Virtues of Custom-Built Virtual Listing Systems for Surveys

How do you build a sample frame that can be used to conduct a survey of commercial buildings nationwide? In the past, the approach was to field an on-the-ground listing operation. But that’s complex and costly.

Today, a virtual listing is the answer to this kind of challenge. This approach uses geographic information system (GIS) tools and data to identify eligible buildings. It enhances the mapping environment, allowing for complete virtual canvassing of buildings rather than having to travel to an area of the country, driving around canvassing, and recording buildings as they are passed.

Creating a Virtual Listing System (VLS)

To establish an eligible sample, Westat can build and add geographic data layers to the mapping environment, including

  • Incorporating point-of-interest data layers. When clicked, they display relevant building characteristics for reference during listing.
  • Adding a feature to store listed buildings as polygons, enabling automated square-footage calculation.

This enhanced virtual listing environment is the genesis of Westat’s VLS, a custom-built, fully integrated, web-based system for observing, cataloguing, and documenting study-eligible buildings.

Advantages of VLS

VLS provides a number of advantages over the traditional on-the-ground approach:

  • Reduces time. The virtual listings can be completed in less than half the time.
  • Increases survey efficiency. Guesswork is eliminated out of square-footage estimations.
  • Eliminates travel costs. Virtual canvassing involves no travel expenses, saving projects money.
  • Enhances supervision of listers. With a centralized facility, supervisors can better manage multiple listers and easily answer questions.

Virtual canvassing is a significantly better method for today’s data gathering challenges. It saves time and money and improves the quality and coverage of surveys.

Our geospatial experts contribute to research methods by developing innovative approaches to client data collection challenges.

- Michael Giangrande, a Westat Sr. Study Director

Want to work with us?
You’ll be in great company.

About Us Careers

Westat Employees.
Westat Employee.
AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety
Baltimore Metropolitan Council
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning
DC Public Schools
Georgia Department of Transportation
Internal Revenue Service
Leadership Montgomery
Maryland Cancer Registry
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
National Science Foundation
NYC Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Social Security Administration
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Teach for America
Texas Education Agency
The Johns Hopkins University
The National Institutes of Health
The Verizon Foundation
U.S. Department of Agriculture
U.S. Department of Education
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
U.S. Department of Justice
U.S. Department of Transportation
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
University of Maryland Baltimore Campus
University of Michigan
University System of Maryland
Explore Our Clients

Please wait...

Forbes 2023 America's Best Mid-Size Employers Powered by Statista Forbes 2022 The Best Employers for Women Powered by Statista

Westat is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, veteran status, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, citizenship status, genetic information, gender identity or expression, or any other protected status under applicable law. Notices to Employees & Applicants.