Finding Lincoln on the Map

On a lazy summer day in July, the prez of UIUC held a press conference to talk about plans to renovate an aging building: Lincoln Hall. The building is quite dilapidated and the renovation much needed, but what I found interesting about the press conference was the abundance of Lincolnism.

press conference
(photo curtesy of D. Hawhee image services)

Lincolnism abounds in Illinois, making anything that's pro-Lincoln or even minorly Lincolnian reveared in this state; any argument that seems even referentially pro-Lincoln becomes unassailable. Predictably, then, one of the arguments being made for the building's renovation was that, with Lincoln's bicentennial on the horizon, wouldn't it be a shame to have Lincoln Hall looking shabby while celebrating "this great man"?

(BTW: Brace yourselves, folks. There is already a Lincoln Bicentennial Commission ramping up Big Plans for 2009, a year when we'll all be spending the new Lincoln coin and building special Lincoln-themed floats for Pride.)

At any rate, during the Lincoln-Hall-is-great-and-needs-to-be-renovated (which is to say: gutted, stripped of its charm, and made "ready for the new 21st century"), an odd moment occurred during the q-and-a. There was a question gently doubting the President's commitment to the renovation, and in response, President White responded by saying:
I'm going to take this project on as if I was part of a married couple and we were renovating our house.

Now that's commitment. Flavoring the renovation with this marital and domestic flavor seemed a little odd, but I suppose not surprising given the lengths we'll all go to to protect our dear Lincoln.

On another campus note, I've been looking around for a decent map of campus, one that has a bit more aesthetic appeal than some of the more dreary specimens most readily available online. Whenever I look at this one, for instance, I wonder if I have my glasses on. And this one, though a little more charming, offers like way-too-little in the way of detail.

Google Maps, unfortunately and tellingly, represents the entire Champaign-Urbana area as an interstellar blob of pixels

which makes one feel, on a good day, under-attended to. On a bad day, being totally ignored by Google Maps can be devastating. There are distant planets represented by Hubbell images in greater detail.

The map I'm looking for will doctored by students in my upcoming "Writing Technologies" class, and I predict that the little home-remodel project that is Lincoln Hall will figure prominently in their ventures.


  1. maybe the map will also feature Lincoln Ave, reputed to be Lincoln's you know, beat, also under construction (though slated to be done well before the bicentennial)

    rock on!

  2. I'm very interested in what you and your students come up with on this one--I've spent the summer trying to find ways of uploading our campus map into a social-mapping program so that my students can map the campus and add various writing/photo/linking assignments to it. I'm going to be phone-conferencing with someone from Zeemaps next week, so we'll see.

  3. Ooo, that sounds cool. I think what I'll do is develop my own map and then have students modify the quadrants they're working in/on.

    No doubt I'll blog on what goes down over the course of the semester! :)