Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Actual and potential use of Google Street View for studying tobacco issues: a brief review
  1. Nick Wilson1,
  2. Amber L Pearson1,2,
  3. George Thomson1,
  4. Richard Edwards1
  1. 1 Department of Public Health, University of Otago, Wellington, New Zealand
  2. 2 Department of Geography, Michigan State University, East Lansing, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Nick Wilson, Department of Public Health, University of Otago, PO Box 7343 Wellington South, Wellington 6242, New Zealand ; nick.wilson{at}

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


Google Street View (GSV) is an increasingly used data collection method for objectively measuring observable features of the environment as detailed in a recent review.1 But as its overall potential for studying tobacco control-related issues to date has never been considered, we aimed to perform a brief review of this potential.


Searches were conducted using PubMed for articles using the term ‘Google Street View’ (to January 2017). From these articles, additional ones involving GSV were identified in bibliographies. Articles were excluded from further analysis if they focused on the non-human environment (n=3 excluded, ie, bird nests, insects with silk nests and invasive plants) or if they did not cover any of the following: signage/advertising, retail outlets/stores or bars/pubs, or tobacco content (n=15 excluded).


We identified 23 relevant Medline-indexed studies relating to GSV and one review. A total of four tobacco-related issues were specifically covered in this …

View Full Text


  • Contributors All four authors contributed to designing the review and editing the draft manuscript. NW performed the review and analysed the results.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Detail has been removed from this case description/these case descriptions to ensure anonymity. The editors and reviewers have seen the detailed information available and are satisfied that the information backs up the case the authors are making.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement All the relevant documents identified in the review are listed in either the main manuscript or the online supplementary appendix.