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Among the most important new methods of the last two decades is geographical analysis. Departmental research addresses a wide range of quantitative, qualitative and representational approaches, relying heavily on spatial analytics and information technologies, including GIS and environmental remote sensing. Many of our research projects also incorporate qualitative methods, community-based research, and policy analysis.


Sanjoy ChakravortyMelissa GilbertMichele MasucciJeremy Mennis, Jacob ShellJerry Stahler

Research Projects


bITS: Building Information Technology Skills in North Philadelphia (Michele Masucci)

Building Information Technology Skills (bITS) among North Philadelphia Youth is a project funded by the National Science Foundation, ITEST Program. It involves the participation of approximately ninety high school students per year over a three-year long program. The research objective of bITS is to assess the viability of a collaborative model for developing a community geographic information system that draws on the perspectives and experiences of program participants. For more information, go HERE.

Dasymetric Mapping (Jeremy Mennis)

The process of dasymetric mapping is the transformation of data from a set of arbitrary source zones to a dasymetric map via the overlay of the source zones with an ancillary data set.  Dasymetric mapping is applicable to a wide variety of tasks where the user seeks to refine spatially aggregated data, for example in estimating local population characteristics in areas where only coarser, regional resolution census data are available. For more information, go HERE.


Mapping the Presentation of World Geographies in Written Texts (Jacob Shell)

This project geovisualizes the treatment of world geography and geographical systems and processes in numerous influential written texts on history, philosophy, and political economy. So far I’ve found works by such authors as Fernand Braudel, Karl Marx, Karl Wittfogel, Peter Linebaugh, and Marcus Rediker to be especially conducive to this cartographic approach to comparative textual analysis.

Neighborhood Effects on Treatment Continuity (Jerry Stahler)

Local geography and the community context of where a patient resides may have an effect on client behaviors that relate to substance abuse treatment outcomes, such as relapse and attrition. The present study uses GIS and spatial analysis to examine the interacting influences of individual, program and neighborhood factors on treatment compliance and continuity for patients who have a substance use dependency as well as a co-occurring mental health disorder.