VERITAS (Visualisation, Evaluation and Recording of Itineraries and Activity Spaces) is a map-based survey that aims to collect data to help understand the complex interactions between daily mobility, social networks, and urban environments. Or, put more simply, where you go and who you connect with while you are there. With VERITAS, participants are asked to map their regular activity locations, how they travel to these locations, and the limits of their lived or perceived neighbourhood. To these “activity spaces”, a social network layer is added to provide a social context to their spatial experience. VERITAS has been used before in various studies in Canada, France, New Zealand, Denmark, and the USA.
WHY ARE YOU ASKING FOR OTHER PEOPLE’S NAMES?
To understand your social network, we are asking you to identify people with whom you do things in your daily life. The purpose of asking for names is so that you can easily identify them later in the survey and when you complete the survey again in two years’ time. These names you use will not be used in any analysis or reported in any way.
IS IT OK IF I DON’T GIVE MY FRIEND’S FULL NAME? THEY DIDN’T CONSENT TO BE PART OF THE STUDY AND I DON’T FEEL RIGHT GIVING THEIR NAME.
Yes! Please just use a name or a nickname that is sufficient for you to identify them. The name you provide only serves the purpose for you to identify network members and be able to remember who you were referring to two years from now. The names you provide will not be used by the research team in any way. Rather, your answers will allow us to identify a social network around the places that you go to. Yet, it is important you provide the correct demographic information of these network members, because this is the information that is used in our analyses.
WHAT DOES MY SOCIAL NETWORK HAVE TO DO WITH THE INTERVENTION BEING STUDIED?
One of the research goals of the INTERACT study is to better understand how the nature of your social network relates to daily mobility and use of urban form interventions. Are urban form changes – such as the implementation of a Greenway or a Bus Rapid Transit – related to changes in social interactions? Does your social network play a role in how you get around and where you go?
I DO MORE ACTIVITIES THAN I COULD LIST ON VERITAS. WILL THIS BE A PROBLEM?
No, that shouldn’t be an issue. We aim to understand trends in people’s daily travel and social interactions and don’t expect to capture every place you visit or person you spend time with. Rather, the intent of VERITAS is to capture your ‘regular’ destinations, the common places you go. It will help us identify the type of places and environments you visit, which might have an impact on your behaviour and health. Geographers and health researchers have been using this notion to better understand how environments and people interact, and how they relate to health.