Our team is using Google Street View to take a virtual walk down the streets where the children in our study live. We found that virtual assessments can provide a reliable and cost effective way of gathering information on neighborhood factors related to children’s health, including: signs of disorder and decay, the amount of green space, amenities, and safe play areas. The instrument we developed for conducting these assessments, SSO i-Tour (Systematic Social Observation Inventory - Tallying Observations in Urban Regions) is freely available by clicking here.

Many people have asked how the SSO i-Tour and Google Street View can be used to gather information on their study participants, clients and potential customers. In response, we have created an introductory video for those interested in replicating our methods:http://youtu.be/OIKS7KkWiOw

Details regarding the psychometric properties of this tool can be found in the reference below:

Odgers, CL., Caspi, A., Bates, CJ., Sampson, RJ and Moffitt, TE.
(2012). Systematic social observation of children’s neighborhoods using Google Street View: A reliable and cost effective method.
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 53, 1009-1017.