Thursday, July 02, 2015

Fourth of July Holiday Hours


The Ball State University Libraries' GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) will be closed on Friday, July 3 in honor of Independence Day. The GRMC will reopen on Monday, July 6 at 7:30 am.  

Maps in the News

Maps in the News:  Shark Attacks, Amelia Earhart, Havana, the American Revolution, and Fireworks

The Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) includes maps, atlases, and other cartographic resources covering a variety of newsworthy issues and historical events.  Maps from the GRMC may be scanned to use as visual aids in educational presentations and may be circulated for two weeks or longer.  The following are examples of places in the news from the GRMC:




Seven shark attacks along the beaches of North Carolina have happened over the last month.  The latest attack occurred on the Outer Banks’ Ocracoke Island by a gray shark.  According to the University of Florida, the Carolinas experience an average of just over six shark attacks per year. 

This shark attack map (above, click to enlarge) was published in 2006 by Sealake Products.  The map includes descriptive and historical notes about shark attacks of the last century along the eastern coast of the United States and in the Gulf of Mexico.  The types of sharks are shown for each incident with a date, and the map includes photographs of the sharks and actual-size examples of shark teeth.



 The last radio contact with Amelia Earhart was made on July 2, 1937, on her flight around the world.  The map Final Flight: Map of Amelia Earhart’s Around-the-World Flight Attempt was published by the GRMC in 2014 and is available for use in research and learning from the Ball State University Libraries’ Cardinal Scholar.



The U.S. is reopening an embassy in Havana, Cuba, for the first time since 1961.  The GRMC includes a collection of maps of Havana and Cuba dating back to the early 20th century.  This map, Colorprint Mapa General de Cuba, showing the location of Havana was published in 1961.



This map of the Revolutionary War was published by National Geographic in 2012 and is posted in the front windows of the GRMC as the July “Map of the Month.”

Jalopnik offers a map showing the fireworks laws of all 50 states.  Delaware, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island ban all consumer fireworks.


For more information about using cartographic resources in research and learning, please contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Geography of Poverty







MSNBC to Document the Conditions of the Poor in America:  The Geography of Poverty

"For the first time in more that 50 years, the majority of America's public school children are living in poverty." Over the next few months MSNBC and photographer Matt Black will document the lives of Americans living in poverty.  The project, The Geography of Poverty, will take Black to more than 77 cities from coast to coast.  Black will begin the journey in California and travel the southwest to Texas; then he will cover the South, the Northeast, the Great Lakes, Indian Country in the Dakotas, and then the Northwest.

MSNBC has provided interactive maps and charts (above) that show poverty statistics by county, city, and state.  Feature stories will be published, and users can follow along on the routes on the Web page.  Stories will chronicle issues of transportation, education, access to healthcare, the criminal justice system, and environmental issues.  Black’s photographs will also be featured on his Instagram account.

The Ball State University Libraries’ Atlas Collection includes atlases that document world poverty issues.  The Penguin State of the World Atlas by Dan Smith was published in 2012 and includes maps showing income levels and economic growth, wealth inequality, the plight of refugees, debt, malnutrition, and other issues related to poverty.  The Social Atlas of the United States by William H. Frey also documents wealth, income, and economic issues using maps.  The Atlas of World Hunger, Atlas of the Great Irish Famine, and Atlas of Global Development also include maps about poverty.

Atlases can be circulated to members of the Ball State University community for 28 days or longer.  Reference atlases are located in the GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) on the second floor of Bracken Library.

For more information, please contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Game of Thrones Map


Interactive Game of Thrones Map

The finale of season five of the wildly popular series “Game of Thrones” aired on Sunday.  And now an interactive map of the show is available online.

Sean Garvey, a consultant from the GIS software publisher ESRI, created an interactive map that depicts where all of the “Game of Thrones” action is located.  The Map of Ice and Fire Web page includes the map with highlighted plot points and character journeys from this season.

The Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) includes 28 high-end Lenovo ThinkCentre N58p computers equipped with ESRI ArcGIS software. Fictional maps of places like Narnia and locations in The Lord of the Rings series are also available in the GRMC.  The Educational Technology and Resources Collection offers the first three seasons of “Game of Thrones” for circulation to members of the Ball State University community.

ESRI Story Map of Popular Urban Parks





Summer Vacation Time:  ESRI Story Map of Top Ten Most-Visited U.S. Urban Parks

Planning a summer getaway to a big city?  ESRI, the leading GIS software publisher, has created a Story Map showing the most-visited U.S. urban parks.  The parks include popular destinations in New York, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.

Top Ten Most-Visited U.S. Urban Parks Story Map allows users to view overview maps of the parks with popular landmarks and features highlighted.  A satellite view of the park is also available.  The Story Map includes information about the number of annual visitors, the size of the park, dates of when the park was established, who designed the park, and “superlatives” like which destination is the largest man-made aquatic park, Brooklyn’s only lake, which has the oldest Japanese garden in the U.S., and which site hosted the 1904 Summer Olympics.

The Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) on the second floor of Bracken Library offers access to ESRI GIS software and online GIS tutorials, datasets, online mapping applications, in-house GIS data, and one-on-one assistance from the GIS Specialist.

For more information, please contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097 from 7:30 to 4:30 pm Monday through Friday during the summer.

Friday, June 12, 2015

New York Times Refugee Maps


Maps in the News: Refugee Crisis Maps

The United Nations and European leaders are discussing the refugee crisis from North Africa into Italy and Greece.  According to The New York Times, “So far this year more than 1,800 migrants may have drowned attempting the journey” from Libya to Europe via the Mediterranean Sea.  Reports estimate “78,000 people migrated this year,” and “civil war in Libya has made human trafficking easier.”  This article documents The Global Struggle to Respond to the Worst Refugee Crisis in Generations from the Middle East, the Ukraine, and southern Asia. 

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Maps of Iraq Available from Ball State University Libraries




Maps in the News:  Back to Iraq

The White House announced yesterday a plan to send up to 450 additional U.S. forces to Iraq to train Sunni fighters in the Anbar province battling the Islamic State.  The additional U.S. forces will train Iraqi and tribal troops at the Al-Taqaddum military base in eastern Anbar province in order to return control of the city of Ramadi to the Iraqi government.

The Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) includes a significant collection of maps of Iraq and the Middle East available for research and learning.  The maps include both historic maps of the country and the region and new, updated maps.

The GRMC includes maps of Iraq published by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) at the beginning and during the war.  The Iraq: Country Profile map (above, click to enlarge) includes locations of oil fields, ethnic and religious group distribution, population density, land use, physical features, and Kurdish areas of Iraq.

The second map was created by the GRMC for a visiting scholars group.  This map focuses on the location of Al Anbar province, some of the key cities in the region, and the location of the Al-Taqaddum military base.

Maps from the GRMC circulate for two weeks or longer.  Atlases from the Atlas Collection circulate for 28 days or longer.

For more information, please contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097.

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Women's Suffrage Cartographic Resources Available from Ball State University Libraries

Ball State University Libraries' Digital Media Repository




This Day in History:  Mapping Women’s Right to Vote

Congress passed the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution extending the right of suffrage to women on June 4, 1919.  The Amendment was ratified on August 18, 1920.  In some parts of the United States, however, women had already acquired complete or partial voting rights before 1920. 

This map (above, click to enlarge) from the Maps.com Atlas of U.S. History shows which states allowed no voting rights to women, which states allowed women to vote in presidential elections, which states and territories allowed women to vote in primary elections, and where women had complete voting rights before 1920.

The chart is from The Penguin State of Women in the World Atlas and shows the difference in the number of years for men and women to receive voting rights.  (The United States’ date of 1870 includes voting rights for the first time for African American males).  Denmark has the smallest gap, although no citizens were allowed to vote until 1915.  Switzerland has the longest gap, but women (and men) are still not allowed to vote in certain countries of the world.


For more information about these cartographic resources available from Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection, please call 765-285-1097.

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Maps of Los Angeles Available from Ball State University Libraries






Mapping the City of Angels:  Los Angeles Maps Available from Ball State University Libraries

The Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) includes over 140,000 maps of countries, regions, states, bodies of water, and cities from around the world.  The GRMC includes a large collection of unique historic and modern maps of American cities, including Los Angeles, California.

Maps of the city include the adjoining communities of Long Beach, Compton, Torrance, Burbank, Carson, Pomona and others.  A map of Los Angeles and Orange County was published to show the locations of industrial sites around the city.  A map published in 1971 by Western Economic Research Company details home values in the Los Angeles five-county area from census tracts of the 1970 Census.

Los Angeles in Maps by Glen Creason was published in 2010 and includes prehistory and Native American maps of the Los Angeles area, early survey maps of the city, land booms, water resources maps, infrastructure and railways maps, tourist and maps of stars’ homes, a map created for the 1932 Summer Olympic Games, and historic maps of Hollywood (above, click to enlarge). 

Historic bird’s-eye views of Los Angeles in 1877 and 1894 are also available in the GRMC.  The Los Angeles maps include standard road maps dating back to 1924 that show the growth of the freeways around the city.  Historic U.S. Geological Survey maps of the city detail the huge development of Los Angeles and the addition of landmarks like Dodger Stadium (above from 1966). 

Drastic changes in the city have prompted cartographers to research the architectural history of Los Angeles.  Urban designer Omar Ureta has created an interactive map of the ages of almost every one of the three million buildings in Los Angeles on his Built:  LA site.  Ureta used building outlines from the Los Angeles County GIS data portal and age data from the University of California at Los Angeles Web page to create the interactive map.  Users can hover over a building on the map to see the date it was built or click on the color-coded timeline to explore when neighborhoods were developed.  The building ages span from 1890 to 2008.

For more information about the cartographic resources available from Ball State University Libraries, please contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097.