About Us

Digram showing Research & Community Projects, Training for professional skill building and Knowledge exchange events as three key elements of GIS, Data, Data analysis and Visualization

Our Mission

The Spatial Analytics and Visualization Institute (SAVi) at San José State University, housed in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning (URBP), College of Social Sciences, is a world-class academic center dedicated to advancing cross-disciplinary research about complex urban problems using the power of spatial thinking, Geographic Information Systems Science (GISci/GIS), and big data. Furthering racial and social justice in communities via spatial analytics and visualization forms the thematic core of SAVi’s endeavors. SAVi produces impactful research and provides professional consulting services in Silicon Valley and the Bay Area. The Institute partners with SJSU university departments and research units, neighborhood organizations, public agencies, and private sector entities to develop innovative evidence-based solutions supporting social equity, particularly in small towns and rural areas. Organizing events with scholars, social influencers, and GISci tech entrepreneurs and educators, SAVi facilitates GIS knowledge exchange, professional skill building, and workforce development while providing spatial analytics and visualization research for the public and private sectors to advance decision-making that promotes equity

Diagram showing Support, Advance, Promote, Inform and Assist as key elements of SAVi

Our Vision

The SAVi at SJSU aspires to be the foremost interdisciplinary research hub in the nation for geospatial analytics and visualization that advance innovative solutions to major societal challenges. The aim is to make Northern California a major locus for geospatial advocacy initiatives. Engaging top researchers at SJSU and across the globe, policy experts, and industry leaders, SAVi will coordinate activities, knowledge generation, and policies of collaborative outreach to support informed decision-making and governance. Achieving this means coalescing a network of connections between people, government and community organizations (i.e., citizens and governments), and scholars into a knowledge-based community focused on how geospatial technology can address equitably urban challenges.

SAVi Staff

Ahoura pic

Ahoura Zandiatashbar, Ph.D.

SAVI Director

PhD, University of Texas at Arlington

408-924-5475
ahoura.zandiatashbar@sjsu.edu

a man smiling

Bo Yang, Ph.D.

SAVI Associate Director of Research

PhD, University of Cincinnati

408-924-5475
bo.yang02@sjsu.edu

SAVI Visiting Scholar

Mona Hashemi Yazdi

SAVI Visiting Scholar

AbD, University of Texas at Arlington

408-924-5480

mona.hashemi.yazdi@gmail.com

JH

Judi Heher

GIS4Democracy Manager

BMath, U of Waterloo (Canada) 1986
MA Education Santa Clara University 2013
Dual MA Geog/MUP SJSU 2024

 judith.heher@sjsu.edu

SAVI Students & Alumni

JK

Janhvi Kriplani

SAVI Student Assistant

MS Human Computer Interaction Student

janhviashok.kriplani@sjsu.edu

 

Phani

Phani Sai Ram Munipalli

SAVI Student Assistant 

MS Computer Software Engineering

phanisairam.munipalli@sjsu.edu

Gaurav

Gaurav Surtani 

SAVI Student Assistant

MS Artifical Intelligence 

gaurav.surtani@sjsu.edu

Jake Wilde

SAVI Student Assistant

BA Geography

 jake.wilde@sjsu.edu

Jaisipa

Jaisipa Mingthaisong  

SAVI Researcher

MA Geography

jaisipa.mingthaisong@sjsu.edu

Jamsheed

Jamsheed Mistry

SAVI Student Alum

MS ENVS Student

jamsheedratan.mistry@sjsu.edu 

 

 

Piyush

Piyush Modi

SAVi Student Alum

HFE Graduate Student at San Jose State University

669-388-1079
piyush.modi@sjsu.edu

SAVi Growth Leads

A man smiling

Richard Kos, AICP

Senior Lecturer, Urban & Regional Planning, San Jose State University

Master of Regional Planning, May 1995. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

richard.kos@sjsu.edu

SAVi Faculty Associates

A smiling man with long hair and mustach

Jochen Albrecht

Professor for Computational and Theoretical Geography, Hunter College

 PhD, University of Vechta, Germany 

jochen@hunter.cuny.edu

212-772-5221

A woman with short curly hair

Serena Alexander

Associate Professor, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, San Jose State University

PhD, Cleveland State University

serena.alexander@sjsu.edu

A smiling man with short hair wearing a suit

C.J. Gabbe

Associate Professor, Department of Environmental Studies and Sciences, Santa Clara University

PhD, University of California, Los Angeles

cj@cjgabbe.com

Bahar

Bahar Biazar

Lecturer, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, San Jose Student University

Teaching Associate - SAVI

bahar.biazar@sjsu.edu 

SAVI Alumni

PM

Piyush Modi

SAVI Student Alum

HFE Graduate Student at San Jose State University

669-388-1079
piyush.modi@sjsu.edu

Jamsheed

Jamsheed Mistry

SAVI Student Alum

MS ENVS Student

jamsheedratan.mistry@sjsu.edu