Traditional sample frame development for area probability samples, like the one used on the Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS), have involved sending field staff all over the country to conduct an on-the-ground canvasing of all eligible buildings. In 2018, Westat replaced this costly and inefficient method with a new, virtual way to remotely list areas using GIS tools to locate, catalog, and measure eligible buildings.
This virtual listing system provides several advantages over the traditional on-the-ground approach:
- Can be completed in less than half the time.
- Efficiency is increased by eliminating the guesswork in square-footage estimations.
- Virtual canvassing involves no travel expenses, saving projects money.
- With a centralized facility, supervisors can better manage multiple listers and easily answer questions.