Adaptation and testing of a microscale audit tool to assess liveability using Google Street View: MAPS-Liveability

Claire L Cleland*, Sara Ferguson, Frank Kee, Paul Kelly, Andrew James Williams, Glenna Nightingale, Andy Cope, Charlie E M Foster, Karen Milton, Michael P Kelly, Ruth Jepson, Ruth F Hunter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
12 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Liveability is a complex, multifaceted concept with various definitions, but with an agreed core set of features (e.g., safety, walkability). Typically, liveability is measured at the macro-level (city or regional-level), and has been used in advocacy by local populations. However, micro-level (street-level) liveability measurements could also/alternatively be used to identify modifiable environmental features impacting health and well-being. To date, no micro-level liveability tools exist. This study investigates the reliability and rater agreement of a new micro-level audit tool designed for use with Google Street View (GSV). Methods: MAPS-Liveability (GSV), was adapted from the Microscale Audit of Pedestrian Streetscapes (MAPS). This study had two phases: 1) MAPS-Liveability development (rapid literature review identifying core liveability concepts, focus groups confirming liveability concepts and tool adaptation); 2) reliability investigation (researcher agreement). Assessment was made of: total liveability; nine liveability sub-characteristics (e.g., safety, health); and 12 proxy measures of behaviour including active travel (e.g., bicycle racks, presence of bicycles in racks). Inter-rater reliability and sensitivity to change were assessed by percentage agreement, inter-class correlation coefficients (ICC) and Wilcoxon signed-ranked tests (p<0.05). Results: Inter-rater reliability was excellent (ICC 0.905-0.968) for total liveability, parked cars and total number of cars (moving/parked); good (ICC 0.754-0.885) for health, sustainability, places, number of bicycle racks, bicycle rack capacity, number of bicycles in the racks (time-point 2), cyclists (time-point 2), moving cars (time-point 2) and pedestrians; and moderate (ICC 0.550-0.742) for safety, inclusivity, education, traffic/transport, pavements, roads, cyclists (time-point 1), number of bicycles in the racks (time-point 1) and moving cars (time-point 1). Conclusion: MAPS-Liveability provides a reliable assessment of micro-level liveability features. MAPS-Liveability has excellent inter-rater reliability for total liveability and moderate-excellent inter-rater reliability for liveability attributes and behavioural indicators. GSV at street-level supports safe, large-scale objective data collection, and collection of historical data where primary data is unavailable.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101226
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Transport and Health
Early online date12 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The ‘Is 20 plenty for health?’ project is funded by a National Institute for Health Research ( NIHR ) Public Health Research ( PHR ) grant 15/82/12 . This paper presents independent research funded by the National Institute for Health Research ( NIHR ). The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the National Health Service, the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care.’

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd

Structured keywords

  • SPS Exercise, Nutrition and Health Sciences


  • Liveability
  • MAPS
  • street audit
  • Google Street View
  • reliability
  • sensitivity to change


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