Capturing Neighborhood Physical Disorder Using Small, Unmanned Aerial Systems

  • Tony H. Grubesic
  • Jake R. Nelson


Neighborhood physical disorder manifests in many different ways, from litter and graffiti, to abandoned cars and broken windows. The effects of physical disorder are also varied, from limiting recreational activity for both young and elderly neighborhood residents, to creating a discount effect on housing prices. Methods for capturing physical disorder in neighborhoods often include in-person observation, the use of virtual street audits, windshield tours, and satellite imagery. The purpose of this chapter is to explore how small unmanned aerial systems can be used to capture physical disorder in neighborhoods. In addition, we discuss a basic analytical framework for quantifying disorder and detecting problematic areas within the community. Limitations and implications for urban and environmental planning are discussed.


Disorder Public space Google Street View Satellite Sunnyslope WingtraOne Grid Local indicators of spatial association Planning 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tony H. Grubesic
    • 1
  • Jake R. Nelson
    • 1
  1. 1.Geoinformatics and Policy Analytics Lab (GPAL), School of InformationUniversity of Texas at AustinAustinUSA

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