Using Google Street View to Audit the Built Environment
Recently, Google Street View imagery has been used to assess characteristics of the built environment. This study analyzed the blinded results of two auditors who independently assessed the same street segments using Google Street View.
The Active Neighborhood Checklist, an assessment tool to measure the existence or absence of built environment surroundings was used. The audit included 288 street segments in suburban and urban areas of Indianapolis and St. Louis in 2011.
- The use of Google Street View is a reliable method for conducting built environment audits. Ninety-five percent of the items had substantial or near perfect agreement. This finding suggests that Google Street View audits display inter-rater reliability comparable to observational field audits.
Public health researchers conducting observational field audits face extensive travel and resource demands. The ability to use publicly available data without the need to travel to the locations offers a promising new technology to efficiently conduct audits.
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