important opportunities for analysis of meaning and significance, especially in terms of how planned landscapes such as public parks are perceived and socially produced. In this study, I chose to analyze photographs of Zilker Park posted on Instagram and Twitter in order to better understand how users value this important park in Austin, Texas. This report presents the content, quantitative, and qualitative analyses I conducted in order to develop a concise understanding of elements that people value most in Zilker Park. Through my research and methodological exploration, I seek to offer a new tool for public participation in park planning that can augment existing engagement methods.