Thursday, February 11, 2016

2010 Census Atlas Available Online





Do It Yourself Cartography:  2010 Census Atlas Available Online

The Superintendent of the Census, Francis Amasa Walker, published the first statistical atlas of the United States census from 1870.  The atlas, Statistical Atlas of the United States, was published in 1874 and includes population, social, industrial, and vital statistics and maps.  The U.S. Census Bureau continued to publish the atlases through the 1920 census and then again in 2007 using data from the 2000 census with the Census Atlas of the United States.  But an atlas of the 2010 census was never published due to budget cuts.

Nathan Yau, Doctor of Statistics from UCLA, author of three books on statistics and data, and publisher of the FlowingData Blog seized the opportunity to create a new version of the popular statistical atlas.  Yau decided to create a new atlas based on data from the 2010 census, but he created the atlas in an artistic format similar to the atlas from 1874.  The result is the Statistical Atlas of theUnited States Based on the Results of 21st Century Government Analyses.  Yau produced maps depicting geology, weather, taxation statistics, transportation, education, and population statistics—age, foreign population, predominant gender, and race.


The 2007 Census Atlas of the United States is available in the Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) on the second floor of Bracken Library.

Friday, February 05, 2016

Black History Month Maps Available from Ball State University Libraries


Black History Month Maps Available from Ball State University Libraries

The Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) has created new custom maps in celebration of Black History Month.  Map of the Life of Sojourner Truth: A Northern Slave commemorates an influential person in American history, while Hurley’s Muncie: 1950’s celebrates an influential person in Muncie and Indiana history.

The Sojourner Truth map identifies the locations of important events in this advocate/orator’s life, like her attempt to desegregate the city streetcars and meeting Presidents Lincoln and Grant in Washington, D.C.  The map also shows the locations of some of Truth’s famous speeches.

Hurley’s Muncie is being exhibited as the “Map of the Month” in the front windows of the GRMC through February and is available from Cardinal Scholar.  The Sojourner Truth map is also available for download from Cardinal Scholar.  Both maps may be used for educational research and learning and for special exhibits.  (Members of the Ball State University community may print large copies of the maps using the plotters in the GRMC).

A subject guide identifying African-American cartographic resources is also available from the GRMC.  For more information about using cartographic resources in the study of Black History, please contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097.

Monday, February 01, 2016

Map of the Month Celebrates Muncie Black History




Map of the Month:  Celebrating Muncie Black History

The Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) is exhibiting a new “Map of the Month” in celebration of Black History Month.  The map, Hurley’s Muncie: 1950’s, identifies locations mentioned in the 1950’s chapter of the book A History of Negroes in Muncie by Hurley C. Goodall and J. Paul Mitchell published in 1976.

Goodall was one of the first African-American firefighters in Muncie, was the first African-American elected to serve on the Muncie Community Schools Board of Education, and was elected in 1978 to serve in the Indiana House of Representatives.  Goodall served as a visiting professor in the Department of Political Science and visiting scholar at the Center for Middletown Studies at Ball State University.  Goodall worked tirelessly to document the history of African Americans in Muncie as an author, lecturer, and scholarly researcher.

The artistic map features Black-owned businesses, schools, churches, parks, and factories important in the Black history of Muncie during the 1950’s.  Text from the chapter is provided and details important events like the desegregation of Tuhey Pool and the hiring of the first two African-American firefighters in Muncie—one being Goodall.  The map also identifies the neighborhoods of Whitely, Industry, Blaine, and Southeast.

The map exhibit is available in Cardinal Scholar and may be printed for research and learning purposes.

Goodall’s papers, oral history, and other books are available in the Archives and Special Collections.

For more information, please contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097 or Archives at 765-285-5078.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Maps of the Kennedy Space Center Available from Ball State University Libraries




This Day in History:  Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster

Thirty years ago today on January 28, 1986, Space Shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds after launch.  The space shuttle missions launched from the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Florida.  

The space shuttle program began using Launch Pad 39A with the launch of Columbia in 1981.  The Challenger used Launch Pad 39B, which is now a historical landmark.  

The top map above is from the Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) and is part of the National Park Service map, Canaveral and Merritt Island, which was published in 1993.  The Kennedy Space Center neighbors the Canaveral National Seashore and Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge on the east coast of Florida between Daytona Beach and Melbourne.

The GRMC also includes dozens of tourist maps of Merritt Island and Florida.  The collection also includes topographic maps, ortho-photography, and nautical charts of the area.

The Google satellite map of the area shows the details of the Launch Complex 39.  The complex includes the launch pads and a vehicle assembly building.  A third launch pad was constructed and opened in July 2015. (Private companies now utilize the complex to fly missions for the commercial market).

For more information about using maps for research and learning, please contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097.

Mapping the Zika Virus


Places in the News:  Mapping the Zika Virus

The World Health Organization announced that it would hold an emergency meeting on Monday to decide whether to declare a public health emergency due to the Zika virus “spreading explosively” across the Americas.  The first confirmed Zika virus in the Americas occurred in Brazil in the spring of 2015.  The virus has now found its way to 17 other countries in the Americas.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Zika virus is spread to people through mosquito bites and commonly results in fever, rash, joint pain, and red eyes.  However, the outbreak in Brazil resulted in Guillain-Barre syndrome and pregnant women giving birth to babies with birth defects and poor pregnancy outcomes.  According to The Economist, El Salvador, Colombia, and Ecuador have recommended that women delay pregnancy until 2018. 

The Economist published the above map showing where the Zika virus could become endemic based on a research paper published in the Lancet.  The map indicated cities with over 1,000 travelers from Brazil with red dots.  The turquoise bubbles show the number of travelers from Brazil by country between September 2014 and August 2015.  The United States had nearly three million visitors from Brazil during that time.  And the pink and red shading shows where the risk is seasonal (with mosquitoes) and where the risk is year-round.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Mapping Lead Contamination in the United States

(Click to enlarge GIS map of Flint)



“It’s Not Just Flint:” Lead Emitters and Contamination Maps

A state of emergency has been declared by Mayor Karen Weaver in Flint, Michigan, due to the dangerous levels of lead found in the water since the city switched from the Detroit water system to the Flint River as its water source in 2014.  According to a Flint medical study, the proportion of infants and children with above-average levels of lead in their blood has nearly doubled during this time.

While the situation in Flint is making news, the Natural Resources Defense Council reports that “more than 16,000 lead polluters exist in communities across the country, and their harmful emissions are found in every U.S. county."  The Council created an online interactive Google mapping tool so users can locate lead polluters nearby.

Vox reports that the soil of urban areas has been contaminated by lead for decades, sometimes at dangerous levels.  “…The biggest problem is inner-city soil contaminated by decades-old gasoline.  Gas went unleaded in the mid-1970’s, but all the old lead burned in the past was dumped into the air and then fell back to earth.”  And unfortunately “the tiny lead particles don’t biodegrade.”  Maps included in the article show the lead contamination in New Orleans, the District of Columbia, and New York City—especially Brooklyn.

For more information about these online cartographic resources, please contact the Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) at 765-285-1097.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Culture Exchange Programs at Ball State University





Around the World in One Semester: Ball State University Culture Exchange Program

The Ball State University Rinker Center for International Programs will be presenting another semester of international speakers for their Culture Exchange program.  Presenters from around the world will highlight the culture and lifestyles of their home countries every Wednesday at noon in the L.A. Pittenger Student Center Phyllis Yuhas Room (Student Center 102).

The Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) provides maps and photographs from atlases to create exhibits to serve as a backdrop and visual aid for the program.  Some of the poster exhibits from past speakers are available for use in other displays and programs from the Libraries’ Cardinal Scholar repository.

The program begins on January 27 with Raheleh Ravanfar presenting about Iran.  The complete program schedule:
  • ·        February 3: Germany with Lisa Tuech and Nadja Rottman
  • ·        February 10: Belarus with Maryia Skarakhod
  • ·        February 17: Mongolia with Oyunzul Ariunbold
  • ·        February 24: Kazakhstan with Dinara Shadyarova
  • ·        March 2: India with Ramkrishna Apsingekar
  • ·        March 16: Japan with Yuki Kurita
  • ·        March 23: England with Matt Woolridge and Sam Grubb
  • ·        March 30: Rwanda with Ines Dushime
  • ·        April 6: Spain with Lucia Escolano and Carmen Pardo
  • ·        April 13: Turkey with Ceren Dincel



Attendees are welcome to bring their lunch to the program.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Places in the News: Winslow, Arizona

Winslow, Arizona
U.S. Geological Survey topographic map, 1986
Ball State University GIS Research and Map Collection


Places in the News:  Winslow, Arizona

Glenn Frey of the rock group the Eagles passed away on Monday.  One of the group’s most popular songs, “Take It Easy,” has an opening line that was originally written by Jackson Browne.  Browne wrote the lyrics, “…standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona,” but was stuck with those words.  So according to the Showtime History of the Eagles documentary, Glenn Frey finished the line “…such a fine sight to see—a girl, my Lord, in a flatbed Ford…”

The song made Winslow, Arizona (east of Flagstaff) in Navajo County famous.  Today visitors can actually stand on a corner that commemorates the song with a statue of a guitarist and a red flatbed Ford truck.  The corner is now a popular tourist destination on the famous Route 66 highway.