Utilization of Google Enterprise Tools to Georeference Survey Data Among Hard‑to‑Reach Groups: Strategic Application in International Settings

International Journal of Health Geographics, Vol 15, No. 24, 2016

Northeastern University School of Law Research Paper No. 274-2016

5 Pages Posted: 12 Aug 2016

See all articles by Leo Beletsky

Leo Beletsky

Northeastern University - School of Law; Northeastern University - Bouvé College of Health Sciences; Division of Infectious Disease and Global Public Health, UCSD School of Medicine

Jaime Arredondo

University of California, San Diego – School of Medicine, Division of Global Public Health

Daniel Werb

University of California, San Diego – School of Medicine, Division of Global Public Health

Alicia Vera

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - School of Medicine

Daniela Abramovitz

University of California, San Diego – School of Medicine, Division of Global Public Health

Joseph Amon

Human Rights Watch

Kimberly C. Brouwer

University of California San Diego, School of Medicine

Steffanie A. Strathdee

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Division of Infectious Diseases and Global Public Health

Tommi Gaines

University of California, San Diego – School of Medicine, Division of Global Public Health

Date Written: 2016

Abstract

Background: As geospatial data have become increasingly integral to health and human rights research, their collection using formal address designations or paper maps has been complicated by numerous factors, including poor cartographic literacy, nomenclature imprecision, and human error. As part of a longitudinal study of people who inject drugs in Tijuana, Mexico, respondents were prompted to georeference specific experiences.

Results: At baseline, only about one third of the 737 participants were native to Tijuana, underscoring prevalence of migration/deportation experience. Areas frequented typically represented locations with no street address (e.g. informal encampments). Through web-based cartographic technology and participatory mapping, this study was able to overcome the use of vernacular names and difficulties mapping liminal spaces in generating georeferenced data points that were subsequently analyzed in other research.

Conclusion: Integrating low-threshold virtual navigation as part of data collection can enhance investigations of mobile populations, informal settlements, and other locations in research into structural production of health at low or no cost. However, further research into user experience is warranted.

Keywords: Resource-Poor Settings, Data Collection, Innovation, Vulnerable Groups, Liminal Spaces, Technology, Tools

Suggested Citation

Beletsky, Leo and Arredondo, Jaime and Werb, Daniel and Vera, Alicia and Abramovitz, Daniela and Amon, Joseph and Brouwer, Kimberly C. and Strathdee, Steffanie A. and Gaines, Tommi, Utilization of Google Enterprise Tools to Georeference Survey Data Among Hard‑to‑Reach Groups: Strategic Application in International Settings (2016). International Journal of Health Geographics, Vol 15, No. 24, 2016, Northeastern University School of Law Research Paper No. 274-2016, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2818075

Leo Beletsky (Contact Author)

Northeastern University - School of Law; Northeastern University - Bouvé College of Health Sciences ( email )

416 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
United States
617-373-5540 (Phone)

Division of Infectious Disease and Global Public Health, UCSD School of Medicine ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
MC 0507
La Jolla, CA 92093
United States

Jaime Arredondo

University of California, San Diego – School of Medicine, Division of Global Public Health ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
MC 0507
La Jolla, CA 92093
United States

Daniel Werb

University of California, San Diego – School of Medicine, Division of Global Public Health ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
MC 0507
La Jolla, CA 92093
United States

Alicia Vera

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - School of Medicine ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
MC 0507
La Jolla, CA 92093
United States

Daniela Abramovitz

University of California, San Diego – School of Medicine, Division of Global Public Health ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
MC 0507
La Jolla, CA 92093
United States

Joseph Amon

Human Rights Watch ( email )

350 Fifth Avenue, 34th Floor
New York, NY 10118-3299
United States

Kimberly C. Brouwer

University of California San Diego, School of Medicine ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
MC 0507
La Jolla, CA 92093-0507
United States

Steffanie A. Strathdee

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Division of Infectious Diseases and Global Public Health ( email )

La Jolla, CA
United States

Tommi Gaines

University of California, San Diego – School of Medicine, Division of Global Public Health ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
MC 0507
La Jolla, CA 92093
United States

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