Will Payne, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor in Geographic Information Science

Ph.D., Geography, University of California, Berkeley;  A.B., Harvard College

Research Interests
  • urban geography
  • spatial data science
  • critical and feminist GIS
  • food studies
  • gentrification studies

Will Payne, Ph.D. joined the Bloustein School in September 2020. He received his PhD in Geography from the University of California, Berkeley, where he also was affiliated with the Berkeley Center for New Media, the Berkeley Food Institute, and the UC Berkeley Global Urban Humanities Initiative. Will uses quantitative and qualitative methods to study the relationship between geospatial technologies and urban inequality, examining how changing technical capabilities, labor relations, and competitive pressures in the location-based services (LBS) industry interact with processes of racialized and class-based segregation in American cities. He has published articles in the Annals of the American Association of GeographersUrban GeographyComputational Culture, and Environment and Planning A, among other publications. Will’s current book project examines how different groups of urban residents use “urban information systems” like the Zagat Survey, Yelp, Foursquare, and Google Local to organize and understand their consumption experiences in cities, while technologists and real estate developers employ the resulting data to help transform marginal neighborhoods into upscale consumption spaces. Will also develops open-source tools for spatial data visualization and computational research.

Complete Curriculum Vitae (C.V.)

View all course offerings and related syllabi
  • Topics in GIS

Recent Publications
View publications on Google Scholar
  • Payne, Will B. “Powering the Local Review Engine at Yelp and Google: Intensive and Extensive Approaches to Crowdsourcing Spatial Data.” Regional Studies. In press.
  • Payne, Will B., Sarah Knuth, and Dillon Mahmoudi. “Urban Real Estate Technologies: Genealogies, Frontiers, & Critiques,” Urban Geography, 41:8 (2020), 1033-1036. DOI: 10.1080/02723638.2020.1820678
  • Payne, Will B. “Piedmont-Oakland Border.” in Rachel Brahinsky and Alex Tarr (eds.), A People’s Guide to the Bay Area. University of California Press, 2020.
  • Payne, Will B. “The Zagat Survey, the Professional Class, and Quantified Lifestyles in 1980s New York” in The Performance Complex: Competitions and Valuations in Everyday Life, ed. David Stark (Oxford University Press, 2020). DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198861669.001.0001
  • Will B. Payne & David O’Sullivan (2020) Exploding the Phone Book: Spatial Data Arbitrage in the 1990s Internet Boom, Annals of the American Association of Geographers, 110:2, 391-398, DOI: 10.1080/24694452.2019.1656999
  • Payne, Will. “Crawling the City.”  Logic, Vol. 4: Scale (2018).
  • Payne, Will. “Book Review: Dubious Gastronomy: The Cultural Politics of Eating Asian in the USA, by Robert Ji-Song Ku.” Graduate Journal of Food Studies, Vol. 5 Issue 2 (2018).
  • Payne, Will. “Book Review: Location-based Social Media: Space, Time and Identity, by Leighton Evans and Michael Saker.” Environment and Planning B: Urban Analytics and City Science (2018). DOI: 10.1177/2399808318758073
  • Payne, Will. “Welcome to the Polygon: Contested Digital Neighborhoods and Spatialized Segregation on Nextdoor.”Computational Culture, Vol. 6: Geographies of Software (2017).
  • Co-authored with Thatcher et al. “Revisiting Critical GIS: Reflections from Friday Harbor” Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space 48, no. 5 (2016): 815-824. DOI: 10.1177/0308518X15622208
  • Payne, Will and John Elrick. “Model City: Rule of Innovation.” 2015. Essay accompanying Robby Herbst’s New New Games exhibit, Southern Exposure Gallery, San Francisco, CA.

Areas of Expertise:  Digital Technology, GIS,  Informatics, Statistical Research Methods, Visualization