Advertisement

Reassessing Urban Health Interventions: Back to the Future with Google Street View Time Machine

Published:September 14, 2018DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amepre.2018.04.047

      Introduction

      Validity of research linking built environments to health relies on the availability and reliability of data used to measure exposures. As cities transform, it is important to track when and where urban changes occur, to provide detailed information for urban health intervention research. This paper presents an online observation method of the implementation of traffic-calming features using Google Street View Time Machine. The method is used to validate an existing administrative database detailing the implementation of curb extensions and speed bumps.

      Methods

      Online observation of curb extensions and speed bumps was conducted for four boroughs in Montreal, Canada, in autumn 2016, and compared with administrative data documenting traffic-calming measures implemented between 2008 and 2014. All images available through the Time Machine function between 2007 and 2016 for 708 intervention sites were visualized online. Records in the administrative database were compared to real-world Google Street View observations and tested in terms of sensitivity, specificity, and positive predicted value.

      Results

      Google Street View Time Machine allowed the visualization of a median of seven different dates per street intersection and six dates per street segment. This made it possible to analyze built environment changes within 3,973 distinct time periods at 708 locations. Validation of the administrative data regarding presence of an intervention showed 99% (95% CI=97%, 99%) sensitivity, 58% (95% CI=51%, 64%) specificity, and 77% (95% CI=73%, 81%) positive predictive value.

      Conclusions

      Google Street View Time Machine allowed past (2007–2016) online documentation of microscale urban interventions—curb extensions and speed bumps. The proposed method offers a new way to document historic changes to the built environment, which will be useful for urban health intervention research.
      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'

      Subscribe:

      Subscribe to American Journal of Preventive Medicine
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect

      REFERENCES

        • Bowler DE
        • Buyung-Ali LM
        • Knight TM
        • Pullin AS
        A systematic review of evidence for the added benefits to health of exposure to natural environments.
        BMC Public Health. 2010; 10: 456.
        • Renalds A
        • Smith TH
        • Hale PJ
        A systematic review of built environment and health.
        Fam Med Community Health. 2010; 33: 68-78
        • Schulz M
        • Romppel M
        • Grande G
        Built environment and health: a systematic review of the state of research in Germany.
        Gesundheitswesen. 2016; 78: A43
        • Brownson RC
        • Hoehner CM
        • Day K
        • Forsyth A
        • Sallis JF
        Measuring the built environment for physical activity: state of the science.
        Am J Prev Med. 2009; 36: S99-S123
        • Sampson RJ
        • Raudenbush SW
        Systematic social observation of public spaces: a new look at disorder in urban neighborhoods.
        AJS. 1999; 105: 603-651
        • Koepsell T
        • McCloskey L
        • Wolf M
        • et al.
        Crosswalk markings and the risk of pedestrian–motor vehicle collisions in older pedestrians.
        JAMA. 2002; 288: 2136-2143
        • Clifton KJ
        • Smith ADL
        • Rodriguez D
        The development and testing of an audit for the pedestrian environment.
        Landsc Urban Plan. 2007; 80: 95-110
        • Ben-Joseph E
        • Lee JS
        • Cromley EK
        • Laden F
        • Troped PJ
        Virtual and actual: relative accuracy of on-site and web-based instruments in auditing the environment for physical activity.
        Health Place. 2013; 19: 138-150
        • Gullón P
        • Badland HM
        • Alfayate S
        • et al.
        Assessing walking and cycling environments in the streets of Madrid: comparing on-field and virtual audits.
        J Urban Health. 2015; 92: 923-939
        • Badland HM
        • Opit S
        • Witten K
        • Kearns RA
        • Mavoa S
        Can virtual streetscape audits reliably replace physical streetscape audits?.
        J Urban Health. 2010; 87: 1007-1016
        • Rundle AG
        • Bader MDM
        • Richards CA
        • Neckerman KM
        • Teitler JO
        Using Google Street View to audit neighborhood environments.
        Am J Prev Med. 2011; 40: 94-100
        • Odgers CL
        • Caspi A
        • Bates CJ
        • Sampson RJ
        • Moffitt TE
        Systematic social observation of children's neighborhoods using Google Street View: a reliable and cost-effective method.
        J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2012; 53: 1009-1017
        • Griew P
        • Hillsdon M
        • Foster C
        • Coombes E
        • Jones A
        • Wilkinson P
        Developing and testing a street audit tool using Google Street View to measure environmental supportiveness for physical activity.
        Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2013; 10: 103.
        • Hara K
        • Le V
        • Sun J
        • Jacobs D
        • Froehlich J
        Exploring early solutions for automatically identifying inaccessible sidewalks in the physical world using Google Street View.
        Human Computer Interaction Consortium, Pacific Grove, CA2018 (June 23–37.) (Accessed July 19, 2018.)
        • Less EL
        • McKee P
        • Toomey T
        • et al.
        Matching study areas using Google Street View: a new application for an emerging technology.
        Eval Program Plann. 2015; 53: 72-79
        • Mooney SJ
        • DiMaggio CJ
        • Lovasi GS
        • et al.
        Use of Google Street View to assess environmental contributions to pedestrian injury.
        Am J Public Health. 2016; 106: 462-469
        • Kepper MM
        • Sothern MS
        • Theall KP
        • et al.
        A reliable, feasible method to observe neighborhoods at high spatial resolution.
        Am J Prev Med. 2017; 52: S20-S30
        • Anguelov D
        • Dulong C
        • Filip D
        • et al.
        Google street view: capturing the world at street level.
        Computer. 2010; 43: 32-38
        • Kelly CM
        • Wilson JS
        • Baker EA
        • Miller DK
        • Schootman M
        Using Google Street View to audit the built environment: inter-rater reliability results.
        Ann Behav Med. 2013; 45: 108-112
        • Li X
        • Ratti C
        • Seiferling I
        Quantifying the shade provision of street trees in urban landscape: a case study in Boston, USA, using Google Street View.
        Landsc Urban Plan. 2018; 169: 81-91
        • Clarke P
        • Ailshire J
        • Melendez R
        • Bader M
        • Morenoff J
        Using Google Earth to conduct a neighborhood audit: reliability of a virtual audit instrument.
        Health Place. 2010; 16: 1224-1229
        • Bader MD
        • Mooney SJ
        • Lee YJ
        • et al.
        Development and deployment of the Computer Assisted Neighborhood Visual Assessment System (CANVAS) to measure health-related neighborhood conditions.
        Health Place. 2015; 31: 163-172
        • Lekkas P
        • Paquet C
        • Howard NJ
        • Daniel M
        Illuminating the lifecourse of place in the longitudinal study of neighbourhoods and health.
        SSM Popul Health. 2017; 177: 239-247
        • Ferreguti E
        (go2streetview 7.2.) (Published 2016. Accessed September 6,)
        • Association des transports du Canada
        Guide de modération de la circulation.
        (Published 2016. Accessed January 17,)
        • Wilson JS
        • Kelly CM
        • Schootman M
        • et al.
        Assessing the built environment using omnidirectional imagery.
        Am J Prev Med. 2012; 42: 193-199
        • Hipp JA
        • Adlakha D
        • Eyler AA
        • Chang B
        • Pless R
        Emerging technologies: webcams and crowd-sourcing to identify active transportation.
        Am J Prev Med. 2013; 44: 96-97
        • Ibarz J
        • Banerjee S
        Updating Google Maps with deep learning and street view.
        (Published May 3, 2017. Accessed July 20,)
        • Gebru T
        • Krause J
        • Wang Y
        • et al.
        Using deep learning and Google Street View to estimate the demographic makeup of neighborhoods across the United States.
        Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017; 114: 13108-13113
        • Gong F-Y
        • Zeng Z-C
        • Zhang F
        • Li X
        • Ng E
        • Norford LK
        Mapping sky, tree, and building view factors of street canyons in a high-density urban environment.
        Build Environ. 2018; 134: 155-167
        • Google
        Publish and connect 360 photos with the Street View app..
        (Published 2018. Accessed March 15,)