Incorporating Online Survey and Social Media Data into a GIS Analysis for Measuring Walkability

  • Xuan Zhang
  • Lan MuEmail author
Part of the Global Perspectives on Health Geography book series (GPHG)


Existing walkability measurements have not considered some important components of the built environment, pedestrians’ preferences, or all walking purposes. As area-based measurements, they may overlook some detailed walkability changes. We propose a Perceived importance and Objective measure of Walkability in the built Environment Rating (POWER) method, which is a line-based approach considering both the perception of pedestrians and subjective characterizing of the urban built environment. Incorporating online survey and social media data, we present a built environment walkability study in a specific environment and the potential for more general scenarios. The survey can be customized for the particular urban environment and capture the preferences of a local population. The social media obtain general opinions from a broader audience. Although focusing on the specific setting at a university campus, we also included the general social media results to supplement the POWER structure and survey findings. Using social media and survey results can bring two scales together to provide a more complete understanding of walkability.


GIS Walkability Survey Social media Built environment 



Thanks for the support received from the UGA Sustainability Grant.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeographyUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA

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