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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Laxmi Ramasubramanian, AICP

SAVi Co-Director

PhD, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee


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Bo Yang

SAVi Associate Director of Research

PhD, University of Cincinnati


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Ahoura Zandiatashbar

SAVi Co-Director

PhD, University of Texas at Arlington


SAVI Visiting Scholar

Mona Hashemi Yazdi

SAVI Visiting Scholar



SAVI Students


Janhvi Kriplani

SAVI Student Assistant

MS Human Computer Interaction Student




Jamsheed Mistry

SAVI Student Assistant

MS ENVS Student





Piyush Modi

SAVi Student Alum

HFE Graduate Student at San Jose State University


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

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Jochen Albrecht

Professor for Computational and Theoretical Geography, Hunter College

 PhD, University of Vechta, Germany 



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Serena Alexander

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

PhD, Cleveland State University


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C.J. Gabbe

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