GeoAdaptive: Creating Sustainable Geospatial Intelligence

Dr. Juan Carlos Vargas, Managing Principal
Where and how should we develop services, industries, and infrastructure to sustain the increasing demands associated with growth? Which territories should be protected to secure the provision of ecosystems services? How can we increase resiliency across natural and man-made environments to withstand the impacts of climate and economic change? These are some of the questions GeoAdaptive LLC is tackling by structuring their services around the use of geographic information systems and technologies (GIS).

Today, public and private organizations are profoundly challenged by the rapid transformations of regions across the globe. These organizations have the urgent need for spatially-explicit, quantitatively robust, and coordinated geographic solutions that equip them to address emerging and complex challenges.

“GeoAdaptive is a global sustainability consultancy specializing in the creation of advanced spatial analytics and development strategies which—in partnership with clients—aims to deliver sustainability at a global scale,” begins Dr. Juan Carlos Vargas, Founder and Managing Principal of GeoAdaptive. The company, born as a spin-off research lab from Harvard and MIT, is based in Boston, MA and features clients such as bilateral and multilateral organizations, private sector, investment and infrastructure banks, foundations, and national and regional governments. “Our goal is to empower decision-making authorities with geographic intelligence to create a more sustainable and equitable future,” says Dr. Vargas.

GeoAdaptive`s first client was the U.S. Government which provided the start-up with a series of applied-research studies to analyze the geographic and dynamic effects of a set of contested policy alternatives to manage land use and climate change, conservation, and urbanization decisions in Florida. Since then, GeoAdaptive has expanded to provide consulting services in 17 countries worldwide. “Our anticipatory territorial analysis and planning helps clients reduce risk and maximize opportunities by assessing the effects of diverse futures through the development of GIS-based scenarios that integrate spatial economic analysis driven by GIS. We help clients identify and quantify the costs and benefits of different strategies while providing specific locations for interventions. Applications range from agro-industrial development, social and human capital development, urban growth and infrastructure management, conservation planning and climate resiliency. Our team is passionate about developing innovative methods to quantify the spatial relationships underlying the economic, social, and environmental structures of a region,” explains Dr. Vargas.

GeoAdaptive is a global sustainability consultancy specializing in the creation of advanced spatial analytics and development strategies which in partnership with clients aim at delivering sustainability at a global scale

As described by Dr. Vargas, “GeoAdaptive’s work through five. different practice areas—environ-mental and conservation planning, urban sustainability, economic and development planning, climate change risk and resilience, and land analysis.” GeoAdaptive’s environmental and conservation planning services provide terrestrial and marine analysis to help natural resource managers attain high performing ecological projects and fulfill initiatives. In addition, GeoAdaptive’s urban sustainability services produce complex spatiotemporal modeling and analytics, that aid governments and financial institutions in addressing challenges related to future growth, land use, and infrastructure needs.

Under the economic development and planning practice, GeoAdaptive offers spatial econometric analysis to devise infrastructure and land use planning interventions that increase socio-economic returns. Furthermore, the company’s risk and resilience management services include climate change adaptation planning, multi-hazard modeling, probabilistic risk analysis, as well as knowledge mainstreaming. GeoAdaptive’s land analysis group employs geographic scenario development processes and simulations to explore diverse management options for land-based resources.

With a team of geospatial technology specialists and advanced multi-sectoral experts, GeoAdaptive’s short-term plan is to expand its services to the energy, global supply-chain, precision agriculture and food security analysis in 2017—all to be powered by satellite technologies. “We will continue to develop the vision of the company, which is to promote economic development and create equitable and efficient ways of investing resources to achieve sustainability,” concludes Dr. Vargas.


Boston, MA

Dr. Juan Carlos Vargas, Managing Principal

Focuses on the use of geographic information technologies to assist and plan regional sustainability