Smartphone-assisted spatial data collection improves geographic information quality: pilot study using a birth records dataset

Main Article Content

Xiaohui Xu *
Hui Hu
Sandie Ha
Daikwon Han
(*) Corresponding Author:
Xiaohui Xu |


It is well known that the conventional, automated geocoding method based on self-reported residential addresses has many issues. We developed a smartphone-assisted aerial image-based method, which uses the Google Maps application programming interface as a spatial data collection tool during the birth registration process. In this pilot study, we have tested whether the smartphone-assisted method provides more accurate geographic information than the automated geocoding method in the scenario when both methods can get the address geocodes. We randomly selected 100 well-geocoded addresses among women who gave birth in Alachua county, Florida in 2012. We compared geocodes generated from three geocoding methods: i) the smartphone-assisted aerial image-based method; ii) the conventional, automated geocoding method; and iii) the global positioning system (GPS). We used the GPS data as the reference method. The automated geocoding method yielded positional errors larger than 100 m among 29.3% of addresses, while all addresses geocoded by the smartphoneassisted method had errors less than 100 m. The positional errors of the automated geocoding method were greater for apartment/condominiums compared with other dwellings and also for rural addresses compared with urban ones. We conclude that the smartphone-assisted method is a promising method for perspective spatial data collection by improving positional accuracy.

Downloads month by month


Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

Author Biography

Xiaohui Xu, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX

Xiaohui Xu, PhD, MS , Associate Professor
Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics

Most read articles by the same author(s)