• location of the visitor¡¦s home ¡¦ how far they traveled to the site
  • how many times they visited the site in the past year or season
  • the length of the trip
  • the amount of time spent at the site
  • travel expenses
  • the person¡¦s income or other information on the value of their time
  • other socioeconomic characteristics of the visitor
  • other locations visited during the same trip, and amount of time spent at each
  • other reasons for the trip (is the trip only to visit the site, or for several purposes)
  • fishing success at the site (how many fish caught on each trip)
  • perceptions of environmental quality or quality of fishing at the site
  • substitute sites that the person might visit instead of this site
  • The value of improvements in water quality was only shown to increase the value of current beach use.  However, improved water quality can also be expected to increase overall beach use. 
  • Estimates ignore visitors from outside the Baltimore-Washington statistical metropolitan sampling area. 
  • The population and incomes in origin zones near the Chesapeake Bay beach areas are increasing,  which is likely to increase visitor-days and thus total willingness to pay.
  • changes in access costs for a recreational site
  • elimination of an existing recreational site
  • addition of a new recreational site
  • changes in environmental quality at a recreational site
  • number of visits from each origin zone (usually defined by zipcode)
  • demographic information about people from each zone
  • round-trip mileage from each zone
  • travel costs per mile
  • the value of time spent traveling, or the opportunity cost of travel time
  • exact distance that each individual traveled to the site
  • exact travel expenses
  • substitute sites that the person might visit instead of this site, and the travel distance to each
  • quality of the recreational experience at the site, and at other similar sites (e.g., fishing success)
  • perceptions of environmental quality at the site
  • characteristics of the site and other, substitute, sites
  • The travel cost method closely mimics the more conventional empirical techniques used by economists to estimate economic values based on market prices.
  • The method is based on actual behavior¡¦what people actually do¡¦rather than stated willingness to pay¡¦what people say they would do in a hypothetical situation.
  • The method is relatively inexpensive to apply.
  • On-site surveys provide opportunities for large sample sizes, as visitors tend to be interested in participating.
  • The results are relatively easy to interpret and explain.
  • The travel cost method assumes that people perceive and respond to changes in travel costs the same way that they would respond to changes in admission price.
  • The most simple models assume that individuals take a trip for a single purpose ¡¦ to visit a specific recreational site. Thus, if a trip has more than one purpose, the value of the site may be overestimated. It can be difficult to apportion the travel costs among the various purposes. 
  • Defining and measuring the opportunity cost of time, or the value of time spent traveling, can be problematic. Because the time spent traveling could have been used in other ways, it has an "opportunity cost." This should be added to the travel cost, or the value of the site will be underestimated. However, there is no strong consensus on the appropriate measure¡¦the person¡¦s wage rate, or some fraction of the wage rate¡¦and the value chosen can have a large effect on benefit estimates. In addition, if people enjoy the travel itself, then travel time becomes a benefit, not a cost, and the value of the site will be overestimated. 
  • The availability of substitute sites will affect values. For example, if two people travel the same distance, they are assumed to have the same value. However, if one person has several substitutes available but travels to this site because it is preferred, this person¡¦s value is actually higher. Some of the more complicated models account for the availability of substitutes.
  • Those who value certain sites may choose to live nearby. If this is the case, they will have low travel costs, but high values for the site that are not captured by the method.
  • Interviewing visitors on site can introduce sampling biases to the analysis.
  • Measuring recreational quality, and relating recreational quality to environmental quality can be difficult.
  • Standard travel cost approaches provides information about current conditions, but not about gains or losses from anticipated changes in resource conditions.
  • In order to estimate the demand function, there needs to be enough difference between distances traveled to affect travel costs and for differences in travel costs to affect the number of trips made. Thus, it is not well suited for sites near major population centers where many visitations may be from "origin zones" that are quite close to one another.
  • The travel cost method is limited in its scope of application because it requires user participation. It cannot be used to assign values to on-site environmental features and functions that users of the site do not find valuable. It cannot be used to value off-site values supported by the site. Most importantly, it cannot be used to measure nonuse values. Thus, sites that have unique qualities that are valued by non-users will be undervalued.
  • As in all statistical methods, certain statistical problems can affect the results. These include choice of the functional form used to estimate the demand curve, choice of the estimating method, and choice of variables included in the model.
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Travel cost method

This article deals with the Travel Cost Method, which is often used in evaluating the economic value of recreational sites. This is particularly important in the coastal zone because of the level of use and the potential values that can be attached to the natural coastal and marine environment.

The Travel Cost Method (TCM) is one of the most frequently used approaches to estimating the use values of recreational sites. The TCM was initially suggested by Hotelling [1] and subsequently developed by Clawson [2] in order to estimate the benefits from recreation at natural sites. The method is based on the premise that the recreational benefits at a specific site can be derived from the demand function that relates observed users’ behaviour (i.e., the number of trips to the site) to the cost of a visit. One of the most important issues in the TCM is the choice of the costs to be taken into account. The literature usually suggests considering direct variable costs and the opportunity cost of time spent travelling to and at the site. The classical model derived from the economic theory of consumer behaviour postulates that a consumer’s choice is based on all the sacrifices made to obtain the benefits generated by a good or service. If the price ( [math]p[/math] ) is the only sacrifice made by a consumer, the demand function for a good with no substitutes is [math]x=f(p)[/math] , given income and preferences. However, the consumer often incurs other costs ( [math]c[/math] ) in addition to the out-of-pocket price, such as travel expenses, and loss of time and stress from congestion. In this case, the demand function is expressed as [math]x = f(p, c)[/math] . In other words, the price is an imperfect measure of the full cost incurred by the purchaser. Under these conditions, the utility maximising consumer’s behaviour should be reformulated in order to take such costs into account. Given two goods or services [math]x_1, x_2[/math] , their prices [math]p_1, p_2[/math] , the access costs [math]c_1, c_2[/math] and income [math]R[/math] , the utility maximising choice of the consumer is:

[math]max \, U = u(x_1,x_2) \quad subject \, to \quad (p_1+c_1)x_1+(p_2+c_2)x_2=R . \qquad (1)[/math]

Now, let [math]x_1[/math] denote the aggregate of priced goods and services, [math]x_2[/math] the number of annual visits to a recreational site, and assume for the sake of simplicity that the cost of access to the market goods is negligible ( [math]c_1 \approx 0[/math] ) and that the recreational site is free ( [math]p_2=0[/math] ). Under these assumptions, equation (1) can be written as:

[math]max \, U = u(x_1,x_2) \quad subject \, to \quad p_1x_1+c_2x_2=R . \qquad (2)[/math]

Under these conditions, the utility maximising behaviour of the consumer depends on:

The TCM is based on the assumption that changes in the costs of access to the recreational site [math]c_2[/math] have the same effect as a change in price: the number of visits to a site decreases as the cost per visit increases. Under this assumption, the demand function for visits to the recreational site is [math]x_2=f(c_2)[/math] and can be estimated using the number of annual visits as long as it is possible to observe different costs per visit. The basic TCM model is completed by the weak complementarity assumption, which states that trips are a non-decreasing function of the quality of the site, and that the individual forgoes trips to the recreational site when the quality is the lowest possible [3] , [4] . There are two basic approaches to the TCM: the Zonal approach (ZTCM) and the Individual approach (ITCM). The two approaches share the same theoretical premises, but differ from the operational point of view. The original ZTCM takes into account the visitation rate of users coming from different zones with increasing travel costs. By contrast, ITCM, developed by Brown and Nawas [5] and Gum and Martin [6] , estimates the consumer surplus by analysing the individual visitors’ behaviour and the cost sustained for the recreational activity. These are used to estimate the relationship between the number of individual visits in a given time period, usually a year, the cost per visit and other relevant socio-economic variables. The ITCM approach can be considered a refinement or a generalisation of ZTCM [7] .

Demand function.jpg

[math]x_2 = g(c_2) . \qquad (3)[/math]

The demand function can also be estimated for non-homogeneous sub-samples introducing among the independent variables income and socio-economic variables representing individual characteristics [8] . Therefore, if an individual incurs [math]c_2^e[/math] per visit, he chooses to do [math]x_2^e[/math] visits a year, while if the cost per visit increases to [math]c_2^p[/math] the number of visits will decrease to [math]x_2^p[/math] . The cost [math]cp[/math] is the choke price, that is the cost per visit that results in zero visits. The annual user surplus (the use value of the recreational site) is easily obtained by integrating the demand function from zero to the current number of annual visits, and subtracting the total expenditures on visits.

Related articles

  • ↑ Hotelling, H. (1949), Letter, In: An Economic Study of the Monetary Evaluation of Recreation in the National Parks , Washington, DC: National Park Service.
  • ↑ Clawson, M. (1959), Method for Measuring the Demand for, and Value of, Outdoor Recreation . Resources for the Future, 10, Washington, DC.
  • ↑ Freeman, A.M. III. (1993). The Measurement of Environmental and Resource Values: Theory and Method , Washington, DC: Resources for the Future.
  • ↑ Herriges, J.A., C. Kling and D.J. Phaneuf (2004), 'What’s the Use? Welfare Estimates from Revealed Preference Models when Weak Complementarity Does Not Hold', Journal of Environmental Economics and Management , 47 (1), pp. 53-68.
  • ↑ Brown, W.G. and F. Nawas (1973), 'Impact of Aggregation on the Estimation of Outdoor Recreation Demand Functions', American Journal of Agricultural Economics , 55, 246-249.
  • ↑ Gum, R.L. and W.E.Martin (1974), 'Problems and Solutions in Estimating the Demand for and Value of Rural Outdoor Recreation', American Journal of Agricultural Economics , 56, 558-566.
  • ↑ Ward, F.A. and D. Beal (2000), Valuing Nature with Travel Cost Method: A Manual , Northampton: Edward Elgar.
  • ↑ Hanley, N. and C.L. Spash (1993), Cost Benefit Analysis and the Environment , Aldershot, UK: Edward Elgar.
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The travel cost method: a valuable tool for organizers quantifying the economic value of environmental education—a case study from Oklahoma

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travel cost method example

  • Tiffany A. Legg   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-7265-5503 1 , 2 ,
  • Jason R. Vogel 1 , 3 &
  • Jeri Fleming 4  

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Environmental education (EE) and training is integral to public involvement in environmental stewardship. Although entities supported by grants and public funding provide a range of benefits, determining the economic value of the EE delivered is essential in quantifying the scope of its benefit. Data on this subject are limited; this study aims to address this gap. As a non-market good, evaluating education requires a non-traditional economic approach. An approach offering a methodological value to evaluate EE is the travel cost method (TCM), which is a non-market valuation approach in the field of environmental economics. Conventionally, TCM has been used to assess the economic value of recreational sites. For this study, the TCM is applied to indirectly value EE by using the costs of travel as a proxy for what consumers pay to travel to educational events and what they would be willing to pay (WTP) in addition to the same educational experience if higher travel costs were to be incurred. This study also considers the feasibility of TCM as a method for evaluating the value of EE, particularly for EE event organizers. Data collected via the distribution of surveys at EE events within the state of Oklahoma were incorporated into an econometric model and used to observe demographic predictors associated with a willingness to travel farther to access EE. To quantify the value of EE, the difference between the actual costs and WTP was assessed. This expressed valuation of EE is intended to assist in informed decision-making on allocation of monetary resources for agencies supported by grants and public funding.

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Acknowledgements

This research was made possible by the Oklahoma Water Survey and the numerous government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and other entities across the state of Oklahoma that distributed surveys at their environmental education events. The authors thank Dr. Jadwiga Ziolkowska for her guidance on this project.

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Legg, T.A., Vogel, J.R. & Fleming, J. The travel cost method: a valuable tool for organizers quantifying the economic value of environmental education—a case study from Oklahoma. J Environ Stud Sci (2024). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13412-024-00898-1

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travel cost method example

Travel Cost Method (TCM)

Some amenities do not have a direct cost associated with them. For example, recreational sites may be free to enter. In order to apply a value to these types of amenities a value is often derived from a good or service which is complementary to the consumption of the free amenity. One method of estimating a value is therefore to collect data on the travel costs associated with accessing the amenity or recreational site. This is commonly referred to as the travel cost method of estimating the value of an amenity.

The travel cost method involves collecting data on the costs incurred by each individual in travelling to the recreational site or amenity. This ‘price’ paid by visitors is unique to each individual, and is calculated by summing the travel costs from each individuals original location to the amenity. By aggregating the observed travel costs associated with a number of individuals accessing the amenity a demand curve can be estimated, and as such a price can be obtained for the non-price amenity.

We can show this method of using observed or revealed preferences using a diagram as shown below.

TCM

D(Visits) shows the overall trend between travel costs and visit rates at a particular asset or site. To generate an estimate of the recreational value for the site, estimates are needed for the average visitors (V1) total recreational value for the site. This is then multiplied by the total number of visitors per annum giving the total annual recreational value of the site or asset. For a more complete explanation continue to the flash example .

Zonal Travel Cost Method Example

Using the zonal travel cost method a researcher can estimate the value of an asset by exploring the actual visitors or users of a site or asset, rather than potential visitors or users. The level of analysis focuses on the zones in which people live compared to the location of the asset. The researcher is required to specify the zones from which the site users travel to the asset.

Consider an example of valuing a country park. In this example four zones have been designated by the researcher. Zone A has an average travel time of 1 hour, and a distance of 25km. Zone B has an average travel time of 1.5 hours and a distance of 40km. Zone C has an average travel time of approximately 2 hours and a distance of 80km. Finally, zone D has an average travel time of 4 hours and a distance of 120km. The admission cost for all users is the same, and is equal to £10. The number of visits per year has been observed by the researcher for each zone. Zone A has an average of 10,000 visits per year. Zone B has an average of 12,000 visits per year, zone C has 8,000 visits, and zone D has 4,000 visits. This information is shown in the table below.

To calculate the value of the asset (V) for a single visit the researcher now uses the simple equation as follows:

V = ((T x w ) + (D x v ) + Ca) x Va

T = travel time (in hours) w = average wage rate (£/hour) D = distance (in km) v = marginal vehicle operating costs Ca = cost of Admission to asset Va = average number of visits per year

Using the country park example, the value of the asset can be calculated using this formula. It is important that the researcher provides an accurate measure for the average hourly wage rate, and also for the marginal vehicle operating costs. A common value for the operating costs is around £0.16p per km. This is the equivalent of around £0.40p per mile, a standard value given for vehicle operating costs in calculating expenses claims within firms and organisations.

In the example the average hourly wage rate is £10, and marginal vehicle operating costs are calculated at £0.16p per km. The researcher can now calculate the value of the country park for each zone to get an overall value for the asset. This is shown in the table below.

Limitations of the TCM

There are a number of limitations associated with the travel cost method of value estimation. These are as follows:

(1) Difficulties in measuring the cost of visiting a site.

It may actually be quite difficult to measure the cost of accessing a site or amenity. This is because of the opportunity cost associated with the travel time. If the opportunity cost of all individuals is the same then the estimated price will be accurate. If, however, the opportunity cost of individuals accessing the site varies, which is more likely, then the measure will be inaccurate.

For example, one individual’s opportunity cost of the travel time spent accessing a recreational site is equivalent to one hours wage equalling £35. However, another individual’s opportunity cost for an hours wage is only £8. This is problematic to the TCM as if individual’s opportunity costs differ including the costs of time spent at the site, this would change the price faced by different individuals by different amounts.

(2) The estimation of willingness to pay used in the TCM is for entire site access rather than specific features.

As the TCM only provides a price or value relating to the cost of accessing the amenity or recreational site, it does so for the whole site. It may, however, be the case that we wish to value a certain aspect of the site in our project appraisal. For example, we do not wish to value a whole park, but instead the fishing ponds within it.

(3) The exclusion of the marginal cost of other complementary goods.

The travel cost method does not account for the costs involved in purchasing complementary goods which may be required in order to enjoy accessing the amenity. For example, individuals accessing a park area may take a football with them, or a picnic. Alternatively, individuals accessing a recreational site may take walking equipment and tents with them. The marginal costs of using this equipment should be included in the price estimated.

(4) Multi-purpose or multi-activity journeys.

Individuals may visit an amenity or recreational site in the morning, but then visit another site or enjoy some other activity in the afternoon. The travel endured to access the amenity was also undertaken to enable access to the afternoon activity. In this case the cost incurred in travelling to the amenity does not represent the value the individuals place on the amenity, but that which they place on both the amenity they visited in the morning and the one which they visited in the afternoon.

(5) Journey value.

It may be the case that the journey itself has a value to the individual. If this is true then some of the cost incurred in travelling to the amenity should not actually be applied to the individual accessing the amenity, and as such should be removed from the estimation of the amenities value.

(6) Assumed responses to changes in price.

The TCM method assumes that individuals respond to changes in price regardless of its composition. For example, TCM assumes that individuals will react consistently to a £10 increase in travel cost as they would to a £10 increase in admission costs.

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Travel Cost Method

14th Jan 2019

Suitability for the forest ecosystem services to be valued: Recreational services Description of the method: Travel Cost Method derives willingness to pay for environmental benefits at a specific location by using information on the amount of money and time that people spend to visit the location. It is based on the rationale that recreational experiences are associated with a cost (direct expenses and opportunity costs of time). The value of a change in the quality or quantity of a recreational site (resulting from changes in biodiversity) can be inferred from estimating the demand function for visiting the site that is being studied. This method assumes that the value to the consumer is at least equal to the travel costs the consumer is willing to incur to obtain the desired good or service. Thus, peoples’ willingness to pay to visit the site can be estimated based on the number of trips that they make at different travel costs. This is analogous to estimating peoples’ willingness to pay for a marketed good based on the quantity demanded at different prices. Benefits of the method: Similar to more conventional approaches to estimate economic values based on market prices Based on actual behaviour rather than on hypothetical behaviour of the respondents On-site surveys provide opportunities for large sample sizes Results are relatively easy to interpret and explain Relatively inexpensive to apply Limitations of the method: Opportunity costs of time (i.e. the idea that time spent traveling could have been used in other ways) are difficult to determine and might not be empirically observable at all, which requires additional assumptions Assumption that people respond to changes in travel costs the same way that they would respond to changes in admission price might not always be true Limited in its scope of application because it requires user participation Standard approaches provide information about current conditions, but not about gains or losses from anticipated changes in resource conditions The simplest travel cost models assume that individuals take a trip for a single purpose The availability of substitute sites will affect values The modern variants of travel-cost models are known as Random utility/discrete choice models. Random utility models arise from the empirical assumption that people know their preferences (utility) with certainty, but there are elements of these preferences that are not accessible to the empirical observer. Thus, parameters of peoples’ preferences can be recovered statistically up to a random error component. This econometric approach is used to estimate modern travel-cost models.

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Methods used for the environmental valuation (with diagram).

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The following methods are used for environmental valuation:

(A) Expressed Preference Methods:

The demand for environmental goods can be measured by examining individuals’ expressed preference for these goods relative to their demand for other goods and services. These techniques avoid the need to find a complementary good (travel or house), or a substitute good (compensating wage rate), to derive a demand curve and hence estimate how much an individual implicitly values an environmental good. Moreover, expressed preference techniques ask individuals explicitly how much they value an environmental good.

Contingent Valuation Method (CVM):

Analytic survey techniques rely on hypothetical situations to place a monetary value on goods or services. Most survey-based techniques are examples of contingent valuation method. Contingent valuation frequently elicits information on willingness to pay or willingness to accept compensation for an increase or decrease in some usually non-marketed goods or services.

This method puts direct questions to individuals to determine how much they might be willing to pay for environmental resources or how much compensation they would be willing to accept if they were deprived of the same resources. This method is more effective when the respondents are familiar with the environmental good or service and have adequate information on which to base their preferences. We will discuss trade-off game method, costless-choice method, and Delphi method as part of contingent valuation approach.

(1) Trade-Off Game Method:

This method relates to a set of contingent valuation techniques that rely on the creation of a hypothetical market for some good or service. In a single ­bid game the respondents are asked to give a single bid equal to their willingness to pay or willingness to accept compensation for the environmental good or service described. In an iterative (repeating) bid game the respondents are given a variety of bids to determine at what price they are indifferent between receiving (or paying) the bid or receiving (or losing) the environmental good at issue.

The trade-off game method is a variant of the bidding game wherein respondents are asked to choose between two different bundles of goods. Each bundle might, for example, include a different sum of money plus varying levels of an environmental resource. The choice indicates a person’s willingness to trade money for an increased level of an environmental good. When no money is involved, the approach becomes similar to the costless-choice method.

(2) Costless-Choice Method:

The costless-choice method is a contingent valuation technique whereby people are asked to choose between several hypothetical bundles of goods to determine their implicit valuation of an environmental good or service. Since no monetary figures are involved, this approach may be more useful in settings where barter and subsistence production are common.

(3) Delphi Method:

The Delphi method is a variant of the survey-based techniques wherein experts, rather than consumers, are interviewed. These experts place values on a good or service through an iterative process with feedback among the group between each iteration. This expert-base approach may be useful when valuing very esoteric resources.

This is really a specialized survey technique designed to overcome the speculative and isolated nature of expert opinions. A sufficiently large sample of experts is presented individually with a list of events on which to attach probabilities and to which other events, with probabilities may be added. Some recent Delphi exercises have been recreation-specific. But testing the accuracy of their forecasts is not yet possible, especially since the predictions are only meant to be general perspectives.

(B) The Revealed Preference Methods:

The demand for environmental goods can be revealed by examining the purchases of related goods in the private market place. There may be complementary goods or other factor inputs in the household’s production function. There are a number of revealed preference methods such as travel- cost method, hedonic price method and property value method.

(2) The Hedonic Price Method:

The underlying assumption of the hedonic price method is that the price of a property is related to the stream of benefits to be derived from it. The method relies on the hypothesis that the prices which individuals pay for commodities reflect both environmental and non-environmental characteristics. The implicit prices are sometimes referred to as hedonic prices, which relate the environmental attributes of the property.

Therefore, the hedonic price approach attempts to identify how much of a property differential is due to a particular environmental difference between properties, and how much people are willing to pay for an improvement in the environmental quality that they face and what the social value of improvement is.

The hedonic price method is based on consumers which postulates that every good provides a bundle of characteristics or attributes. Again, market goods can be regarded as intermediate inputs into the production of the more basic attributes that individuals really demand.

The demand for goods, say housing can, therefore, be considered as a derived demand. For example, a house yields shelter, but through its location it also yields access to different quantities and qualities of public services, such as schools, centres of employment and cultural activities etc. Further it accesses different quantities and qualities of environmental goods, such as open space parks, lakes etc.

The price of a house is determined by a number of factors like structural characteristics, e.g. number of rooms, garages, plot sizes etc. and the environmental characteristics of the area. Controlling the non-governmental characteristics which affect the demand for housing, permits the implicit price that individuals are willing to pay to consume the environmental characteristics associated with the house to be estimated.

The hedonic price function describing the house price Pi of any housing unit is given below:

Pi = f [S 1i …………S ki , N 1i ,…………….N mi , Z 1i ………….Z ni ]

Where, S represents structural characteristics of the house i i.e. type of construction, house size and number of rooms; N represents neighbourhood characteristics of house i, that is accessibility to work, crime rate, quality of schools etc. It is assumed that only one environment variable affects the property value i.e. air quality (Z).

For example, if the linear relation exists, then the equation becomes

P i = [α 0 + α 1 S 1i + ….. + α K S Ki + β 1 N 1i + ……. + β m N mi + γ a Z a ]

and y a > 0.

There is a positive relation between air quality and property price as shown in Figure 50.2. The figure indicates that house price increases with air quality improvement.

clip_image004

Figure 50.3. indicates that the implicit marginal purchase price of Z a (air quality) varies according to the ambient level (Z a ) prior to the marginal change.

clip_image005

The hedonic price method has become a well-established technique for estimating the disaggregated benefits of various goods attributes. In the case of housing, these attributes include not only basic structural and amenity characteristics but also environmental characteristics such as clean air, landscape and local ecological diversity. Thus, when a particular policy is implemented which will have a very great effect on the local environment, the hedonic method offers a useful way of estimating the change in amenity benefits.

1. This method is of no relevance when dealing with many types of public goods i.e. defence, nation-wise air pollution and endangered species, etc., as it prices are available for them.

2. The hedonic price method may be used to estimate the environmental benefits provided to local residents by an area as it exists today. But in fact, it cannot reliably predict the benefits which will be generated by future improvements because those improvements will have the effect of shifting the existing function.

3. Another problem is whether an individual’s perceptions and consequent property purchase decisions are based upon actual or historic levels of pollution and environmental quality. If expectations are not the same as measured by present pollution estimate, then there are clearly problems relating to values derived from purchases.

4. Moreover, expectations regarding future environmental quality may bias present purchases away from that level dictated by present characteristic levels.

5. This method has been criticised for making the implicit assumption that households continually re-evaluate their choice of location.

6. Further, there is considerable doubt that such an assumption can hold in the context of spatially large study areas. If people cluster for social or transportation reasons, the results of this method will be biased.

(3) Preventive Expenditure Method:

The preventive expenditure method is a cost based valuation method that uses data on actual expenditures made to alleviate all environmental problems. Often, costs may be incurred to mitigate the damage caused by an adverse environmental impact. For example, if drinking water is polluted, extra purification may be needed. Then, such additional defensive or preventive expenditure could be taken as a minimum estimate of the mitigation of benefits beforehand.

In the preventive expenditure method, the value of the environment is inferred from what people are prepared to spend to prevent its degradation. The averting or mitigating behaviour method infers a monetary value for an environmental externality by observing the costs people are prepared to incur in order to avoid any negative effects.

For example, by moving to an area with less air pollution at a greater distance from their place of work thus incurring additional transportation costs in terms of time and money. Both of these methods are again, conceptually closely linked.

These methods assess the value of non-marketed commodities such as cleaner air and water, through the amount individuals are willing to pay for market goods and services to mitigate an environmental externality, or to prevent a utility loss from environmental degradation, or to change their behaviour to acquire greater environmental quality.

(4) Surrogate Markets:

When no market exists for a good or service and therefore, no market price is observed, then surrogate (or substitute) markets can be used to derive information on values. For example, travel-cost information can be used to estimate value for visits to a recreational area; property value data are used to estimate values for non-marketed environmental attributes such as view, location or noise levels.

The effects of environmental damages on other markets like property values and wages of workers are also evaluated. Valuation in the case of property is based on risks involved in evaluating the value of property due to environmental damage. Similarly, jobs with high environmental risks will have high wages which will include large risk premiums.

(5) Property-value Method:

In the property-value method, a surrogate market approach is used to place monetary values on different levels of environmental quality. The approach uses data on market prices for homes and other real estates to estimate consumers’ willingness to pay for improved levels of environmental quality, air, noise etc.

In areas where relatively competitive markets exist for land, it is possible to decompose real estate prices into components attributable to different characteristics like house, lot size and water quality. The marginal willingness to pay for improved local environmental quality is reflected in the increased price of housing in cleaner neighborhoods.

(C) Cost-Based Methods:

Cost-based methods are discussed below:

(1) Opportunity Cost Method:

This method values the benefits of environmental protection in terms of what is being foregone to achieve it. This forms the basis of compensation payments for the compulsory purchase by the government of land and property under eminent domain laws. Further, it assumes that the land owner or user has property rights over the use of the land or the natural resource, and that to restrict these rights the government, on behalf of the society, must compensate the owner.

The opportunity cost method is useful in cases where it is difficult to enumerate the benefits of an environmental change. For example, rather than comparing the benefits of various alternative conservation schemes in order to choose between them, the method can be used to enumerate the opportunity costs of foregone development associated with each scheme with the preferred option, being the one with the lowest opportunity cost.

The opportunity cost method does not include non-marketed public good values of land. The fact that land and its attributes produce externalities is explicitly recognised in regulatory land-use planning controls, which seek to minimize external bads through development control and land-use class orders, by separating externality producing land uses spatially.

Thus planning controls seek to preserve amenity benefits by restricting the development of land. However, by imposing such restrictions, the price of land, such as green belt land, has a lower financial value than its opportunity cost value.

(2) Relocation Cost Method:

This is a cost-based technique used to estimate the monetary value of environmental damages based on the potential costs of relocating a physical facility that would be damaged by a change in environmental quality. This method relies on data on potential expenditures.

(D) Other Methods:

There are some other methods of valuing the environment.

(1) Dose-Response Method:

This method requires information on the effect that a change in a particular chemical or pollutant has on the level of an economic activity or a consumer’s utility. For example, ground levels of air pollution, such as ozone, affect the growth of various plant species differentially. Where this results in a change in the output of a crop, the loss of output can be valued at market or shadow (adjusted or proxy) market prices.

Dose-response relationships or production function approaches, are perhaps the most familiar valuation techniques. Essentially, a link is established between say, a pollution level and a physical response, for example, the rate at which the surface of a material decays. The decay is valued by applying the market price (costs of repair) or by borrowing a unit valuation from non-market studies.

Notable examples include the valuation of health damage. Once air pollution is linked to morbidity and morbidity is linked to days lost from work, the days lost can be valued, perhaps using a market wage rate. The main effort of the analysis is devoted to identifying the link between dose and the response.

(2) Human Capital or Foregone Earning Approach:

The human capital approach values environmental attributes through their effects on the quantity and quality of labour. The loss earnings approach focuses on the impact which adverse environmental conditions have on human health and the resultant costs to society in terms of income lost through illness, accidents and spending on medical treatments.

The principle involved in this approach is that of valuing life in terms of the value of labour. Given adequate data regarding lifetime earnings, participation rates in the labour force mortality rates, etc., it is possible to estimate the value of the expected future earnings of individuals in any age- group.

On the assumption that wage rates are a precise indicator of productivity, the same measure with some adjustment to allow for social preferences being different from private preferences can be used as a measure of the value of the future output of the individual to society.

The social values emerging are usually referred to as the economic value of life. The other being non-economic or intangible aspects which are additional to that part of life which the method has been able to measure. This type of valuation system is the one most commonly found in practice.

The adjusted stream of life-time earnings has to be discounted to convert it to present value terms. This present value stream of future earnings with these various adjustments made, represents the human capital value of life span. In some cases, the measurement of lost output is taken net of consumption and in others a gross figure is used.

The reasoning behind the adoption of a net of consumption estimate is that when a worker dies due to an accident that occurs in a factory, the earnings of the workers will be stopped. The society loses the difference between what he would have produced and what he would have consumed.

Related Articles:

  • Difficulties Faced During the Measurement of Environmental Values
  • Valuing the Environment: Meaning and Need for Environment Valuation

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Travel App Development Cost Based on App Features, Types, Examples

For many business owners in the travel industry, the journey from ideation to developing a fully functional app is often hurdled by cost-related challenges. They want complete information about the travel app development cost from multiple perspectives. These perspectives can be in the form of travel app features, types, examples, and the development process.

Understanding all these financial perspectives is essential to building an effective budget. And this guide will help you understand the cost of building a travel app from multiple perspectives. Whether you want to know about the cost of integrating some feature, a complete app type, or any cost-related query, we will cover it all.

Table of Contents

Factors That Affect Travel App Development Cost

When it comes to the travel app development , especially concerns related to costs, the features you choose to integrate into your travel app affect the overall cost. Why? Because each feature lays a layer of complexity and requires a specific level of expertise and development time, here is a detailed look at the features and their associated cost factors.

User Registration and Profiles

User registration has become a must in every app. It allows users to customize their profiles, add personal information and manage their preferences related to the app. This feature generally includes options for signing up via email, phone number or any of the user’s social media accounts.

Cost Affecting Factors

  • Designing of user-friendly registration forms.
  • Implementing Secure Authentication Methods
  • Integrating Social Media Logins
  • Developing user profile management functionalities

Search and Booking Functionalities

Searching flights is one of the core features in every travel app. When you integrate search features you then require third party APIs to fetch real time data and ensure smooth transactions. Here are some cost affecting factors for this feature.

  •   Integrating search engines for various travel services
  •   Developing a user-friendly search interface
  •   Implementing secure and efficient booking systems
  •   Integrating payment gateways for transactions

GPS and Navigation

Real-time GPS and navigation features enhance the user experience by providing accurate directions, travel routes, and nearby attractions or services.  However, the integration of such a robust feature comes with an increased cost because of the complexities involved.

  • Integrating GPS functionality
  • Developing real-time navigation systems
  • Implementing mapping services like Google Maps or Mapbox
  • Ensuring offline navigation capabilities

Reviews and Recommendations

User reviews and personalized recommendations are essential for building trust and enhancing the user experience. Implementing these features requires data handling and sophisticated algorithms.

  •  Developing a review and rating system
  •  Implementing recommendation algorithms based on user data
  •  Ensuring data security and privacy

Notifications and Alerts

Keeping users informed through notifications and alerts about booking confirmations, travel updates, and special offers is crucial for engagement.

  •   Setting up push notifications
  •   Implementing SMS and email alert systems
  •   Customizing notifications based on user preferences

Multi-language and Multi-currency Support

To cater to a global audience, your app should support multiple languages and currencies. This involves localization and integration of currency conversion features.

  •   Translating app content into various languages
  •   Implementing currency conversion systems
  •   Ensuring a seamless user experience across different regions
Read More: Building Multilingual Apps in Flutter: Localization & Internationalization Method

Social Media Integration

Integrating social media allows users to share their travel experiences and connect with friends, enhancing the app’s reach and user engagement.

  • Implementing social media login and sharing functionalities
  • Developing features for social interaction within the app

Customer Support

Providing excellent customer support through in-app chat, AI chatbots, or live support can significantly enhance user satisfaction.

  •  Developing in-app chat functionalities
  •  Integrating AI chatbots for automated support
  •  Setting up live customer support systems

Understanding these feature-specific mobile app development costs will help you in planning your budget more effectively, ensuring that you allocate resources where they matter most. Now let us view travel app development costs according to the perspective of travel app types.

Read More: Chatbot Cost: Affecting Factors, Development Options, and Cost Estimation to add Chatbot in Your App

Travel App Development Cost According To Travel App Types

Travel App Development Cost According To Travel App Types

Let’s break down the travel app development costs for various types of travel apps including booking, travel planning, transportation, accommodation, and all in one travel apps.

Travel Booking Apps

Booking apps cater to flights, hotels, and car rentals. Key features include search functionality, real-time availability, booking, payment processing, and notifications.

  • Front-end Development : Designing user interfaces, implementing search filters, and integrating booking APIs.
  • Back-end Development : Building APIs, handling reservations, and managing payment gateways.
  • Third-party Integrations : Costs associated with integrating external services (e.g., flight APIs, hotel databases).
  • Testing and Quality Assurance : Ensuring smooth user experiences and bug-free functionality.
  • Maintenance and Updates : Ongoing support and feature enhancements.

Travel Planning Apps

These apps assist users in planning itineraries, providing travel guides, and suggesting activities. Features include personalized recommendations, maps, and trip organization.

  • Content Creation : Developing high-quality travel content (articles, images, maps).
  • Algorithm Development : Creating recommendation algorithms based on user preferences.
  • User Experience Design : Crafting intuitive interfaces for itinerary planning.
  • Backend Infrastructure : Storing user preferences and trip data.
  • Testing and Optimization : Ensuring accurate recommendations and smooth navigation.

Transportation Apps

Public transport apps, ride-sharing apps, and bike-sharing apps fall into this category. Features include real-time tracking, route planning, and fare calculation.

  • Geolocation Services : Integrating map APIs (e.g., Google Maps) for route planning.
  • Backend Development : Handling real-time data updates (e.g., bus schedules, traffic).
  • User Interfaces : Designing user-friendly interfaces for route selection.
  • Testing and Performance Optimization : Ensuring accurate location tracking.

Accommodation Apps

These apps focus on property listings, user reviews, and booking accommodations. Features include property details, ratings, and secure payment processing.

  • Database Development : Storing property information, availability, and pricing.
  • User Reviews : Implementing review functionality and moderation.
  • Payment Gateways : Integrating secure payment options .
  • User Interfaces : Designing property listing pages and booking flows.

A Super App for Travel Needs

A super app development or all-in-one app combines functionalities from different app types; booking, planning, transportation, and accommodation. They are known for their seamless and complete travel experience.

Costs Affecting Factors

  • Integration Challenges : Ensuring smooth interactions between different modules.
  • Complex User Flows : Designing cohesive user journeys.
  • Maintenance and Updates : Regularly enhancing features and addressing user feedback.

Travel App Development Cost According to Examples

Travel App Development Cost According to Examples

A lot of apps have revolutionised the travel app industry. From ticket booking apps to taxi booking apps and trip planners, we have seen a lot of new innovations in this section. And all of these apps give us good references to frame your own idea with the costing part too.

Airbnb has revolutionized the travel industry with its unique platform that connects travelers with local hosts. The app’s key features includes property Listings, booking System, secure Payment Processing, user Reviews, personalized Recommendation and more.

The cost of developing an app with functionalities akin to Airbnb is influenced by various factors. These include the complexity of UI/UX design , the geographical location of the development team, and the range of integrated features. An app of this level typically requires a budget ranging from $40,000 to $300,000.

Read More: Complete Research Guide on Airbnb like App Development: History, Market Potential, Business Model & Roadmap

Skyscanner is a comprehensive travel app primarily focused on air travel. Its core functionalities include flight booking, real-time tracking, route planning, fare calculation and more.

The financial investment for creating a flight booking app that has the capabilities of Skyscanner.net again depends upon the chosen platform and other factors. For an estimate you can range between $4,000 and $15,000 per platform.

TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor is a well-known travel platform that offers a range of services to travelers. Its features include user registration, search and booking functionalities, review and rating system, integration with maps, social sharing features and more.

And, developing an app similar to TripAdvisor involves similar considerations like target platform, design complexity, and scalability. Yet, the estimated cost for such a development project ranges from $30,000 to $300,000.

Top-Notch Travel App Development Services with Cost-Effective Solutions

Want to meet affordability with innovations for your travel app development project? We are a leading travel app development company who unlocks a range of benefits, ensuring a successful digital product that stands out in the market. The key benefits include:

  • Affordable Solutions prioritises cost-effectiveness without compromising the quality of the digital product.
  • Customised solutions ensure that your travel app closely aligns with your specific needs and budget constraints.
  • Clean and transparent pricing models throughout the app development journey.
  • A future-proof digital solution maximising return on investment.
  • Experienced team working on your project and helping you make informed decisions through their diverse industry experience.

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Vaibhav Sharma

Vaibhav Sharma

Vaibhav Sharma is the Business Head of RipenApps, the fastest-growing mobile app development company. Holding expertise in creating a user experience, he has a firm grip on product strategizing that gives clients a clear roadmap of their product development lifecycle.

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Environmental Valuation: The Travel Cost Method

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Working Papers

Journal of Leisure Research

John Loomis

Mahidi Hasan kawsar , Muha Abdullah Al Pavel , Md Abdullah Al Mamun

Estimation of recreational benefits is an important tool for both biodiversity conservation and ecotourism development in national parks and sanctuaries. The design of this work is to estimate the recreational value and to establish functional relationship between travel cost and visitation of Lawachara National Park (LNP) in Bangladesh. This study employed zonal approach of the travel cost method. The work is grounded on a sample of 422 visitors of the LNP. Results showed that the total value of environmental assets of the LNP is 55,694,173 Taka/Year. Moreover, our suggestion based on visitors' willingness to pay is that the park entrance fee of 25 Tk per person should be introduced that could generate revenue approximate 2.3 million Taka/ year, beneficial for the park management and conservation of biodiversity.

International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences

Kamarul Ismail

Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics

Clement Tisdell

Discusses the implications of the economic valuation of natural resources used for tourism and relates this valuation to the concept of total economic valuation. It demonstrates how applications of the concept of total economic valuation can be supportive of the conservation of natural resources used for tourism. Techniques for valuing tourism’s natural resources are then outlined and critically evaluated. Consideration is given to travel cost methods, contingent valuation methods, and hedonic pricing approaches before concentrating on current developments of valuation techniques, such as choice modelling. The general limitations of existing methods are considered and it is argued that more attention should be given to developing guidelines that will identify ‘optimally imperfect methods’. An overall assessment concludes this article.

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Hafted stone tools fell into disuse in the Pacific region in the 19th and 20th centuries. Before this occurred, examples of tools were collected by early travelers, explorers and tourists. These objects, which now reside in ethnographic collections around the world, make up a remarkable record of vanished traditions. In this chapter I assemble the most extensive survey of these tools to date. I discuss their distributions and how these relate to lifeways and cultural histories. In highland New Guinea I propose that hafted stone tool forms trace three waves of agricultural innovation. I also show how convergent evolution has shaped similar tool types in the Asia Pacific region and the European Neolithic. Lastly, I consider the question of how aspects of material culture and language in the region correlate with each other.

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1. Introduction

2. giwaxs methodology of bl17b, 3. conclusion.

travel cost method example

beamlines \(\def\hfill{\hskip 5em}\def\hfil{\hskip 3em}\def\eqno#1{\hfil {#1}}\)

Open Access

GIWAXS experimental methods at the NFPS-BL17B beamline at Shanghai Synchrotron Radiation Facility

a National Facility for Protein Science in Shanghai, Shanghai Advanced Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Pudong District, People's Republic of China * Correspondence e-mail: [email protected]

The BL17B beamline at the Shanghai Synchrotron Radiation Facility was first designed as a versatile high-throughput protein crystallography beamline and one of five beamlines affiliated to the National Facility for Protein Science in Shanghai. It was officially opened to users in July 2015. As a bending magnet beamline, BL17B has the advantages of high photon flux, brightness, energy resolution and continuous adjustable energy between 5 and 23 keV. The experimental station excels in crystal screening and structure determination, providing cost-effective routine experimental services to numerous users. Given the interdisciplinary and green energy research demands, BL17B beamline has undergone optimization, expanded its range of experimental methods and enhanced sample environments for a more user-friendly testing mode. These methods include single-crystal X-ray diffraction, powder crystal X-ray diffraction, wide-angle X-ray scattering, grazing-incidence wide-angle X-ray scattering (GIWAXS), and fully scattered atom pair distribution function analysis, covering structure detection from crystalline to amorphous states. This paper primarily presents the performance of the BL17B beamline and the application of the GIWAXS methodology at the beamline in the field of perovskite materials.

Keywords: synchrotron radiation ; X-ray ; GIWAXS ; perovskite cells .

The BL17B beamline station utilizes synchrotron radiation as the X-ray source, offering advantages such as high flux, high collimation and tunable wavelength. Equipped with a two-dimensional area Pilatus detector, the experimental station not only rapidly acquires crystallographic information but also detects diffraction signals both in-plane and out-of-plane, providing detailed orientation distribution information for the same crystal plane. This capability facilitates time-resolved in situ experiments. By altering the incident angle, scattering signals from the surface to the bulk can be obtained. Therefore, experiments employing the synchrotron-radiation-based GIWAXS methodology have significantly contributed to the advancement of energy storage materials.

1.1. Experimental station

The MD2 diffractometer system boasts a high-precision air-bearing rotation axis with a programmable controller, enabling the issuance of shutter commands based on the rotation axes' speed and position. The comprehensive beamline control system integrates slits, light intensity detectors and scatter blockers, among other components. External attachments to the diffractometer include a liquid nitro­gen cooling apparatus and an adjustable bracket for fluorescence detection. The low-temperature cooling equipment for the sample consists of a cold head, a liquid nitro­gen dewar, a pump, a cold head controller, a liquid nitro­gen level controller and a manual controller. The cold head's adjustable temperature range spans from 80 to 500 K (Oxford Cryostream 800 series), facilitating in situ studies of temperature effects on the sample. A user-friendly goniometer head allows for easy manual installation of a standard test sample, enhancing operational efficiency.

2.1. Sample preparation

BL17B experimental users can select the most appropriate preparation method based on the characteristics of their samples. For in situ sample testing, it is recommended that the sample substrate area does not exceed 2 cm × 2 cm, the substrate is typically a silicon wafer or a glass slide, and the sample on the substrate should be uniformly coated with a thickness on the micro-nanometre scale.

2.2. Experimental method

Currently, the GIWAXS testing methods at the BL17B beamline are categorized into offline experiments and in situ experiments. Offline experiments refer to testing pre-prepared samples directly on the sample stage in the laboratory. Our designed sample stage can accommodate ten samples at once for automatic testing, significantly enhancing testing efficiency compared with the traditional method of testing individual samples sequentially. The method described in this paper greatly improves the testing throughput. In addition, in situ experiments encompass in situ spin-coating, heating and variations in environmental atmosphere. When in situ spin-coating and heating tests are required, the multifunctional control station is positioned between the X-ray beam and the detector, and the sample to be tested is securely placed and fixed on the sample stage. The motion control system and the spin-coating and heating device are used to accurately adjust the platform to achieve the desired X-ray exposure on the sample. The spin-coating and heating system is a fixture on the motion system, capable of heating the spin coater. The sample is placed on the spin head, either mechanically secured or attached with specific adhesives to ensure full contact with the spin head without obstructing incident and diffracted light.

In GIWAXS testing, beam cutting is the first and most crucial step. Beam cutting refers to aligning the sample parallel to the X-ray beam and partially blocking the beam to ensure that the light can impinge on the sample surface in a grazing incidence manner during testing. Firstly, the sample is positioned lower than the beam so that the detector fully receives the beam, resulting in the highest detector count. In the second step, the sample position is raised along the Z -axis until the detector count decreases to half of the previous count, indicating that half of the beam is blocked. Finally, the sample is oscillated around the Y -axis within a small angular range. It can be observed that, when the sample is perfectly parallel to the beam, the beam is least obstructed, resulting in the maximum detector count. This angle is set as 0°, and afterward the incident angle can be controlled by tilting the sample stage. For testing perovskite thin film samples, an incident angle of 0.3° is typically chosen, as it achieves a good balance between diffraction signal and background signal. If it is necessary to limit the penetration depth, the incident angle can be adjusted accordingly. Additionally, the penetration ability of X-rays is closely related to their wavelength. Beamline BL17B usually employs X-rays with two wavelengths, 10 keV and 18 keV. The use of 18 keV X-rays provides a higher signal-to-noise ratio in the two-dimensional diffraction pattern, but it also has a higher penetration power and is less sensitive to changes in incident angle. Therefore, when performing angle-resolved tests, 10 keV X-rays are typically selected.

2.3. Scientific highlights of GIWAXS

This article outlines the performance of the BL17B beamline station and the methodology of GIWAXS, including experimental testing, auxiliary facilities, data acquisition and user achievements. BL17B is a high-throughput structural analysis beamline with a high degree of automation, enabling rapid, scalable and efficient sample collection and structural determination. A portable/integrated/high-precision GIWAXS testing device developed based on this beamline allows for various in situ experiments, such as in situ coating, heating and atmospheric conditions. This device facilitates real-time monitoring of the crystallization and decomposition processes of perovskites, providing valuable support for the development of more stable and efficient perovskite solar cells.

Acknowledgements

We thank the staff of the NFPS and SSRF team for design, installation and continuing collaboration. We would like to express our deep appreciation to Professor Yang Yingguo for his expert guidance and invaluable assistance on the design of the GIWAXS equipment.

Funding information

The following funding is acknowledged: Chinese Academy Science (CAS) Key Technology Talent Program (grant No. 2021000022).

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) Licence , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original authors and source are cited.

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  25. Environmental Valuation: The Travel Cost Method

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  28. (IUCr) GIWAXS experimental methods at the NFPS-BL17B beamline at

    Linear motors on the support system facilitate vertical movement of the sample on the support platform along the Z-axis (the Z-axis has a travel range of 290 mm, adjustable with a precision of 0.01 mm per step), ensuring precise X-ray exposure to the sample. The X-rays are monitored through readings from photodiodes and picoammeters in the ...