BALANCE - Sustainable Management and Information System for National Park Visitors and National Park Operators

The BALANCE project follows a two-tier strategy: on the one hand an easy-to-use GPS/GALILEO suitable mobile guide is being developed, which offers location and time based information to the visitors of national parks or biosphere parks while at the same time tracking their routes. On the other hand, this tracking information is anonymously transferred to the analysis and prediction tool developed in BALANCE, which delivers easy to use information for the national parks about their visitors’ behaviour (e.g. favourite routes, stops, etc.).

Short Description

Nature conservation areas such as national parks or biosphere parks and their visitors need information about each other in order to offer, plan and enjoy visits, while at the same time protecting nature.

At the same time it offers routes according to the visitors’ preferences, e.g. sending them to areas, which still offer the spots (flowers, animals) they want to see most. The three research partners combine their knowledge in GPS/GALILEO based mobile guide development, visualisation, development of analysis and prediction models and sustainable recreation planning while two National Parks do not only offer different test sites for BALANCE, but also bring their expert view on typical visitors’ requests as well as national park operator requirements specification for the analysis and prediction tool to bear in the project.

The complete BALANCE system, which can only work due to the information delivered by GPS/GALILEO tracking technology, will benefit all stakeholders in the sustainable tourism sector alike: National parks are enabled to develop new offers for their visitors while at the same time protecting sensible or overly crowded areas, and potential visitors can easily plan their visits ahead and receive trip information according to current developments in the park.

Project Partners


arsenal research, Österreichisches Forschungs- und Prüfzentrum Arsenal Ges.m.b.H. - DI Helmut Schrom-Feiertag


  • Joanneum Research, Institute of Digital Image Processing - DI Alexander Almer
  • University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Institute of Landscape Development, Recreation and Conservation Planning - Ao.Univ.Prof. DI Dr. Andreas Muhar
  • MA 49 Forstamt und Landwirtschaftsbetrieb der Stadt Wien - DI Herbert Weidinger
  • Nationalpark Thayatal GmbH - Dir. DI Robert Brunner

Contact Address

arsenal research
Österreichisches Forschungs- und
Prüfzentrum Arsenal Ges.m.b.H.
DI Helmut Schrom-Feiertag
Giefinggasse 2
A-1210 Vienna
Tel.: +43 (505) 50-6659