Morteza Karimzadeh
Assistant Professor of Geography • spatial data science • geo-visual analytics • geographic Information retrieval • human-computer collaborative decision-support systems • PhD Penn State

Dr. Morteza Karimzadeh is an assistant professor at the Department of Geography at the University of Colorado Boulder. He was formerly a postdoctoral researcher at Purdue University’s School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and worked as a Lecturer in GIScience at the Ohio State University prior to that. 

Morteza’s research interests are rooted in the discipline of Geography, specifically in spatial data science at the intersection of (geo)visual analytics, Geographic Information Retrieval (GIR), and Human-Computer Collaborative Decision-support systems (HCCD). His research focuses on integrative activities that brings together data science with social/environmental science to make society a more sustainable and equitable place. His has done research in various domains such as crisis prevention and management; (environmental, economical, and social) sustainability and resilience; food, energy and water systems; and precision agriculture. Central to all these activities, he uses methods from, and contributes to spatial data science and (geo)visual analytics.


Morteza earned his Ph.D. at Penn State’s Department of Geography, where he focused on Geovisual Analytics and Geographic Information Retrieval of unstructured textual documents. While the overwhelming majority of all data in digital form exists as text, unstructured text has not been well-supported by either GIScience theories or existing GIS tools. In his PhD research, he worked on the geoparsing of place references in (social media) text in a scalable manner to support situational awareness in crisis management. His work culminated in two systems and one dataset, all publicly available, and each leading to multiple publications and presentations. Most notably, he developed GeoTxt, a geoparsing software that identifies and geolocates place references in text, which has been used by multiple research projects in various universities. 

As a postdoctoral researcher at the Purdue Visual Analytics Center (PURVAC) he worked on various integrated visual analytics projects in domains ranging from situational awareness for crisis management, functional soil mapping for precision agriculture, phenotype-based superior plant selection for sustainable agriculture, and integrated Food, Energy, Water Systems (FEWS) balancing for irrigation management.