Web-Based Interactive Walkability Measurement Using Remote Sensing and Geographical Information Systems



The concept of walkability conveys how conducive the built environment is to walking. It has been adopted in many parts of the world to predict people’s physical activity and mode of transportation (Frank and Engelke 2005; Owen et al. 2004; Sallis et al. 2004). Walkability captures the proximity between functionally complementary land uses (live, work, and play) and the directness of a route or the connectivity between destinations (Forsyth and Southworth 2008; Moudon et al. 2006). A walk score is an indicator of how “friendly” an area is for walking. This score is related to the benefits to society in terms of energy savings and improvements in health that a particular environment offers to its residents. For example, a recently developed walk score web site uses Google Maps, specifically Google’s local search application programming interface (API), to find stores, restaurants, bars, parks, and other amenities within walking distance of any address entered. The walk score currently includes addresses in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. The algorithm behind this score indicates the walkability of a given route based on the fixed distance from one’s home to nearby amenities. The number of amenities found nearby is the leading predictor of whether people will walk rather than take another travel mode. However, evaluating walkability is challenging because it requires the consideration of many subjective factors (Reid 2008). Moreover, all technical disciplines related to walkability have their own terminology and jargon (Abley 2005).


Geographical Information System Green Space Search Radius Greenness Score Advanced Land Observe Satellite 


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Copyright information

© Springer Japan 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Spatial Information Science, Graduate School of Life and Environmental SciencesUniversity of TsukubaTsukubaJapan

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