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Curriculum Vitae

Using Google Street View to Study Neighborhood Influences on Health (2013)

Michael D. M. Bader Presented at the Rice University Department of Sociology and Kinder Institute Urban Health Program, Houston, Texas.


Audits of neighborhood environments provide an invaluable tool to researchers who want to examine how physical context might affect individual health behaviors and outcomes. The application of neighborhood audits has been limited by the cost of fielding and managing geographic data. Google Street View, by collecting geographically tagged photographs of neighborhoods, makes large-scale studies of neighborhood conditions possible. At the same time, sensitive data such as geocoded respondent addresses cannot be passed through Google Street View because it would compromise respondent confidentiality. Bader will describe the deployment of the Computer Assisted Neighborhood Visual Assessment System (CANVAS), a web application to conduct virtual audits, and methods to use geographic samples combined with spatial statistics to protect respondent confidentiality. He will present findings from a nationwide reliability study and initial results of research studying the association between neighborhood environments and child health outcomes.