Josh Conrad is a doctoral candidate in the School of Architecture, under Dr. Michael Holleran, studying new GIS methodologies for building and landscape research. He is currently a data researcher with the Urban Information Lab as well as with UT Libraries. His doctoral research studies the history and future of equity-oriented 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.


Dr. Michael Holleran, School of Architecture (SOA) Historic Preservation Program
Dr. Katie Pierce Meyer, Architecture and Planning Library
Dr. Amelia Acker, School of Information
Dr. Jake Wegmann, SOA Community and Regional Planning Program
Dr. Junfeng Jiao, SOA Community and Regional Planning Program
Dr. Katherine Lieberknecht, SOA Community and Regional Planning Program
Dr. Juliana Felkner, SOA Community and Regional Planning Program


Austin AI Housing Analysis
This UT Good Systems Year 2 research project will develop a value-driven AI system in collaboration with the City of Austin that evaluates historical housing development and helps policymakers shape equitable, inclusive and sustainable plans and regulations.
Collaborators: Dr. Junfeng Jiao, Dr. Jake Wegmann, Dr. Katie Pierce Meyer

Buildings of Texas
A project of the UT Libraries Digital Initiatives for Architectural Collections program, this project aims to develop a GIS authority file of Texas architecture and architects embedded with Linked Open Data as a means to broaden representation and allow for multivocality and multiplicity. The dataset will be used to develop map-based digital exhibitions and spatial finding aids. See our poster for the 2019 Digital Frontiers conference.
Collaborator: Dr. Katie Pierce Meyer

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


  • 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
  • building data analysis
  • sustainability and equity