Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Map Celebrating Asian American Month


Heroes on the Homefront:  Japanese Americans in World War II

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.  It celebrates the culture, traditions, and history of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States.  One tragic part of that history is the Japanese-American internment camps of World War II, and the Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) has created a map commemorating some of the heroes who fought for civil rights and freedom during that time.

The map (above, click to enlarge) depicts the locations of the Japanese-American internment camps of World War II.  President Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066 in February of 1942:  This order authorized the military to prescribe certain areas “from which any or all persons may be excluded.”  The order cleared the way for the deportation of Japanese Americans in what was considered a military area that stretched along the Pacific Coast from Washington down through western Arizona to internment camps located throughout the United States.

The map is based on the youth book, The Japanese American Internment:  Civil Liberties Denied, by Michael Burgan.  (The book is available from the Educational Technology and Resources Collection in the lower level of Bracken Library).  The book details the circumstances surrounding the internment of the nearly 120,000 Japanese Americans who were forced to abandon their property and homes, including internees like Fred Korematsu and others who fought for their civil rights and thousands of Japanese-American soldiers who fought in the European Theater of the War.

The map identifies the locations of the ten internment camps scattered across the southwestern United States.  It also includes the two military bases in Minnesota where Japanese-American soldiers were trained to interpret enemy papers and messages written in Japanese.  Camp Shelby is also shown on the map—this is where the U.S. Army 442nd Infantry Regiment (composed mostly of Japanese Americans) trained before fighting in Europe.  This was the most decorated Army unit for its size in U.S. history, with over 9,000 Purple Hearts and thousands of other citations for bravery.

This map is being included in a social studies project for the summer semester.  Dr. Dorshell Stewart, Assistant Professor in the Department of History, teaches social studies teaching methods classes and is working with the GRMC to create unique lesson plans that incorporate the use of maps.  The staff of the GRMC will collaborate with these student-teachers to create maps related to children’s books—biographies or books about historical events.  The maps will be incorporated into multidisciplinary lesson plans and exhibits for use in their future classrooms.  The student-teachers completing this project can also choose to donate a print copy of their maps to the GRMC as a resource for other teachers.

Other children’s books with related maps from the GRMC include A Whole New Ballgame: The Story of the All-American Girls ProfessionalBaseball League by Sue Macy, BecomingBabe Ruth by Matt Tavares, and AmeliaLost by Candace Fleming.


A copy of the map is available for download from Cardinal Scholar.  For more information about using maps related to literature in the classroom, please contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097.

Monday, May 16, 2016

GIS Celebration of the U.S. National Parks



Where Am I?  GIS National Parks Pop Quiz

The National Park Service is celebrating its centennial anniversary this year.  The agency was created to manage and preserve all the national parks, historic sites, and monuments of the United States on August 25, 1916.

ESRI, the world’s leading producer of GIS software, has created a Story Map using aerial images of national parks; viewers have to guess which park is being depicted.  Once users choose the “Where am I?” button, a map of the national park is displayed with a link to the park Web page.

The Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) consolidates one-on-one research assistance from the GIS Specialist with the GIS Research Area, which offers access to ESRI GIS software and online tutorials, datasets, online mapping applications, and in-house GIS data.  GIS software is also available throughout Bracken Library, in the Architecture Library, and in the Science-Health Science Library.


For more information about using GIS software, please contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097.

Friday, May 06, 2016

Summer Hours at Ball State University Libraries



The Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) will begin summer hours on Monday, May 9.  The GRMC will be open Monday through Friday from 7:30 to 4:30 pm throughout the summer.

Thursday, May 05, 2016

Maps in the News: California Smoking Age Increase



California Cigarettes or California as a Cigarette

Governor Jerry Brown of California signed a set of bills that raised the legal smoking age in the state from 18 to 21.  New laws will also restrict the use of electronic cigarettes, expand smoke-free zones at public schools, and criminalize the distribution of cigarettes to minors.  The bills were supported by a coalition of medical groups, including the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society.

The map of California (above, click to enlarge) was created by Frank Chimero.  In this example of “artography,” a map of California takes the shape of a cigarette.  The map is from the book Strange Maps, which is available in the Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC).

Strange Maps:  An Atlas of Cartographic Curiosities was written by Frank Jacobs.  This book includes unique artistic maps, including inaccurate historical maps, political parody maps, literary maps, cartograms, and maps from outer space.

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

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Resources for Studying Urban Design History Available at Ball State University Libraries



Robert Moses' plan for Washington Square Park,
Wrestling with Moses, Anthony Flint


Wrestling with Moses, Anthony Flint


Wrestling with Moses, Anthony Flint


Street map of Greenwich Village, 1964
GIS Research and Map Collection


Washington Square Park neighborhood, 
New York Photo Atlas, Atlas Collection


Google Celebrates Urban Planning Activist:  Saving the Village in New York

Google is known for celebrating important holidays, anniversaries, and events with their “Doodles” that transform the logo on the Google homepage in an artistic way.  Since 1998, Google has created over 2,000 doodles, and today’s (top, click to enlarge) celebrates the 100th birthday of Jane Jacobs, a journalist who became a leading activist for preserving unique urban design.

Jacobs began her career in New York, writing for the U.S. State Department and then Architectural Forum in 1952, where she wrote about urban planning.  Jacobs resisted the ideas that urban development equaled removing neighborhoods considered “urban blight.”

Jacobs began researching the field of urban design with a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation.  In 1961 Jacobs published her book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, as a product of her research.  The book became one of the most influential sources in American urban planning.

In the 2001 book, Visionaries: People and Ideas to Change Your Life by Jay Walljasper and Jon Spayde (available in the General Collection of Bracken Library), Jacobs’ book is celebrated:

In 1961, at the height of urban planners’ crusade to obliterate all the charming, lovable parts of American cities and replace them with sharp-angled monuments to modernist rationality, an unassuming New York writer defended the urban neighborhoods. …Jane Jacobs celebrated what nearly everyone else called slums and eyesores: the close-knit urban neighborhoods under assault by superhighways and high-rise housing projects.

In that same year, Jacobs’ urban design standards would be put to the test.  Robert Moses was a city planner who designed a high-rise development (above, click to enlarge) and “slum clearance” in Greenwich Village, Jacobs’ neighborhood.  Moses’ plan also included building an expressway through Washington Square Park.  

Jacobs organized a committee to stop the expressway and preserve the park.  She led marches and community events against its demolition, and Jacobs and the residents of the neighborhood successfully blocked the project.  Greenwich Village today has been preserved as the unique, quaint neighborhood Jacobs appreciated.

Ball State University Libraries has a copy of Jacobs’ book in the General Collection of Bracken Library, as well as many books devoted to Jacobs' design philosophy and activism.  The Architecture Library includes a large collection of books and DVD’s devoted to Jane Jacobs’ urban design influence. 

The Atlas Collection on the second floor of Bracken Library includes resources about the development of New York and other American cities, including A Historical Atlas of the Industrial Age and the Growth of America’s Cities; Manhattan in Maps, 1527-1995; Mapping Boston; and Los Angeles in Maps.


For more information about these resources, please contact the GIS Research and Map Collection at 765-285-1097.

Monday, May 02, 2016

Tracking the Illegal Ivory Trade






Maps in the News: Elephant Poaching

President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya burned more than $150 million worth of ivory tusks this weekend as a statement that the country is serious about ending the illegal ivory trade.  The tusks were recovered from poachers and seizures at airports and ports.  Poachers (heavily armed with military supplies) have wiped out tens of thousands of elephants across Africa in order to feed the illegal ivory pipeline to China and other countries.  Most countries around the world follow an international ban on ivory signed in 1989, but many Asian countries participate in a massive black market of ivory goods.

National Geographic created an online interactive map, Tracking the Illegal Tusk Trade.  The map details the tracking of smuggled ivory by investigative journalist Bryan Christy.  The September 2015 National Geographic Magazine cover story describes how Christy commissioned a taxidermist to create two fake ivory tusks.  The tusks were embedded with special GPS tracking devices.

Christy tracked the smugglers as the tusks were transported from the Garamba National Park in the Congo into the Central African Republic into South Sudan and then Sudan.  The tusks are smuggled in part to finance armies in Africa, including the Lord’s Resistance Army and other terror groups.  The price of the tusks increases with each stop along the supply chain until the ivory reaches its final destination, mostly in Asia.  (China is the largest market for the ivory).

National Geographic created the maps (above, click to enlarge) to depict the environmental crisis.  The graphs (red elephants) show the number of illegal kills in Africa in 2011.  The last chart shows the ten countries with the most ivory seized from 1989 to 2011.