Yang, Bo

Dr. Bo Yang

Assistant Professor, Department of Urban & Regional Planning


Preferred: Bo.Yang02@sjsu.edu


  • Ph.D., Geography, University of Cincinnati
  • MA, Geographic Information System (GIS), University of Cincinnati
  • MS, Computer Science, Capital Normal University
  • BS, Applied Mathematics, Shaanxi Normal University

Research Interests

GIS, Remote Sensing, UAV Mapping, Machine-learning and AI, Wildfire, Coastal Science, Urban Data Science


  • GEOG107 Mapping the World (GE)
  • URBP279 Advanced GIS for Urban Planning
  • GEOG239 Geographic Information Technology
  • GEOG282  Advanced Geographic Techniques
  • GEOG173  Drones and Data Collections

Office Location

Washinton Squiare Hall (WSQ) 113A


Dr. Bo Yang is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Urban & Regional Planning at San José State University. He is also the Associate Director of SJSU Spatial Analytics and Visualization Institute (SAVi), Faculty of NSF Industry-University Cooperative Wildfire Interdisciplinary Research Center (WIRC), and Research Associate of Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI).

Dr. Yang's interdisciplinary educational background includes a BS in Applied Mathematics, an MS in Computer Science, and a PhD in GIS and Geography. His expertise in mathematics and programming facilitate his research focus on cutting-edge technologies in GIS and remote sensing, including machine learning and AI in GIS, UAV remote sensing, coastal ecosystem monitoring, wildfire mapping, urban heat, urban crime, and urban transportation. He has published about 40 papers in peer-reviewed journals such as RSE, GRL, IJGIS, and Nature series. His papers have been selected as journal cover stories and top-viewed papers.

Dr. Yang is actively involved in student mentoring and cultivating the next generation of STEM scientists. He is faculty advisor of SJSU GIS and Drone Society, and is directing the SJSU Geofly Lab. He worked on multiple student participatory and community engagement projects, such as NSF START, REU, RET, and K-12 outreach. Additionally, he has been involved in GeoBusTM project, a mobile geospatial technology learning lab for K-12 and higher education.

Grants and Awards

"Building a STEM Research and Education Network of GIS and Drone Mapping for Coastal Seagrass Monitoring", National Science Foundation Build and Broaden 

"FireSage: The SJSU-NASA ARC Bridge Program", NASA Science Mission Directorate 

"AI and Machine Learning Technologies for Enhancing Transportation Station Area Safety in San Jose", University Transportation Centers and MTI

"Supplement training for NSF Industry University Research Center", NSF Skills Training in Advanced Research & Technology (START) 

"Post-Wildfire Fuels Management using a Multi-source Remote Sensing Approach", National Science Foundation IUCUC

"Enhancing Community Fire Resilience Decision-Making: Drone Inspection for Home Ignition Zone", National Science Foundation IUCUC 

Selected Publications

Yang, B., Hawthorne, T.L., Aoki, L.R., Beatty, et al., (2023). Low-Altitude UAV Imaging Accurately Quantifies Eelgrass Wasting Disease from Alaska to California. Geophysical Research LettersDOI: 10.1029/2022GL101985

Yang, B., Liu, H., Kang, E., Hawthorne, T. L., Tong, S., Shu, S., Xu, M., (2022). Traffic restrictions during the 2008 Olympic Games reduced urban heat intensity and extent in Beijing, Communications Earth & Environment, DOI:10.1038/s43247-022-00427-4

Yang, B., Liu, H., Kang, E., Shu, S., Xu, M., Wu, B., Beck, R., Hinkel, K., & Yu, B., (2021) Spatio-temporal Cokriging method for blending and downscaling multi-scale remote sensing data. Remote Sensing of Environment. 112190. DOI:10.1016/j.rse.2020.112190

Aoki, L.R., Yang, B., O.J. Graham, C. Gomes, B. Rappazzo, T.L. Hawthorne, J.E. Duffy, and D. Harvell. (2023). UAV high-resolution imaging and disease surveys combine to quantify climate-related decline in seagrass meadows. In Frontiers in Ocean Observing: Emerging Technologies for Understanding and Managing a Changing Ocean., Oceanography. DOI:10.5670/oceanog.2023.s1.12.

Beatty D.S., Aoki L.R., Graham O.J., Yang B. (2021). The future is big—and small: remote sensing enables cross-scale comparisons of microbiome dynamics and ecological consequences. mSystems 6:e01106-21. DOI:10.1128/mSystems.01106-21

Yang, B., Hawthorne, T.L., Hessing-Lewis, M., Duffy, E.J.; Reshitnyk, L.Y., Feinman, M., Searson, H. (2020) Developing an Introductory UAV/Drone Mapping Training Program for Seagrass Monitoring and Research. Drones , 4, 70. DOI:10.3390/drones4040070

Yang, B., Liu, L., Lan, M., Wang, Z., Zhou, H., Yu, H., Wang, Z. (2020). A spatio-temporal method for crime prediction using historical crime data and transitional zones identified from nightlight imagery. International Journal of Geographical Information Science, 1-25. DOI:10.1080/13658816.2020.1737701

Yang, B., Hawthorne, T., Torres, H., Feinman M. (2019). Using Object-Oriented Classification for Coastal Management in the East Central Coast of Florida: A Quantitative Comparison between UAV, Satellite, and Aerial Data. Drones, 3(3), 60.  


Geofly Lab

SJSU GIS and Drone Society

Google Scholar

Curriculum Vitae