GIS Day Directions and Parking

GIS Day at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery in the H.F. DeLuca Forum located on the main floor.


Parking & Directions

Parking is available in the Union South lot 80 underground parking garage, which can be accessed from Dayton Street. Parking also is available in lot 20, which serves Genetics and the McArdle Laboratory and can be accessed from University Avenue, and in lot 17, which is behind Engineering Hall and Camp Randall Stadium and can be accessed via North Randall Avenue.

Visitor parking in lots 17, 20 and 80 costs $1 per 30 minutes for the first two hours and $1 per hour thereafter, up to a maximum of $12 per day. Prices and availability are subject to change. For more information, please contact Transportation Services.

Disabled parking is available in lots 17, 20 and 80. For more information about campus accessibility, please visit

Individuals also can be dropped off at the main entrance to the building on Orchard Street.

View an interactive campus map of the University of Wisconsin-Madison or get directions to this location. Please note: all links will open in a new window leaving this page intact.

Madison Metro bus routes 2, 3, 14, 15, 27, 28, 37, 38 and 70 routes are all bus routes that pass by the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery building.  There are several bus stops within 1-2 blocks walking distance from the building.

GIS Day Speakers

This year, presentations will feature several keynote speakers such as Greg Tracy from Propeller Health, Liz Eversoll from SOLOMO Technology, Ray Mandli from Mandli Communications, and Paul Braun from Continental Mapping Consultants. The speakers will be presenting their talks in the H.F. DeLuca Forum at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery.

The keynote presentaions will be Greg Tracy at 10:15 am (presentation title pending); Liz Eversoll at 11:15 am presenting, “Indoor Location – The Uncharted Frontier”; Paul Braun at 12:15 pm presenting, “UAS and the Wild Wild West: The Emerging Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) Market and its Impact on the Geospatial Industry; and Ray Mandli at 1:15 pm  presenting “GIS Visualization in the 3rd Dimension”.

DeLuca Forum

DeLuca Forum – Keynote Presentations


 Keynote Speakers:


Greg Tracy presenting at 10:15 am

“Uncertainty is the new black. Embrace it”

Greg Tracy is co-founder and CTO of Propeller Health, the leading mobile platform for respiratory health management. He has been building software products and engineering teams for nearly twenty years in medicine, telecommunications and mass storage.

Greg has started two companies and led the engineering team of a third from small startup through a merger to an IPO. As an engineering Director, Greg has excelled at driving results by creating great cultures.

Greg loves building software and when he’s not building it for his companies, he’s building it for Madison. As founder of HackingMadison, Greg has built and deployed numerous free tools to build community and help Madison operate more efficiently. Most notably is the free Metro Transit API which serves 1M transit requests per week.

You can find Greg writing about software, family and Madison on Twitter at @gregtracy.


Liz Eversoll presenting at 11:15 am

“Indoor Location – The Uncharted Frontier”

Liz Eversoll

Liz Eversoll, CEO of SOLOMO Technology, has spent the last 20 years in the IT industry and has extensive experience as a business owner, IT executive, technology services and reseller executive, and consultant. Liz sits on a number of boards mentoring young technology startups in Wisconsin and working to foster the IT startup ecosystem. Her passion is building businesses with great teams, strong vision and disruptive potential. She started SOLOMO Technology in 2010 in response to the major market trends of our time — the rapid explosion of mobile devices around the world, the boom in social media and social connectedness over the Internet, and the movement toward increasingly local products and services, the cloud and big data.

Follow Liz on Twitter @lizeversoll @slm_technology


 Paul Braun presenting at 12:15 pm

“UAS and the Wild Wild West: The Emgering Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) Market and its Impact on the Geospatial Industry”

Paul Braun 1x2

For 25 years Paul has been active in the GIS industry. He began his GIS education at UW-Madison in the mid 1980’s studying under Phil Lewis, Ben Niemann, and Al Vonderohe.  Since then he has been involved in developing Wisconsin’s digital wetland inventory with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, coordinating the GIS program at the University of South Carolina, deploying GIS in eastern Europe through the Peace Corps as well as 15 years of private sector GIS consulting, geospatial software development and survey and mapping services.  His interests have always focused on applying geospatial technology to better understand complex natural and man-made systems. 

Paul has a BS in Landscape Architecture from UW-Madison and a Master of Science degree from the University of Arizona in Renewable Natural Resource Studies.

Paul currently serves as Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Continental Mapping headquartered in Sun Prairie, WI.  They employ several dozen photogrammetry and GIS personnel and surveyors to produce geospatial data for private sector companies, state agencies and the federal government including both unclassified and classified agencies. Current areas of interest include:

  1. The use of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) for fast, accurate and repeatable data and their impact on both the engineering and design community as well as areas such as special needs education and employment,
  2. Crowdsourcing and the maker movement as two market trends that are dramatically impacting how we live,
  3. The hybridization of mapping technologies such as mobile and aerial lidar, photogrammetry and land survey to map, measure and model the world in which we live, and
  4. Special needs education and employment.

Follow on Twitter at @pdbraun.


Ray Mandli presenting at 1:15 pm

“GIS Visualization in the 3rd Dimension”

Ray founded Mandli Communications in 1983 and since then his company has grown to be one of the most innovative technology integrators in the transportation industry. During this time, Mandli Communications has developed advanced mobile data collection systems that include imaging, positional, pavement, and LiDAR technology.  


Questions, please contact at 608/263-4371

Have a GIS tech question?

Now that the spring semester is in full swing, I wanted to remind everyone about the campus GIS technical support email list.  The list is monitored by a team of volunteers who have generously agreed to help out their campus colleagues.

If you work for or attend UW-Madison, send your GIS tech or “how to” questions to:

… the volunteers will do their best to help!

Also, for some additional campus GIS support options be sure to check out the Help and Training page on the Geospatial Alliance site.

Presentation by Sarah Battersby on the Web Mercator Projection

Sarah Battersby of the University of South Carolina will be giving a presentation on the Web Mercator projection in 180 Science Hall, on Nov. 2, 2012, at 3:30 pm.


Web Mercator: A good use for an old map projection, or just another visit by a mental imperialist?

For years there has been debate over the impacts of the Mercator projection and its influence on our perception of geographic areas and representation of spatial patterns. While the map has fallen out of general use for paper maps, a new flavor of the projection (Web Mercator) has become the standard map projection for many web mapping services, such as Google Maps, Bing, and ArcGIS online. Unfortunately, while Web Mercator has numerous technical benefits for web mapping, there are significant concerns about its acceptability for general purpose mapping of large geographic areas – for instance, accuracy of spatial relations and calculations, and, of course, a return of the old suggestion that use of Mercator is influencing our global-scale cognitive maps. Though recent(ish) research (late 2000s) has indicated that Mercator may not have had as much impact on our cognitive maps as was suspected earlier, it seems that as we shift into a time of more extensive web map use we may need to reconsider the potential impacts of the projection. In this presentation, I will evaluate the technical merits of the “new” Web Mercator projection, the cognitive and educational impacts, and best-practice challenges that face everyday users and designers of web maps. I will also present some exciting developments in map projection research from across the projection research community that may help move us towards better alternatives that would be effective for both global- and local-scale web mapping. My goal is not to demonize the projection, but to provide a view of the good, the bad, and the questionable aspects of the projection that we should be attentive to (in research and cartographic design) as we move towards increased use of web mapping for display and analysis.

Geospatial Alliance meeting to be held on October 18

 A meeting of the Geospatial Alliance will be held on Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012, from 10-11 am, in Union South.

The purpose of the meeting is to bring together members of the geospatial community at UW-Madison for discussion and sharing of ideas. Would you like to participate in planning the next Geospatial Summit? Do you have ideas for other events that we can host? Do you have suggestions for enhancements to the Web site? Are there geospatial initiatives on campus that could benefit from mutual collaboration? Are there ways we can be making geospatial activities more visible to the university as a whole?

Please plan to attend and share your views. The event is currently scheduled for the “Wisconsin Idea” room on the second floor of Union South, 1308 W. Dayton, in Madison. Please check the event displays when you arrive in Union South in the event of a room change.

SAGE seeks GIS-Remote Sensing Analysts

The remote sensing lab group at the Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment (SAGE) has funding for two positions starting September 21, 2012 to conduct research to monitor urban expansion and agricultural land loss across Southeast Asia using multiple remote sensing data sets.

The goal of the project is to monitor land cover change, and work will be completed using a combination of ENVI, ArcGIS, and command line programming tools.  Tasks will include photo-interpretation, accuracy assessment, database management, map/figure production, as well as analysis using GIS.

To apply, please contact Professor   Please make sure to send the following with your e-mail:

(1) a recent CV or resume

(2) contact information for three references

(3) information on availability (start date, hours available per week)

Application deadline: Friday, September 21, 2012

For more information:

New ERDAS licenses available

I have received the 2012-2013 ERDAS licenses for UW-Madison.  If you are interested in acquiring or renewing ERDAS Imagine and its components, how many you would like and what the system IDs (MAC addresses) are of the machines that will have the software or will serve a floating license.  All departmental / research / teaching licenses should be ordered through me as before.  Student licenses ($150) are available directly from Integraph.  More info about student licenses can be found here.

The cost remains $250 per seat.  Payment is by Credit Card/Phone with Space Science & Engineering Center staff. All UW ERDAS licenses expire Aug 31 of each year.

The current version of the software is 11.0.5   The new licenses will support that version and earlier, back to 9.3.  I no longer receive installation disks but anyone can download the software components for installation.

More information about the UW-Madison ERDAS site license is available on the Geospatial Alliance Web site.

SAGE seeks project assistant for data visualization

The Nelson Institute Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment (SAGE) seeks a graduate student project assistant (PA) to help develop interactive graphics for public engagement in environmental research. With a 1-year grant from the National Center for Freight Infrastructure Research & Education (CFIRE), Prof. Holloway is looking to develop user-friendly graphics to communicate research results on transportation and air quality, and to engage the public in issues related to sustainable transportation systems, especially truck and rail.

They are looking for a PA to create interactive graphics, like those in The New York Times, based on past research results and data sets. Work will employ the IBM “Many Eyes” software (a version of which is used by the Times) and may expand to more advanced software tools. The PA will help conceptualize and develop a suite of engaging, user-friendly interactive graphics. These graphics are intended to showcase research and teach about transportation and air quality. As such, they need to be attractive, clear, and well documented.

Applications are welcome from graduate students in: a) technical fields (computer science, engineering, atmospheric and oceanic science, etc.) with strong communication skills and an interest in public engagement; b) communication-related fields (journalism, art, design, marketing, etc.) with an interest in and ability to learn new software tools and work with large datasets; c) interdisciplinary programs (the Nelson Institute, urban planning, public policy, etc.) with strong communication and quantitative analysis skills; d) any field fitting the criteria noted above. Preference will be given to candidates with experience in website development, programming (esp. Python or Java), graphic communication and design, and/or digital media for education and outreach. 

Interested students should send a resume or C.V. and cover letter (describing interest in the position and relevant background) to Prof. Tracey Holloway, . Applications received by Aug. 3 will receive full consideration.

Duties: This 50% PA appointment = about 20 hours/week.  Likely duties include:

  • Working with Holloway and her research group to conceptualize interactive graphics
  • Learning and using the IBM Many Eyes software
  • Working with a wide range of data formats (e.g. GIS, netCDF, Excel, text, databases, etc.) Applicants need not already be familiar with these data formats
  • Learning and applying new software tools beyond Many Eyes on an as-needed basis, including Matlab, Python or Java web-programming.
  • Scientific writing to explain graphic and engage users in associated content
  • Working with web developers, researchers, users, and external collaborators to evaluate and refine web content and interactive graphics.
  • Activities related to computers, data manipulation, graphic design, writing, and collaboration

Initial appointment will cover Fall semester (August 27, 2012 through December 26, 2012) with extension to Spring 2013 pending satisfactory performance.