Robert Cheetham is the founder and CEO of Azavea, a B Corporation that develops new geospatial technology and applies it for civic, social, and environmental impact. Azavea creates advanced data analysis and visualization tools and products for a range of domains including water, forests, infrastructure, cities, and elections. The firm’s public service mission and research focus are at the heart of its work, encompassing both R&D partnerships with universities and open source software tools for Earth observation imagery like Raster VisionRaster FoundryGeoTrellis as well as DistrictBuilder for electoral redistricting, the World Resource Institute’s Global Forest Watch project, the Open Apparel Registry for global apparel supply chains, and COVID data visualization tools for the World Bank.

Over the past 15 years, Robert has led dozens of geospatial software projects and has served as Principal Investigator on research grants from the National Science Foundation, NASA, US Department of Energy, US Department of Agriculture, and the National Institutes of Health.

Prior to founding Azavea, he served as a software developer and GIS analyst for the University of Pennsylvania, the City of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Police Department and as a civil servant in Japan.  He has an MLA in Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning from the University of Pennsylvania and a BA in Japanese Studies from the University of Michigan. He serves on advisory boards for the Penn State University Masters in GIS and GeoDesign programs and the Temple University Professional Masters in GIS program.