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Health and the built environment in U.S. cities: Measuring associations using Google Street View-derived indicators of the built environment

Version
1
Resource Type
Dataset : aggregate data, census/enumeration data, geographic information system (GIS) data, images: photographs, drawings, graphical representations, survey data
Creator
  • Nguyen, Quynh C. (University of Maryland)
Publication Date
2019-01-04
Funding Reference
  • United States Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health. National Library of Medicine
    • Award Number: LM012849
Free Keywords
Google Street View; machine learning; computer vision; built environment; structural determinants of health
Description
  • Abstract

    Background: The built environment is a structural determinant of health and has been shown to influence health expenditures, behaviors, and outcomes. Traditional methods of assessing built environment characteristics are time-consuming and difficult to combine or compare. Google Street View (GSV) images represent a large, publicly available data source that can be used to create indicators of characteristics of the physical environment with machine learning techniques.
    Methods: We used computer vision techniques to derive built environment indicators from approximately 31 million GSV images at 7.8 million intersections. Associations between derived indicators and health behaviors and outcomes on the census-tract level were assessed using multivariate regression models, controlling for demographic factors and socioeconomic position.
    Results: Street greenness was associated with decreased prevalence of physical and mental distress, as well as decreased binge drinking, but with increased obesity. Single lane roads were associated with increased diabetes and obesity, while non-single-family home buildings were associated with decreased obesity, diabetes and inactivity.
    Conclusions: Structural determinants of health such as the built environment can influence population health. Our study suggests that higher levels of urban development have mixed effects on health and adds further evidence that socioeconomic distress has adverse impacts on multiple physical and mental health outcomes.
Geographic Coverage
  • United States
Availability
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Update Metadata: 2019-11-15 | Issue Number: 2 | Registration Date: 2019-11-02

Nguyen, Quynh C. (2019): Health and the built environment in U.S. cities: Measuring associations using Google Street View-derived indicators of the built environment. Version: 1. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset. https://doi.org/10.3886/E115264V1