Seth Spielman photo portrait
Chief data strategy and analytics officer to the Office of Data Analytics and the Finance and Business Strategy (FBS) division • Associate Professor of Geography • Urban Geography, Medical Geography, Spatial Statistics, GIScience • Affiliate of IBS • Ph.D. State University of New York at Buffalo, 2008
Human Geography • GIS

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:

Recent Courses Taught

  • Spring 2019  GEOG 3612 Geography of American Cities
  • Spring 2018  GEOG 5161 Research Design in Human Geography
  • Fall 2017  GEOG 3023 Statistics and Geographic Data

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