Jeff Matson is Director of Community GIS at the University of Minnesota’s Center for Urban and Regional Affairs where he has worked since 2000. CURA’s CGIS program provides technical assistance in the form of map production, data collection and analysis, and training for the non-profit community in Minnesota. Beginning in 2001 with consecutive three-year grants from the Federal Technology Opportunity Program, Jeff has worked to make data and mapping more accessible and easier to use for neighborhood groups in the Twin Cities. Early projects included the creation of the Minneapolis Neighborhood Information System in 2002 – one of the first publicly accessible parcel data and problem property early warning systems in the country, and the Minnesota 3-D web application – one of the first local uses of LEHD origin-destination data – in 2006. Currently, Jeff represents the non-profit community on the MetroGIS Coordinating Council (the MPO’s regional data sharing collaborative) and is a co-founder of the Twin Cities Community GIS Consortium, an organization dedicated to making government data publicly available and increasing the capacity of neighborhood organizations.
In addition, Jeff teaches courses in Geography (Urban GIS and Analysis, and a seminar in GIS, Technology, and Society) at both the graduate and undergraduate level that emphasize real-world project experience and getting students working with community organizations. He is also a frequent lecturer in the departments of Geography, Public Affairs, Social Work and Housing Studies. He has a B.A. in anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley and a Masters in Geographic Information Science from the University of Minnesota where his research focused on environmental justice and public participation GIS.