Destination Harford County: Visualizing Tourism and Points of Interest in Harford County, Maryland


This report details work conducted by urban studies and planning graduate students in the Planning Technologies course at the University of Maryland for Visit Harford, the destination marketing organization for Harford County. Using geographic information system (GIS) software to create visualizations of tourism points of interest, the team prepared maps for public dissemination in support of Visit Harford’s efforts to better promote its tourism sites. In response to Visit Harford’s request for a map that could be integrated into their mobile app, the team compiled contact information, descriptions, and social media rating data for points of interest, and created two interactive public-facing story maps using ESRI ArcGIS Online. The first product is a shortlist that gives comprehensive overview of destinations and activities in select categories on Visit Harford’s website and rack card marketing materials. The second product was created in response to Visit Harford’s request that we help them encourage tourists to explore destinations farther from the Interstate 95 (I-95) Corridor, a public-facing story map that provides a sample daylong itinerary incorporating destination information from the shortlist. Our analysis of available social media rating information for the destinations demonstrated that while there is little correlation between distance from I-95 and low ratings, analysis of drive-time from I-95 to destinations would be useful. The report concludes with some recommendations ways to use and incorporate the story maps and shortlist data into existing and soon-to-be created resources to expand tourist knowledge of the destinations.


Final project for URSP688L: Planning Technologies (Fall 2018). University of Maryland, College Park.