Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools

Navigation

You are here: Home / MPRC People / Quynh Nguyen, Ph.D., M.S.P.H. / Quynh Nguyen Publications / Using Google Street View to examine associations between built environment characteristics and U.S. health outcomes

Q.C. Nguyen, S. Khanna, P. Dwivedi, and et al (2019)

Using Google Street View to examine associations between built environment characteristics and U.S. health outcomes

Preventive Medicine Reports, 14.

Neighborhood attributes have been shown to influence health, but advances in neighborhood research has been constrained by the lack of neighborhood data for many geographical areas and few neighborhood studies examine features of nonmetropolitan locations. We leveraged a massive source of Google Street View (GSV) images and computer vision to automatically characterize national neighborhood built environments. Using road network data and Google Street View API, from December 15, 2017-May 14, 2018 we retrieved over 16 million GSV images of street intersections across the United States. Computer vision was applied to label each image. We implemented regression models to estimate associations between built environments and county health outcomes, controlling for county-level demographics, economics, and population density. At the county level, greater presence of highways was related to lower chronic diseases and premature mortality. Areas characterized by street view images as ‘rural’ (having limited infrastructure) had higher obesity, diabetes, fair/poor self-rated health, premature mortality, physical distress, physical inactivity and teen birth rates but lower rates of excessive drinking. Analyses at the census tract level for 500 cities revealed similar adverse associations as was seen at the county level for neighborhood indicators of less urban development. Possible mechanisms include the greater abundance of services and facilities found in more developed areas with roads, enabling access to places and resources for promoting health. GSV images represents an underutilized resource for building national data on neighborhoods and examining the influence of built environments on community health outcomes across the United States.

Health, Social media, Nguyen, Environment, Health in Social Context, Featured
Available online April 09 2019

Document Actions