University of Colorado at Boulder

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Seth Spielman

Urban Geography, Medical Geography, Spatial Statistics, GIScience

Associate Professor of Geography 

Human Geography | GIScience
Affiliate of IBS
303-492-4877 Gugg 103C  
Ph.D. State University of New York at Buffalo, 2008

Research Interests

I’m an Associate Professor of Geography at the University of Colorado and Senior Data Scientist/Manager at Apple Maps. My expertise is in maps, statistics, and machine learning. Recently, I’ve won the Breheny Prize for the best paper in Environment and Planning, a data science competition, and was awarded a distinguished scholar award in Planning from the American Association of Geographers. The journal Science wrote a profile of me as an archetype of a new generation of data-centric geographers. My publications have appeared in a diverse set of journals including PNAS, PlosOne, Demography, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, and the International Journal of GIS. Outside of academia my professional experience has ranged from the hyper digital world of Data Science and Software Engineering for a large tech company in Silicon Valley to the insanely analog practice of being the sole proprietor of an antiquarian bookshop in Manhattan. For more info see:

Selected Publications

Spielman, S.E. and Folch, D.F. (2015). Reducing Uncertainty in the American Community Survey through Data-Driven Regionalization. . PLOSOne (

Spielman, S.E. and Singleton, A. S. (2015). Studying Neighborhoods with Uncertain Data From the American Community Survey. Annals of the Association of American Geographers. Annals of the Association of American Geographers ( .

Wood, N., Jones, J., Spielman, S.E., Schmidtlein, M. (2015). Community clusters of tsunami vulnerability in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science ( .

Spielman, S.E. Cartography and Geographic Information Science (CaGIS). (2014). Spatial Collective Intelligence? credibility, accuracy, and Volunteered Geographic Information. Cartography and Geographic Information Science (CaGIS). doi:10.1080/15230406.2013.874200

Spielman, S.E., Folch, D., Nagle, N. (2014). Patterns and Causes of Uncertainty in the American Community Survey. . Applied Geography (replication data and code) (

Publications updated May 2017

Labs & Facilities

KESDA Ken Erickson Spatial Data Analysis Lab

KESDA Lab is an instructional computer lab with advanced software and hardware used to teach technique (skills) courses in geography.

Meridian Lab

The Meridian Lab is directed by Professor Barbara P. Buttenfield and pursues research to develop and evaluate new software tools for Geographic Information Science. These software tools support...

Recent Courses Include

Spring 2017  GEOG 5161-002 (3) Research Design in Human Geography

Fall 2016  GEOG 4173 (3) Research Seminar

Graduate Students

spatial analysis, human environment
Spatial statistics, computing, demography, land use
remote sensing; GIS; programming
Urban Geography, Spatial Demography, Hazards/Vulnerability, Geocomputation
M.A. Alumni
Geodemographic Analysis of Community Vulnerability and Hurricane Sandy