Using Google Maps to collect spatial responses in a survey environment
This paper examines the use of Google Maps-based tools to collect spatial responses from participants during academic research surveys conducted via the internet. Google Maps is regularly used for presenting data to users, but it is less common to ask users to provide their own spatial information as a questionnaire response. Using two recent examples from the University of East Anglia, the article discusses the online survey context and Google Maps’ place within it, issues surrounding the technical implementation of these tools, and processing and use of the collected data. It also considers how this type of methodology can be recorded in a manner compatible with the concept of reproducible research, and concludes with considerations for future researchers wishing to employ similar methods.