Sarah E. Williams

Director of Graphic Information Systems, Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation


Sarah Williams is currently the Director of Columbia University's Spatial Information Design Lab (SIDL). Her current research interests focus on the intersection of technology and the urban realm, with a particular focus on using mobile computing to help better understand urban spaces. Williams specializes in the representation of digital information/mapping and ecological design & planning, and teaches classes at Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation (GSAPP).  Her classes include, Spatial Data Visualization, Introduction to Geographic Information Systems, Advanced Geographic Information Systems, and Google Map Hacks. The Spatial Information Design Lab (SIDL) which Williams runs uses innovative mapping and representation techniques to highlight urban issues. The work of SIDL has been widely exhibited including recent shows at the Museum of Modern Art, New York (MoMA) and the Venice Biennale.   

Before becoming the Director of the Spatial Information Design Lab, Williams was at MIT where she started the Geographic Information System (GIS) Laboratory. While at MIT, Sarah also worked with the SenseAble City Laboratory, which is a joint program between MIT's Media Lab and Department of Urban Studies and Planning. Williams interest in ecology and design was exhibited through her work with the West Philadelphia Landscape Project and the Philadelphia Water Department. In both these endeavors she applied her GIS and design skills to locate vacant lots that could be transformed into environmental education centers. Sarah has 12 years of experience with Geography Information Systems (GIS), dating back to her early work with the Clark Labs/IDRISI project. At the Clark Labs, Sarah worked on Remote Sensing research and was a member of the IDRISI Programming team. Sarah has a background in Geography, Landscape/Urban Design, and Urban Planning. Sarah has a Masters degree from MIT in City Planning and Urban Design and received her Bachelors degree in Geography and History from Clark University.


Sarah E. Williams' Departmental Biography Page

SWilliams.JPG Sarah E. Williams
400 Avery Hall
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