Community and Regional Planning Faculty and Staff

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Administrative Staff


Academic Advisor

Graduate Coordinator



Assistant Professor

Alenka Poplin

Assistant Professor, Community and Regional Planning

Mailing Address

Community and Regional Planning Department
158 College of Design
Ames, IA, 50011

Contact Information

Phone: (515) 294-8097
Office: 487 Design


  • PhD in Geoinformation Science, Institute for Geoinformation and Cartography, Vienna University of Technology, Austria
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA), Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina, USA
  • MSc Surveying and Spatial Planning Faculty of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Surveying, Technical University of Ljubljana, Slovenia          

Supporting Files

Research Interests

GeoGames for urban planning | Serious games for civic engagement

  • Devisch, O., Poplin, A. and S. Sofronie. 2016. The Gamification of Civic Participation. Two experiments in improving the skills of citizens to reflect collectively on spatial issues, Journal of Urban Technology, Volume 23, Issue 2, p. 81-102.

  • Poplin, A. and K. Vemuri. 2016. YouPlaceIt!: Spatial Game for Building a Consensus, book chapter, in the book Geogames and Geoplay - Game-based Approaches to the Analysis of Geo-Information, Editors: O.  Ahlqvist and C. Schlieder, to be published in autumn 2016.

  • Poplin, A. 2014. Digital serious game for urban planning: B3 – Design your Marketplace!, Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, Volume 41 (3), p. 493-511.

  • Poplin, A. 2012. Playful public participation in urban planning: A case study for online serious games, Computers, Environment and Urban Systems (CEUS), Elsevier, Volume 36, Issue 3, May 2012, Pages 195-206.

User experience with interactive maps | GeoVisualization

  • Poplin, A., Guan, W. and B. Lewis. 2016. (accepted 08/22/2016). Online Survey of Heterogeneous Users and Their Usage of the Interactive Mapping Platform WorldMap, The Cartographic Journal.

  • Guan, W., Poplin, A. and B. Lewis. 2015. Understanding today’s online GIS user through the lens of a WorldMap survey, Transactions in GIS, Volume 19, Issue 3, p. 417–438.

  • Poplin, A. 2015. How User-Friendly are Online Interactive Maps? Survey Based on Experiments with Heterogeneous Users, Cartography and Geographic Information Science, Volume 42, 2015 – Issue 4, p. 358-376.

  • Poplin, A. 2012. Web-based PPGIS for Wilhelmsburg, Germany: an Integration of Interactive GIS-based Maps with an Online Questionnaire, Special Issue of the Journal of Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA), Vol. 25, No. 2, p. 71-84.

Smart Cites, Smart Communities and Big Data

  • I am one of the project partners in a project funded by ISU Presidential research initiative that promotes big thinking in data-driven science (

  • The project:  Data-driven decision making for sustainable cities: a three-year, $375,000 project led by Ulrike Passe, associate professor of architecture and director of the Center for Building Energy Research. This project also won a one-year, $50,000 planning grant during the second round of presidential research awards. Researchers will use data about living in urban areas to develop new methods to help cities make data-driven policy decisions that are sustainable and meet residents' needs.
    My team focuses on creating and testing an online game-based simulation tool which may help to collect data about human behavior related to built environment and energy consumption and saving.