Stephanie Eckman, RTI International
Dr. Sarah Butt, City University London
Ned English, NORC
Dr. Robert Manchin, Consultant
Articles due by June 1, 2016
The application of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and related tools such as remote sensing to survey data collection and analysis has dramatically increased in recent years. Traditionally, GIS tools have been applied primarily in the frame construction, sampling, and data collection phases of survey research. More recently, researchers have begun to use records of interviewer travel to detect falsification and to study how to make data collection more efficient. The techniques of geostatistics and geospatial models can provide new methods for studying and reducing nonresponse and measurement error. We also see surveys merging in additional variables via GIS tools: for example, data on air pollution, access to grocery stores and parks, and others can be merged in once we know respondents’ locations. However, the use of location data in surveys also raises new issues of respondents' and interviewers' privacy.
As these technologies become less expensive and easier to use, and geographic data becomes more widely available on the web, we expect survey researchers to find even more uses for these tools. While we embrace these tools, however, we should also maintain a healthy skepticism about their capabilities and limitations. We encourage papers on all these topics, as well as related issues.
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