Trail conditions and community use: Utilizing geospatial video to guide the adoption of a spatial-temporal trail audit tool (stat)

Carissa Smock, Naomi Carlson, Chelsey Kirkland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Physical activity (PA), associated with all-cause mortality, morbidity, and healthcare costs, improves vitamin D absorption, immune response, and stress when completed outdoors. Rural communities, which experience PA inequities, rely on trails to meet PA guidelines. However, current trail audit methods could be more efficient and accurate, which geospatial video may support. Therefore, the study purpose was (1) to identify and adopt validated instruments for trail audit evaluations using geospatial video and a composite score and (2) to determine if geospatial video and a composite score motivate (influence the decision to use) specific trail selection among current trail users. Phase 1 used a mixed-method exploratory sequential core design using qualitative data, then quantitative data for the development of the Spatial-temporal Trail Audit Tool (STAT). Geospatial videos of two Northeast Ohio trails were collected using a bicycle-mounted spatial video camera and video analysis software. The creation of STAT was integrated from Neighborhood Environment Walkability Scale (NEWS), Walk Score, and Path Environment Audit Tool (PEAT) audit tools based on four constructs: trail accessibility, conditions, amenities, and safety. Scoring was determined by three independent reviewers. Phase 2 included a mixed-method convergent core design to test the applicability of STAT for trail participant motivation. STAT has 20 items in 4 content areas computing a composite score and was found to increase trail quality and motivation for use. STAT can evaluate trails for PA using geospatial video and a composite score which may spur PA through increased motivation to select and use trails.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8741
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number16
StatePublished - Aug 2 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This research was funded in part by a Faculty Research Capacity Award from Northcentral University.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Geospatial video
  • Physical activity
  • Rural
  • Socio-ecological model
  • Spatial-temporal
  • Trail audit tool


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