Compliance and data quality in GPS-based studies

Michal Isaacson, Noam Shoval, Hans Werner Wahl, Frank Oswald, Gail Auslander

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent years have witnessed a growing volume of papers describing the use of GPS technology and other tracking technologies for obtaining data on time–space activities. These methods have several advantages over traditional methods of time–space data collection in terms of accuracy, resolution and length of the possible data collection period. However, to date, no work has been done on the compliance rates among participants and the resulting validity of the collected data. This paper presents a method that combines the use of a GPS receiver with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology that was implemented in research on time–space activities of elderly persons with cognitive impairment. The method presented in this paper enables monitoring the level of compliance of the participants during their participation in the study and presents a unique opportunity to examine the extent to which participants in a GPS based study are able to comply with study requirements. Healthy older adults and those with cognitive decline were found to be generally compliant with a complex study protocol. These results serve as another step into the acceptance of GPS based studies as a valid methodology for mobility data collection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-36
Number of pages12
Issue number1
StatePublished - 12 Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Support for this project provided by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) within the framework of German-Israeli Project Cooperation (DIP) is gratefully acknowledged. Three reviewers provided valuable input on an earlier version of the paper. However, the authors are solely responsible for any errors and mistakes.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014, Springer Science+Business Media New York.


  • Compliance
  • Data validity
  • Global positioning system
  • Time–space activities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Development
  • Transportation


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