Ground-truthing Address Data Using Smartphone GPS Applications for Slum Health in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Authors: Guillermo Douglass-Jaimes*, Pomona College, Robert Castro*, UC Berkeley, Jonathan Gunasti*, Pomona College, Chloe Ortiz*, Pitzer College, Katlyn Young*, Pomona College
Topics: Geographic Information Science and Systems, Geography and Urban Health, Field Methods
Keywords: GIS, groundtruth, mobile health
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Truman, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Disease mapping provides an opportunity to better understand the concentration and spread of diseases that are shaped by place-based influences, particularly infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, and arboviruses such as dengue, malaria, chikungunya, and zika. Brazilian cities have the benefit of large national and local health registries that include patient address data, however, the accuracy of these address data is often called into question, particularly in informal urban settlements known as favelas. Can GPS data collected on smartphones and tablets serve as an alternative to address-based data? Our study tests the viability and accuracy of collecting GPS data from low-cost smartphones for assessing the accuracy of geocoded addresses in the planned neighborhoods of Rio de Janeiro. By collecting GPS coordinates from 48 locations throughout Rio de Janeiro, using two low-cost smartphones and 2 low-cost tablets, and comparing those coordinates to predetermined locations, we highlight the shortcomings of geocoded data, in representing physical locations on the ground, as well as factors that can influence the accuracy of GPS data. Special considerations are also discussed regarding privacy concerns of spatial data collected with low-cost smartphones.

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