Josh Conrad is a doctoral candidate in the School of Architecture, under Dr. Michael Holleran, studying new GIS methodologies for building and landscape research. His doctoral research studies the history and future of GIS data practices in historic preservation. Additionally, he works professionally as a data consultant with the historic preservation firm HHM & Associates in Austin.

From 2009 to 2013, he was the technical developer of the Austin Historical Survey Wiki, a collaboration with UT and the City of Austin to develop a shared web-based data collection tool that brings together citizens' local knowledge of historic places with the expertise of preservation professionals.


Histories of Data and Data Practices in Historic Preservation
By studying data about places collected by architectural designers, historians and planners over the past 100 years, we not only deepen our understanding of the evolution of the built environment but we also reveal how the methods and practices of historic preservation have evolved through time. Further, we can reveal how past data practices have come to inform the methods by which we continue to study, interpret and regulate the built environment today.

UTLARCH GeoData project
This UT Libraries project aims to develop a prototype for a new kind of geospatial database embedded with Linked Open Data that can map and link together data derived from various collections at the Alexander Architectural Archives.
Collaborator: Dr. Katie Pierce Meyer
► Project Dashboard and StoryMap on ArcGIS Online
► "Linking Architectural GeoData" on Battle Hall Highlights

Austin Housing Analysis
The Austin Housing Analysis is a collaboration between the University of Texas Urban Information Lab and the City of Austin. This project studies nearly 30 years of Austin housing development using property value data from 1993 to 2021 in an effort to inform discussions about the future of local affordable housing policy.
Collaborators: Dr. Junfeng Jiao, Dr. Jake Wegmann, Dr. Katie Pierce Meyer
Project Dashboards and StoryMaps on ArcGIS Online

Mexican Hinterlands
Mexican Hinterlands is an ongoing research and documentation project that cuts “la linea” on the east-west U.S.-Mexico boundary north-south by investigating how the railroad routes that connected Mexico City with Nogales, Arizona, El Paso, Texas, and Laredo, Texas starting in 1882 and completed by 1910 shaped the built environment of cities, agricultural lands, and rangelands.
Collaborator: Dr. Sarah Lopez
►​ Project Website


  • M.S. Historic Preservation, University of Texas at Austin, 2011
  • M. Architecture, University of Texas at Austin, 2010
  • B.S. Architecture, Georgia Institute of Technology, 2004

Conrad, Josh; Sarah Mawhorter & Jake Wegmann (2021) "Can we use administrative data to quantify informal housing additions at the parcel level? An analysis of Austin, USA", International Journal of Housing Policy, DOI: 10.1080/19491247.2021.1890535

Conrad, Josh (2018). "Democratizing the Historical Survey," PLAT (Rice University), Issue 7.0 "Sharing," Fall

Minner, Jennifer, Michael Holleran, Andrea Roberts, and Josh Conrad (2015). "Capturing volunteered historical information: Lessons from development of a local government crowdsourcing tool." International Journal of E-Planning Research, 4:1

Conrad, Josh, Lauren Hamer (2013). “Ghost in the machine,” Dwell, March 2013

Conrad, Josh, Lauren Hamer (2011). “Interview with Jorge Otero-Pailos,” Tarp (Pratt Institute), Spring


Nov 2020
Austin AI Housing Analysis
Open Data Meetup, City of Austin

Feb 2020
Geospatial Research Workshop, University of Texas at Austin

Oct 2018
Digital Humanities Project Showcase, University of Texas at Austin

July 2018
Digital Humanities Short Course, University of Texas at Austin
November 2017
"Automating and democratizing the historical survey". National Trust for Historic Preservation PastForward conference, Chicago (agenda)

July 2014
“Customize - Collaborate - Integrate: Moving Cultural Resource Data Management onto the Web.“ Transportation Research Board Committee on Historic and Archaeological Preservation (ADC50), San Antonio

April 2014
“Place-Based Online Management Systems for Documenting the Built Environment.” Texas Conference on Digital Libraries, Austin (abstract)

Additionally I was interviewed about my 2008 preservation internship experiences with AmeriCorps in: Walsner, Lauren (2014). "Corps Values: How Youth Corps Are Saving Historic Places" Preservation, National Trust for Historic Preservation,

photo of Josh Conrad
  • building preservation
  • history of historic preservation
  • GIS analysis
  • sustainability and equity