Dr. Wansoo Im
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-based participation and research on a wide range of social and environmental issues.
He currently holds a position as an Associate Professor in the Divison of Public Health Program and the Department of Family and Community Medicine at Meharry Medical College and manages Public Health Exposure Database. Dr. Im is the Director of the National Community Mapping Institute at Meharry. He has experience teaching GIS applications to planning, public health, and engineering students at various universities in New Jersey.
Dr. Im employs big data, harnessing various social/crowd networking solutions to uncover deep demographic and health insights and business opportunities regarding social and health determinants.
In addition, he has conducted research using GIS for the past 25 years with an emphasis on data collection and analysis from distressed environmental areas and inner-city communities. His research has highlighted the power and efficacy of crowdsourcing 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 the New York Times in 2008 for his work 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 the US Department of Energy Call Center, the City of New York, and FEMA used to inform their emergency response. The project was covered by the Huffington Post and numerous other national news outlets and led to a speaking engagement at Google’s Disaster Management Symposium after Hurricane Sandy.
Rebekah is a Senior at Vanderbilt University, pursuing a dual major in Medicine, Health, & Society and Psychology, focusing on pre-medicine. Her passion for making a difference in the community led her to assist in Dr. Im's Community Mapping projects, notably the Meharry HBCU Wellness Project and Nashville Food Access initiatives. Beyond her involvement in community mapping, Rebekah's academic interests encompass critical areas like racial/ethnic health disparities, mental health awareness, and the impact of social determinants on health. Her commitment to these topics reflects her desire to contribute positively to addressing pressing healthcare challenges.