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Reliability of streetscape audits comparing on-street and online observations: MAPS-Global in 5 countries.



Microscale environmental features are usually evaluated using direct on-street observations. This study assessed inter-rater reliability of the Microscale Audit of Pedestrian Streetscapes, Global version (MAPS-Global), in an international context, comparing on-street with more efficient online observation methods in five countries with varying levels of walkability.


Data were collected along likely walking routes of study participants, from residential starting points toward commercial clusters in Melbourne (Australia), Ghent (Belgium), Curitiba (Brazil), Hong Kong (China), and Valencia (Spain). In-person on the street and online using Google Street View audits were carried out by two independent trained raters in each city. The final sample included 349 routes, 1228 street segments, 799 crossings, and 16 cul-de-sacs. Inter-rater reliability analyses were performed using Kappa statistics or Intraclass Correlation Coefficients (ICC).


Overall mean assessment times were the same for on-street and online evaluations (22 ± 12 min). Only a few subscales had Kappa or ICC values < 0.70, with aesthetic and social environment variables having the lowest overall reliability values, though still in the "good to excellent" category. Overall scores for each section (route, segment, crossing) showed good to excellent reliability (ICCs: 0.813, 0.929 and 0.885, respectively), and the MAPS-Global grand score had excellent reliability (ICC: 0.861) between the two methods.


MAPS-Global is a feasible and reliable instrument that can be used both on-street and online to analyze microscale environmental characteristics in diverse international urban settings.

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