Jerusalem’s Sacher Park
Jerusalem’s Sacher Park Photo by Tomer Appelbaum
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The Israel Nature and Parks Authority has recently placed a special device in the entrance to one of its free parks to better evaluate how many people visit the site. Two more similar counters - which consist of a plastic board with a special sensor, buried several feet underground - are planned to be placed in two more unspecified sites, in the north of Israel.

The device, used in hundreds of parks in Europe and the U.S., was developed by French company ECO Counter - which specializes in technology that helps gather information about the number of visitors in nature sites. The sensor reacts to minute pressure, and the board's size can be modulated according to the entrance gates.

"We know that every year 8.5 million people visit the 65 sites that sell entry tickets," said Eyal Mitrani of the Nature and Parks Authority, "but we have no idea how many people visit our open sites. The data will reach all the Authority's computers in real time, thus enabling us to send more inspectors and guides to overcrowded sites."

Mitrani refused to reveal in which site the new gadget was placed, fearing that curious visitors would try to locate it.