About Speaker

Dr. Wansoo Im specializes in participatory mapping using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and has pioneered the use of interactive, web/mobile based GIS to support community-bases participation and research on a wide range of social and environmental issues.

He currently holds a position as an Associate Professor in Deparment of Family and Community Medicine at Meharry Medical College and manages Public Health Exposure Database. Dr. Im is the Director of National Community Mapping Institute at Meharry.  Dr. Im employs big data, harnessing various social/crowd networking solutions to uncover deep demographic and health insights, and business opportunities in regards to social and health determinants.  

He has experience in teaching GIS applications to planning, public health, and engineering students at various universities in New Jersey. In addition, he has conducted research using GIS for the past 25 years with an emphasis of data collection and analysis from distressed environmental areas, and inner city communities.

His research has highlighted the power and efficacy of crowd sourcing data, which has the potential to educate, engage, and empower marginalized populations, while providing important complements to existing environmental health data.

Dr. Im was featured in The New Yorker magazine in 2006 and in the New York Times in 2008 for his working in mapping public restrooms in New York City.

In 2012 Dr. Im led a volunteer crowd source effort to map gas stations during Hurricane Sandy, which was used by the US Department of Energy Call Center, the City of New York, and FEMA to inform their emergency response. The project was covered by the HuffingtonPost, and numerous other national news outlets, and led to a speaking engagement at Google’s Disaster Management Symposium after Hurricane Sandy.