Planners need good insight into perceived problems so they can formulate policy and actions to ameliorate the situation and develop strategies for change and development. They can acquire an intuitive sense of the problem by way of a field visit to collect information firsthand, in situ. Obtaining a good reading of the forces at play is both an acquired skill and an art worth cultivating. With practice, field visits can yield information that provides a holistic and integrated snapshot of conditions “on-site.” In Chapter 1 some firsthand methods of gathering information in the field are described including: methods of direct observations; scrutiny of material conditions; and, conversations with and/or observations of individuals with personal knowledge of place and situation. Methods are adapted for use in planning contexts. They include: site reconnaissance, participant observation, field interviews, urban form assessment, and unobtrusive measures. The objective is to obtain a holistic first cut of a planning problem; shed new light on presuppositions about relationships and conditions; and enable a reformulation of the defined problem. Collecting information in the field can be fun, allow for immediate and direct contact with people, and set direction and give guidance to the planning process.