About Me

Wansoo Im specializes in developing decision support systems using a public participatory approach to Geographic Information Systems (GIS). He has pioneered the use of interactive, web/mobile-based GIS to support community-based participation and research on a wide range of social and environmental issues. He teaches interactive mapping skills to teachers, high school and college students, and members of community organizations across the country. Dr. Im consults with non-profit and governmental agencies about creating and using location-based databases to address community issues. He has been invited as a keynote speaker for various health and GIS conferences.

Dr. Im earned his PhD in Urban Planning from Rutgers University in 2001, a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in 1990, and his BS in Urban Planning in 1988. He has an in-depth knowledge about building support systems for transportation decision-making, and modeling watershed resources. Dr. Im is most proud of his web portal, http://www.imrivers.org, which is currently being used by multiple environmental organizations across the United States. His community participatory mapping project of operating gas stations in the wake of Hurricane Sandy got media attention including NBC-NYC, Huffington Post, and other federal governmental agencies in 2012. His work on community participatory internet mapping was featured in The New Yorker magazineas well as Urban Regional Information System Association’s News in 2006.


Currently, Dr.Im  is a professor at Meharry University in the U.S. and head of the Community Mapping Institute in Seoul, Korea. He currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee, and is visiting Korea for lectures and research purposes. The latest projects carried out at the Community Mapping Center were the “GKL Independence Movement Road Community Mapping Project,” “Magok Smell Mapping Project” and “Making Safety Map – Dongjak District Mapping.”

(http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2006/03/27/060327ta_talk_seabrook) and The New York Times in 2008.

Paper / Publication

– Morris, M.C., Marco, M., Maguire-Jack, K., Kouros, C.D., Im, W., White, C., Bailey, B., Rao, U., & Garber, J. County-level socioeconomic and crime risk factors for substantiated child abuse and neglect. Child Abuse & Neglect.. 2019, Vol. 90, 127-138

– Cifuentes P, Reichard J, Im W, Smith S, Colen C, Giurgescu C, Williams KP, Gillespie S, Juarez PD, Hood DB., “Application of the Public Health Exposome Framework Pto Estimate Endo-Phenotypes of Resilience in a Model Ohio African-American Women’s Cohort”, J of Urban Health, Feb, 2019

– Juarez PD, Hood DB, Rogers GL, Baktash SH, Saxton AM, Matthews-Juarez P, IM W, et al. A novel approach to analyzing lung cancer mortality disparities: Using the exposome and a graph-theoretical toolchain. Environ Dis 2017; 2:33-44.

– IM W, Lee S, Ha J, Seo J.  An Analysis on the Effects of Citizen Participatory Community Mapping – Focused on the Case of Neighborhood Safety Mapping Activity in Korea.  Journal of Planning and Spatial Science(Korean) Vol.12, No.1 (2017)

– Jiao Y, Bower JK, IM W, and others.  Application of Citizen Science Risk-Communication Tools in a Vulnerable Urban Community. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2015

– Jiao Y, IM W, Basta N, and others.  Development of Educational PPGIS Risk-Communication Tools and Application to Evaluating Urban Soils.  Jacobs Journal of Community Medicine. 2015, 1(1):007

– Im W, Lee S, and others.  A Study on Effects of Citizen Participatory Community Mapping Activity – A Focused on the Case of Neighborhood Safety Mapping Program.   Korea Urban Design Association, Spring Conference, 2015

– Juarez PD, Matthews-Juarez P, Hood D, Im W, and others.  The Public Health Exposome: A Population-Based, Exposure Science Approach to Health Disparities Research.  International Journal of Research and Public Health 11(12), 2014

– Sugie lee, Chang Gyu Choi, Wansoo Im, Ph.D, “Metropolitan growth and community disparities: Insights from the state of New Jersey in the US”, Cities, Vol.30, 2013, 149–160

– R. Levine1, B. Kilbourne1, M. Al-Hamdan2, M. Langston3, G. Rogers3, D.Hood1 W. Im1, M.Lichtveld4, P. Matthews-Juarez1, P. Robinson5, S. Wilson6, K. Kilbourne1, T. Skelton,1 V. Cain,7 W. Crosson2, M. Estes2, S. Estes2, P. Juarez1, “Fine particulate matter, infant mortality, and residential segregation”, 2012 Summit on the Science of Eliminating Health Disparities, December 2012

– Miyoung Bin, Ph.D., Wansoo Im, Ph.D., and Others; “Improving Traffic Information By Utilizing User Created Content”, Application of Advanced Technologies in Transportation, Athens, Greece, May 2008 (Conference Proceeding)

– Miji Lee, Wansoo Im, Ph.D., and Others, “A Study on the Web Portal Site Development Model Encouraging Public Participation in Smart Growth Planning Processes by Utilizing Publicly Available GIS Tools”, Korean GeoSpatial Assiociation, Seoul, Korea 430-435.

– “Google Maps-Reshaping PPGIS,” The 11th International Seminar on GIS: Collaborative GIS toward the Geospatial Information Society, Seoul, Korea 2007 (Conference Proceeding)

– Wansoo Im, PhD; Dona Schneider, PhD, Effect of Weed Pollen on Children’s Hospital Admissions for Asthma During the Fall Season. Co-authored with Dona Schneider. Archives of Environmental & Occupational Health, Vol. 60, No 5, September/October 2005, 257-265

– Adrienne J. Headley, MD; Mark C. Fulcomer, PhD; Matthew M. Bastardi, BA; Wansoo Im, PhD; Marcia M. Sass, ScD; and Katherine Chung, MD, MPH. The Use of Missing Birth Record Data as a Marker for Adverse Reproductive Outcomes: A Geocoded Analysis of Birth Record Data. Journal of the National Medical Association. Vol.98, No.7, July 2006, 1078-1088

– Dona Schneider, PhD, MPH; David E. Lilienfeld, MD, MPH; and Wansoo Im, PhD. The Epidemiology of Pulmonary Enbolism: Racial Contrasts in Incidence and In-Hospital Case Fatality. Journal of the National Medical Association. Vol.98, No.12, December 2006, 1967- 1972

– Contributing author, Burchell, Robert W., David Listokin, et al. Development Impact Assessment Handbook. Washington, D.C.: ULI-Urban Land Institute, 1994.

– “Creating Census Tract Boundaries Using Census Tract Centroids,” Fourteenth Annual ESRI User Conference, Palm Springs, California, May 1994. (Conference Proceeding)

– Review of “Public Policy and Transit System Management” by George M. Guess, editor, Journal of the American Planning Association. Autumn 1991, Vol 57: no 4, pp.506.

Contact Information:

Wansoo Im, Ph.D.
President, VERTICES, LLC – New Brunswick, NJ
Assistant Professor, Meharry Medical College – Nashville, TN
Adjunct Faculty, Rutgers University – New Brunswick, NJ

317 George Street, Suite 411

New Brunswick, NJ 08901

Phone: (732) 418-9135

E-mail: wim@vertices.com