Measuring Walkability: A Note on Auditing Methods

Sungduck Lee, Emily Talen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

96 Scopus citations


This study contributes to the literature on walkability measurement by proposing a hybrid auditing method that combines the efficiency of a GIS-based approach with the pedestrian perspective possible with Google Street View. The paper first reviews the various in-person and secondary source auditing methods that have been developed over the past decade. It then tests the feasibility of a GIS/Google Street View hybrid method against an in-person auditing method. The approach here is based on the Irvine-Minnesota Inventory (IMI), selecting 94 objectively measured items that were available and accessible using a combination of GIS and Google Street View. The goal was to test the degree to which some of the measures employed in IMI could be streamlined using GIS and Google Street View as data sources. It is concluded that the combination of information from Google Street View and updated GIS layers can be an effective way of obtaining physical environment data that is very comparable to in-person observation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)368-388
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Urban Design
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Urban Studies


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