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Open Spatial Lab (OSL) creates open source tools and analyses to solve problems using geospatial data science. Its mission is to diversify perspectives included in spatial data science practice and reach a broader audience through more accessible tools for data exploration, management, and visualization. The Lab works with community partners local and across the US to understand needs and uses to activate data for community and policy decision support. Support is provided in part by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. OSL is a collaboration with the Center for Spatial Data Science.


Susan Paykin co-leads the Open Spatial Lab at the Data Science Institute and oversees its programmatic, research, and engagement activities. Her work includes community-engaged data practices, specializing in geospatial data analytics, mapping, and visualization, and building organizational data capacity for nonprofit and social impact partners. Susan also supports DSI’s community-centered data science initiatives and oversees the Community Data Fellows program, which provides data science support for community and nonprofit organizations and applied learning opportunities for students. She was previously the Research Manager at the Center for Spatial Data Science at UChicago and has worked in leadership, research, and advocacy roles for environmental and social impact organizations. She holds a Master’s in Public Policy from the Harris School of Public Policy at University of Chicago and a B.A. in International Studies from Brandeis University.