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Smartphones as support for out-of-bounds skier decisions: a pilot study of how information about terrain and avalanche danger in a mobile application affects behaviour in off-piste terrain
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Mining and Geotechnical Engineering.
Swedish Environmental Protection Agency.
University of Gothenburg.
Swedish Environmental Protection Agency.
2014 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In a smartphone, a skier can access avalanche information on the go. This paper shows a new app for making decisions, which combines ATES classification with danger ratings and then present- ing this in the form of Avaluator recommendations directly on a GPS-positioned map. We have examined how actual skier behaviour in the terrain is affected by the use of a smartphone as a decision tool. Previ- ous studies on behaviour have mainly focused on surveys or on human factors; it is only now with smartphones with GPS and apps for logging location data that we can study actual movement in the ter- rain. During 10 weeks, 20 skiers used a GPS-based map app in which they answered questions before and after the day's skiing. The app also logged their actual movements during the day. The questions surveyed the subjective approach to risk and skiing. The experiment was conducted in two phases, first a control phase when the app only showed the current avalanche danger and a GPS-map, secondly an effect phase when the app also showed the combination of terrain and avalanche danger using Avaluator colours (Normal Caution, Extra Caution, Not Recommended) projected directly on map as a layer. Our results show that a mobile application can be a successful way to communicate avalanche information in the future. The results also imply it is better to communicate where to ski than to warn where not to ski. At the individual level, we could also see changes in skier's behaviour when they were given access to ava- lanche danger and avalanche terrain in a single map view.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
National Category
Geotechnical Engineering
Research subject
Soil Mechanics
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-32950Local ID: 79f58003-a135-403f-b765-9f5b2c969936OAI: diva2:1006185
International Snow Science Workshop : 29/09/2014 - 03/10/2014
Godkänd; 2014; 20140829 (stemar)Available from: 2016-09-30 Created: 2016-09-30 Last updated: 2017-11-25Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

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