Along with traditional data-driven academic research, and research from the emerging fields of crowd-sourced and social media-related data, a combination of tourism datasets that included hotel rooms, general photographs, underwater photographs, dive centers and dive site were used to render and improve crude national statistics, and also to cross-validate with independent datasets – for example, using hotel locations alongside number of photos taken in a location to independently show tourism spread at national levels, and using dive-sites and locations of underwater photographs to distinguish between tourism activities that take place directly on the reef (e.g., snorkeling, diving) versus tourism activities that indirectly benefit from the presence of coral reefs (e.g., enjoying pristine beaches, calm waters, and fresh seafood).
The data is available in the mapping application, which allows
users to view and compare economic and visitation values of coral reef tourism
around the world. Users can also focus on specific geographies, such as
Florida, the Bahamas, the Eastern Caribbean, and Micronesia, to view a more
fine-scale distribution of values in these regions.