The Wharton Geospatial Initiative is a multidisciplinary team, bridging spatial analysis, real estate, and economics, along with a group of advisors and collaborators who broaden our disciplinary reach. Current projects span the schools of business, engineering, design, and communications. In addition to our research in progress, we maintain a series of databases aimed at joining social, financial and spatial components along with the requisite scripts to draw from these sources with ease. We have packaged public data from the Centers for Disease Control, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Census Bureau, among others, with private business data on real estate transactions, mortgage performance, rents and prices, and remote sensing data. This repository of data, spatially referenced at varying units of analysis, serves as a valuable research tool and we welcome collaboration.

Our Team

Susan Wachter



Susan M. Wachter is the Sussman Professor of Real Estate and Professor of Finance, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. Wachter is a former assistant secretary for policy development and research at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and chairperson of Wharton’s real estate department. She is the cofounder and current codirector of Penn IUR and author of more than 200 scholarly publications, including 15 books. Wachter currently serves on the Office of Financial Research Advisory Committee of the US Treasury. She frequently comments on national media and testifies to the U.S. Congress on housing policy.

Andrew Renninger

Research Coordinator


Desen Lin

Research Assistant


Affiliated Faculty

Eugenie Birch


Kathleen Jamieson

Annenberg Center

Richard Weller


Vijay Kumar


Ken Steif


Ken Winneg

Annenberg Center

Billy Fleming


Tony Smith


The Wharton Geospatial Initiative

3103 Steinberg-Dietrich Hall
3620 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Phone: (215) 898 6355

Contact the Lab:

For general inquiries, please write Andrew Renninger at arenn@design.upenn.edu.