Background: A call has recently been made by the public health and medical communities to understand the neighborhood context of a patient's life in order to improve education and treatment. To do this, methods are required that can collect "contextual" characteristics while complementing the spatial analysis of more traditional data. This also needs to happen within a standardized, transferable, easy-to-implement framework. Methods: The Spatial Video Geonarrative (SVG) is an environmentally-cued narrative where place is used to stimulate discussion about fine-scale geographic characteristics of an area and the context of their occurrence. It is a simple yet powerful approach to enable collection and spatial analysis of expert and resident health-related perceptions and experiences of places. Participants comment about where they live or work while guiding a driver through the area. Four GPS-enabled cameras are attached to the vehicle to capture the places that are observed and discussed by the participant. Audio recording of this narrative is linked to the video via time stamp. A program (G-Code) is then used to geotag each word as a point in a geographic information system (GIS). Querying and density analysis can then be performed on the narrative text to identify spatial patterns within one narrative or across multiple narratives. This approach is illustrated using case studies on post-disaster psychopathology, crime, mosquito control, and TB in homeless populations. Results: SVG can be used to map individual, group, or contested group context for an environment. The method can also gather data for cohorts where traditional spatial data are absent. In addition, SVG provides a means to spatially capture, map and archive institutional knowledge. Conclusions: SVG GIS output can be used to advance theory by being used as input into qualitative and/or spatial analyses. SVG can also be used to gain near-real time insight therefore supporting applied interventions. Advances over existing geonarrative approaches include the simultaneous collection of video data to visually support any commentary, and the ease-of-application making it a transferable method across different environments and skillsets.
- Geographic information system (GIS)
- Global positioning system (GPS)
- Mosquito control
- Post-disaster recovery
- Spatial video geonarrative (SVG)