GPS Rally

Current Illinois undergraduate and graduate students may also compete in GPS Rally 2010, a Global Positioning System-powered tour of just a few of the locations on campus where the geographic information sciences are used or studied.

Students who register and complete the rally successfully, prior to Wednesday, November 17 at 5pm, two days before the GIS fair, will be entered into a drawing for the GPS Rally Grand Prize or other prizes.

Grand Prize

Runner up prizes four in total

See the GPS Rally website for important details about drawing eligibility for student-employees.

Click here for instructions and the first clue, but do so soon GIS Fair 2010 is almost here, and some rally waypoints are in campus buildings which have restricted hours.

GIS Fair 2010 Hosts

  • Applied Technologies for Learning in the Arts and Sciences
  • ESRI-GIS Development Center / Institute of Natural Resource Sustainability
  • Illinois Informatics Institute
  • University Consortium of Geographic Information Science
  • University of Illinois WebStore
  • University Library

For more information, please contact the chair of GIS Fair 2010, Maryalice Wu.

GIS Fair 2010 Schedule of Events

10:00-10:15am Welcome
Illinois Informatics Institute Director John Unsworth

10:15-11:15am Keynote
HyperCities: Using Social Media and GIS to Map Time Layers in Los Angeles, Berlin, Tehran, and Rome

Dr. Todd Presner, Professor of Germanic Languages, Comparative Literature, and Jewish Studies at the University of California Los Angeles

11:30-12:30pm Morning Session
Lightning Round Talks; Event Hall

12:30-1:00pm Break
Pizza and soft drinks

1:10-2:45pm Afternoon Session
Lightning Round Talks; Event Hall; GIS Clinic

3:00pm Closing
Prize drawing and awards for the GPS Rally

Lightning Talk and GIS Clinic Signups

Click here to sign up to give a Lightning Talk Presentation.

Click here to sign up to share your expertise during the GIS Clinic


Archer Daniels Midland, Cazoodle, Champaign County Regional Planning Commission, Champaign Police Department, Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit, Champaign-Urbana Public Health District, City of Champaign, Construction Engineering Research Laboratory, ESRI, Illinois GIS Association (ILGISA), LEAMgroup, Inc., National Geodetic Survey, Ploughman Analytics, State Farm, United States Geological Survey, and Members of the geographical information sciences community of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Keynote Abstract:

HyperCities: Using Social Media and GIS to Map Time Layers in Los Angeles, Berlin, Tehran, and Rome

Bringing together social media, the analytic tools of GIS, and traditional methods of humanistic inquiry, HyperCities is a digital research and educational platform for exploring, learning about, and interacting with the layered histories of city and global spaces. Built on the Google Maps and Google Earth APIs, HyperCities essentially allows users to go back in time to create and explore the historical layers of city spaces in an interactive, hypermedia environment. The fundamental idea behind HyperCities is that all stories take place somewhere and sometime; they become meaningful when they interact and intersect with other stories. Using examples from Los Angeles, Berlin, Rome, and Tehran, Presner will discuss the HyperCities platform focusing on the role of temporal GIS to critically map and interpret a wide-range of cultural, historical, and social dynamics.


Todd Presner
Todd Presner is Professor of Germanic Languages, Comparative Literature, and Jewish Studies at the University of California Los Angeles. He is currently co-Director of the UCLA Center for Jewish Studies (with David Myers) and will become the Director of the Center in Spring 2011. He is also the Chair of the proposed Digital Humanities undergraduate minor and graduate certificate program (slated to begin in Winter 2011). His research focuses on European intellectual history, the history of media, visual culture, digital humanities, and cultural geography. He is the author of two books: The first, Mobile Modernity: Germans, Jews, Trains (Columbia University Press, 2007), maps German-Jewish intellectual history onto the development of the railway system; the second, Muscular Judaism: The Jewish Body and the Politics of Regeneration (Routledge, 2007), analyzes the aesthetic dimensions of the strong Jewish body.

Presner is the founder and director of HyperCities, a collaborative, digital mapping platform that explores the layered histories of city spaces. Awarded one of the first "digital media and learning" prizes by the MacArthur Foundation/HASTAC in 2008, HyperCities is an interactive, web-based research and teaching environment for authoring and analyzing the cultural, architectural, and urban history of cities. Our first HyperCities are Los Angeles, Berlin, New York, Rome, Ollantaytambo, and Tel Aviv, with many more in the works. The project co-PIs are: Dean Abernathy, Mike Blockstein, Philip Ethington, Diane Favro, Chris Johnason, and Jan Reiff.

In the field of Digital Humanities, his current research focus on the development of the geo-spatial web, digital publications, issues of temporality and GIS, and the technical media that enable visualizations of complex city spaces. Together with Willeke Wendrich, Diane Favro, and Jan Reiff, he is one of the co-director's of UCLA's new undergraduate Keck Program in Digital Cultural Mapping. Together with Phil Ethington (USC, PI), the HyperCities project recently won a Haynes Foundation Grant for "Mapping LA Research Online" and, under the leadership of David Shepard (HyperCities, Technical Lead), a Google Digital Humanities Grant for "Geo-Scribe" (a map mark-up tool integrated with Google's Book Search).


  • BA, Duke University (1994), Literature and Philosophy; magna cum laude, with distinction in Program in Literature
  • MA, Stanford University (1998), Comparative Literature
  • PhD, Stanford University (2002), Comparative Literature
  • PhD, University of California, Berkeley (2003), History of Art