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

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Ahoura Zandiatashbar, Ph.D.

SAVI Director

PhD, University of Texas at Arlington


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Bo Yang, Ph.D.

SAVI Associate Director of Research

PhD, University of Cincinnati


SAVI Visiting Scholar

Mona Hashemi Yazdi

SAVI Visiting Scholar

AbD, University of Texas at Arlington




Judi Heher

GIS4Democracy Manager

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


SAVI Students


SAVI Researcher

California A-TOD Assessment

MS GISc Student



Janhvi Kriplani

SAVI Student Assistant

Graphics, Visualizations, and web-management

MS Human Computer Interaction Student




Phani Sai Ram Munipalli

SAVI Researcher

Parking Management Apps Evaluation Project

MS Computer Software Engineering



Gaurav Surtani 

SAVI Researcher

Parking Management Apps Evaluation Project

MS Artifical Intelligence 


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Jake Wilde

SAVI Researcher

Bay Area Bike Equity Web-Map Project

BA Geography



Jaisipa Mingthaisong

SAVI Researcher

Bay Area Traffic-Adjacent Pollution Anlaysis Project 

MA Geography


SAVi Growth Leads

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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


SAVi Faculty Associates


Anton Rozhkov, Ph.D.

Industry Assistant Professor
at NYU Center for Urban Science + Progress



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Jochen Albrecht, Ph.D.

Professor for Computational and Theoretical Geography, Hunter College

 PhD, University of Vechta, Germany 



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Serena Alexander, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Public Policy and Environmental Engineering, Northeastern University


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C.J. Gabbe, Ph.D.

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

PhD, University of California, Los Angeles



Bahar Biazar

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

Teaching Associate - SAVI


SAVI Alumni


Piyush Modi

SAVI Student Alum

HFE Graduate Student at San Jose State University



Jamsheed Mistry

SAVI Student Alum

MS ENVS Student