Integrating geographical information systems into travel cost analysis and benefit transfer
Environmental economists usually pay little attention to inherently spatial aspects of much of their work. Such analyses also tend to suffer from considerable inefficiencies in data handling. This paper demonstrates how use of GIS and appreciation of the nature of spatial datasets can greatly facilitate natural resource valuation using the technique of travel cost analysis. This work forms the basis for tackling an important research topic in environmental economics: the feasibility of transferring benefits between studies. Using GIS allowed us to implement such transfer with greater ease, consistency, and recognition of the spatial aspects of study design and variable handling than is normally seen in such research.