IVOA Interoperability meeting
Venue Information


Meeting Location

The meeting will be held at the NCSA building located on the campus of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign at 1205 W. Clark St., Urbana. The building is within walking distance (2 blocks) of the Hampton Inn; from other hotels, transportation is necessary.

Registration can be found just inside the main entrance in the building lobby. Plenary sessions will be held nearby on the ground floor in the auditorium. Break out rooms are located on the ground and second floors.



See the program page.


Registration is now open. There is no charge for attendance; however the cost to attend the banquet is $36.

To register, please visit the registration page. The deadline for purchasing a banquet ticket is May 7.

List of registered attendees

See who has registered so far. Note that this list is not updated in real-time.

Travel Information

Getting to Urbana

By Air

The most convenient way to get to Urbana from afar is to fly into Champaign's Willard Airport (CMI). It is served by American Airlines with 6 flights in and out per day connecting to Chicago O'Hare (ORD, 5 flights) and Dallas-Ft. Worth (DFW, 1 flight).

To get to your hotel from Willard, you have three options:

  • rent a car (see "By Car" for directions).
  • take a taxi (recommended)
    • Typically, there are cab drivers waiting in the lobby with a sign; vehicles are clearly marked as commercial cabs.
    • Taxis charge a flat fee of ~$15 for transport from the airport to destinations in the Champaign-Urbana area.
  • hotel shuttle (check with your hotel; not available from all hotels)
Alternatively, you can fly into one of the airports listed below in order of proximity to Urbana. Each of these have on-site desks for the major car rental companies.

  • Bloomington (BMI) is a 45 minute drive west of Urbana
  • Indianapolis (IND) is a 2 hour drive east of Urbana
  • Chicago Midway (MDW) is a 2.5 hour drive north of Urbana
  • Chicago O'Hare (ORD) is a 3 hour drive north of Urbana
  • St. Louis (STL) is a 3 hour drive west of Urbana
Note that it is possible to take busses and trains from the Chicago airports; see below.

By Shuttle Bus

The LEX shuttle provides numerous runs per day to and from area airports, including Chicago O'Hare, Chicago Midway, Indianapolis, Bloomington (IL) and Peoria. The cost of the O'Hare trip (which takes about 3 hours) starts at $28. You can obtain reservations on-line; choose "IL Terminal" as your destination (see map). From there you can get a cab or a city bus to your hotel.

Another shuttle service, Illini Shuttle, offers five runs per day for $27; however, it's Urbana stops are much less convenient. The Altgeld Hall stop is the closest to NCSA, but involves some walking.

By Train

Champaign-Urbana are served by Amtrak with 3 trains daily from Chicago and connections to other cities.

It is possible to take trains from Chicago airports to Champaign-Urbana, though it can be a bit involved, time-consuming, and involves a small bit of walking. (In other words, it's not well suited for people coming off long or late flights; the shuttle option described above tends to be more convenient.) Often a connection to fly into Champaign can be about the same price as the train option. Amtrak leaves from Chicago's Union Station; use the "El" (subway) to get there:

To ensure connections, buy your ticket on-line and arrive at Union station at least 45 minutes prior to your departure time.

Trains arrive into Champaign's Illinois Terminal. From there, one can take a taxi or a city bus. For a bus, use the MTD's trip planner to plan your trip. The Orange Bus stops right behind the Hampton Inn (just past the hospital).

By Car

Urbana is easily accessible from Interstates 57 and 74; see these instructions for driving to the NCSA building for details, including for driving from Willard Airport. Unless you are coming from the airport, you will probably enter town from the southbound Lincoln Avenue exit off of I-74. The Holiday Inn and the Ramada Inn are both located just off this exit on the right. For the Hampton Inn, see this map which marks the hotel's location.


Some attendees have asked about carpooling options. If you are interested, you might consult this carpooling bulletin board page.

Getting to the NCSA building

From the Hampton Inn:
The NCSA building is less than 2 short blocks from the Hampton Inn. Cross University Avenue (the busy street in front of the hotel) at the crosswalk at its intersection with Goodwin Avenue (to the left as you exit the hotel). Walk south along Goodwin just past the parking garage; the NCSA building is the next one behind it.

From the Holiday Inn or Ramada Inn:
If you drive, consult this map. You can park in the parking garage adjacent to the NCSA building; see "Parking" below for details.

Alternatively, the city bus is fairly convenient. The Illini line (#22) picks up near the hotel (map to stops) every 10 minutes from 7am to 7pm (schedule), and the ride costs $1. When the bus turns onto Goodwin Ave. (you will see the Hampton Inn on your right, street view), signal a stop and get off at the next stop. Alternatively, you can ask the driver to let you know when the bus gets to the NCSA building on Goodwin Ave.

From Willard Airport and out of town:
Consult these driving instructions. You can park in the parking garage adjacent to the NCSA building; see "Parking" below for details.

Once you arrive at the NCSA building, enter into the lobby from the center doors. Just inside your will find a reception desk where you can pick up your name tag and be directed to the auditorium.


If you drive to the NCSA building, you can park in the parking garage adjacent to the NCSA building (map). The lowest level features parking meters that cost $0.75 per hour payable by coin or, if you have a cell phone, by credit card. Carpooling is recommended.


We have blocks reserved at the following hotels:

  • Hampton Inn
    1200 West University Avenue (map)
    Recommended: within walking distance of the meeting. There are limited rooms available in our block.
    Room Rate: $119
    To reserve, visit Hampton Inn's IVOA reservation page or call +1-217-337-1100 (mention "IVOA Meeting")
    Block rate deadline: May 4, 2012

    Note regarding reservations extending beyond the block: The web site won't let you make a single reservation that extends beyond our special block of dates. To book an extended stay, make 2 reservations for the same room type, one inside and one outside the block dates; with the 2nd one, add a note in the comments that you would like to stay in the same room as for the previous nights. Then when you check in, make sure they have your full range of dates.

  • Holiday Inn
    Requires car or use of city bus
    Rates start at $70.
    To reserve with the special IVOA rate, visit their site on-line using "NIO" as the group code (which should already be filled in when accessing via the link here). This block is available for checkins beginning May 20. Alternatively, you can call the hotel at +1-217-328-7900 and request the "IVOA Meeting" block.
    Block rate deadline: April 27, 2012

  • Ramada Inn
    Requires car or use of city bus
    Rates start at $78. There is no special block for this hotel.
    To reserve, visit their website or call them at +1-217-328-4400.
Other hotels are available in the area, some closer to the venue than the Ramada and Holiday Inns.

Local Information


The twin cities have a great variety of options for lunch and dinner, many within walking distance of NCSA. Consult the dining guide for suggestions.


The twin cities features a healthy assortment of night-life typical of a college town (though as the school let out just last week, it's a bit quiet). What ever you might be hankerin' for--local brews, microbrews, billiards, sports, music, comedy and improv, an arthouse movie, DJ dancing, or just a quiet drink--look for it in our guide to nightlife in Champoo-Banana.

Clearing Your Head

If you've got some time to kill, here are some other locales in town that you might check out.

  • Krannert Art Museum: featuring permanent and visiting collections. If the midwest is getting you down, check out their new show starting this week (Tuesday), "Walking in Paris: Viewing the City and Its Denizens in the 19th Century". Open on Sunday, 2-5pm; Tuesday-Friday 9am-5pm.
    Find it: Consult this map for a 25-minute walk from NCSA. Parking is also available.
  • Staerkel Planetarium: if you are here Saturday evening (5/19), you can check out one of their 2 current shows.
  • Sculpture Walk at Meadowbrook Park: If you need some thoughtful solitude and you have a car, this park features trails peppered with outdoor sculptures and views of prairie restoration.
    Find it: Consult this map to get there; the park site has a trail map.
  • Wander campus: Try out a walking tour of campus. It's about 2 miles long and takes about an hour.
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