Thursday, August 17, 2017

Map of the Life of Margaret Hamilton Available from Ball State University Libraries

Excerpt from GRMC map of the life of Margaret Hamilton

Moonshot: Celebrating an (Overlooked) Apollo Legend on a Map

On this day in 1936, Margaret Heafield was born in Paoli, Indiana.  By 1963, Margaret Heafield Hamilton worked as the Director of the Software Engineering Division at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).  She led a team credited with developing the onboard guidance and navigation software for the Apollo space program.  In fact, Hamilton actually coined the term “software engineering.” 

Hamilton’s achievement was essentially overlooked by the history books.  However, in 2016 President Barack Obama awarded Hamilton the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the United States. Also in 2016, the Lego Group announced the creation of a set of toy figures called “The Women of NASA” that features Margaret Hamilton.

The Ball State University Libraries GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) created a set of custom maps celebrating various topics in Indiana history for the state’s bicentennial anniversary in 2016.  The set includes maps about the lives of Indiana heroes like Hamilton, Gus Grissom, and Marshall “Major” Taylor.  The map featuring events in Hamilton’s life is called Moonshot: The Margaret Hamilton Story.  The maps are available for use in classroom teaching or educational exhibits.


For more information about using maps for research, visual aids, or exhibits, please contact the GRMC at765-285-1097. 

Monday, August 14, 2017

Maps of Confederate Monuments around the United States

Slate map of Civil War memorials


Mapping Confederate Monuments in the United States

Protests related to Confederate statues and monuments dominated the news over the weekend.  Two Web pages are excellent resources for learning about the locations of these monuments around the country.

In 2015, Slate created an animated map that identifies memorials to the Civil War.  This map uses the Historical Marker Database, which identifies more than 13,000 locations related to the Civil War—both the Union and Confederate sides.  Users can view the animated map to watch how and where Union and Confederate markers were built over time.  Then users can zoom in to explore individual markers on the map and read the inscriptions of the monuments.

The Southern Poverty Law Center launched a campaign to catalog and map Confederate place names and other symbols across the nation.  An interactive OpenStreetMap identifies monuments, schools, parks, mountains, roads and other public places named for Confederate figures. 

The Center has identified 1,503 symbols:  718 monuments and statues; 109 public schools; 80 counties and cities; nine official Confederate holidays celebrated in six states; and 10 military bases.  Virginia, North Carolina, and Georgia are the states with the most places, but Confederate place names are found in 31 states and the District of Columbia.


For more information about using current events maps for research and learning projects, please contact the Ball State University Libraries GIS Research and Map Collection.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Maps of Lion Habitats Available from Ball State University Libraries

2009 Lion Habitats and Historic Range


2012 Lion Statistics


#WorldLionDay Mapping Where Lion Is King

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is celebrating “World Lion Day” today.  According to the WWF, “lions play a crucial role in keeping a healthy balance of numbers among other animals and have no natural predators."  Unfortunately, the lion habitats are shrinking. 

These maps from conservation groups show the historic scope of lion habitats stretching across southern Europe over to parts of southern Asia and most of the non-desert areas of Africa.  Now lions live only in parts of central and southern Africa and a very small area of India.


For more information about using maps for environmental research or learning projects, please contact the Ball State University Libraries GIS Research and Map Collection at 765-285-1097.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Maps of Guam Available from Ball State University Libraries

Central Intelligence Agency, Guam

1943 Army Map Service, northern Guam

1943 Army Map Service, Apra Harbor, Guam

1975 USGS northwest Guam

1975 USGS northeast Guam

1975 USGS Apra Harbor

2006 nautical chart of northern Guam

2006 nautical chart of Apra Harbor, Guam

Google Earth current satellite image of northern Guam

Google Earth current satellite image of Andersen Air Force Base

Google Earth current satellite image of Apra Harbor

 Maps in the News: Guam

Guam is an island in the Pacific Ocean that is a United States territory—about the size of Chicago.  The population is just over 160,000 people, who are American citizens by birth.  The main industry for the island is tourism, with the U.S. military in a close second place.

Guam was captured by the Japanese just after the attack on Pearl Harbor during World War II.  It has been a critical location for the U.S. Armed Forces ever since: Andersen Air Force Base on the island played a major role during the Vietnam War, and the U.S. keeps a Naval base and Coast Guard station on the island.  In fact, the American military takes up 30% of Guam’s land (See CIA map).

According to the Pacific Air Forces report, two U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancers flew from Andersen Air Force Base for a 10-hour training mission with Japanese and Republic of Korea planes over the East China Sea, Kyushu, Japan, and the Korean peninsula on Monday.  On Tuesday, the North Korean army announced that it is examining operational plans for attacking the island of Guam.

The Ball State University Libraries GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) includes a set of maps of the island of Guam.  The Army Map Service published a map of Guam in 1943 (above, click to enlarge) in preparation of recapturing the island during World War II.  Palm trees mark the beaches along the northern part of the island where the Andersen Air Force Base is now located.  And the area around Apra Harbor is completely undeveloped with just a few streets near the historic Spanish fort.  An unmarked airfield is shown on the map, just below “Botadero,” and seaplane landing sites are identified.

The GRMC also includes a complete set of U.S. Geological Survey topographic maps of Guam that were published in 1975.  These maps detail the development of Andersen Air Force Base.  And the map of Apra Harbor—now marked “Apra Harbor Naval Reservation”—shows the development of power plants, a sewage disposal plant, and a fire station.  The airfield is identified as abandoned, and the map marks the location of a Japanese cemetery and caves from World War II.

The topographic maps of the Andersen Air Force Base provide details about the military buildup near the end of the Vietnam War.  Airfields had been built on the northwest and northeast areas of Guam.  The green on the map denotes wooded areas.

A 2006 nautical chart from the GRMC provides information about water depths around the island.  The street patterns have remained largely unchanged.  Nautical charts also identify the locations of wreckage, as seen near Apra Harbor.

For more information about using historic maps and charts to study development and urban planning, please contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097.


Thursday, July 20, 2017

Map of Shark Attacks Available from Ball State University Libraries

Shark map t-shirt from Threadless




Map Attack: Shark Week Begins on Sunday

This Sunday, July 23, marks the beginning of the 29th annual Shark Week on Discovery Television.  The network devotes a week of special programming devoted to sharks.  On Sunday the network will air “Phelps Versus Shark: Great Gold Versus Great White,” where Olympic Gold Medalist swimmer Michael Phelps will “race” a shark.

The Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) on the second floor of Bracken Library includes numerous maps about the world’s oceans and their habitat, including sharks.  A popular map available in the GRMC is Shark Attacks of the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico (above, click to enlarge). 

The map was published by Sealake Products in 2006.  It 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.

Maps from the GRMC circulate for two weeks or longer.  For more information, please contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097.

Map of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing

How Far Did Armstrong Moon Walk? Mapping the Lunar Landing

On July 20, 1969, Commander Neil Armstrong and pilot Buzz Aldrin landed on the Moon.  Six hours later on July 21, Armstrong stepped out of the lunar module Eagle and became the first human to walk on the moon.  Aldrin joined him on the surface, but the two astronauts did not walk far during the span of more than two hours.

This map (click to enlarge) shows the paths Armstrong and Aldrin walked on the surface of the Moon in comparison to the size of a baseball diamond.  The map was created by historian Eric Jones and is featured in the book Strange Maps: An Atlas of Cartographic Curiosities by Frank Jacobs.  The book is available from the Ball State University Libraries GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC).

“LM” on the map marks the location of the lunar module.  Armstrong placed a television camera to the left of the module (between third base and home plate).  And the yellow circles mark the location of surface cameras.  The larger circles on the map identify craters of various depths.


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

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Maps of Warsaw and Hamburg Available from Ball State University Libraries



Maps in the News: Warsaw and Hamburg

Warsaw, Poland is in the news today as the first stop for the President as he travels to Europe for the 2017 G20 Summit.  The Group of Twenty will meet in Hamburg, Germany beginning on July 7.

The Ball State University Libraries GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) has a large collection of maps of Poland and Germany.  The GRMC includes a collection of maps of Warsaw, many of which are published in Polish.  Some of the maps are published in Polish, English, Russian, and German.  The maps include street maps, tourist maps, and maps of the city center.  A replica of a bird’s-eye view map of Warsaw from 1780 is also available in the collection.  Most of the maps were published by the communist state-owned cartographic company, Państwowe Przedsiębiorstwo Wydawnictw Kartograficznych. 

The Atlas Collection on the second floor of Bracken Library adjacent to the GRMC also includes a number of Communist-era atlases of Poland.  Poland: A Historical Atlas provides maps about the history of the country.  Environmental conditions and the conservation of natural resources are the focus of Atlas Zasobów, Walorów I Zagroźeń Środowiska Geograficznego Polski (Atlas of Resources, Values, and Degradation of Geographical Environment of Poland).

The city of Hamburg, Germany is incuded on the map, A Traveler’s Map of Germany, published by the National Geographic Society and available from the GRMC.  The GRMC also includes street and tourist maps of Hamburg, Army Map Service city plans from World War II, and a set of topographic maps of Hamburg.  And the Atlas Collection includes road atlases of Hamburg and Germany.

Custom digital maps and map posters of Poland and Germany are also available for download from the GRMC.  The maps may be used for educational research, reports and papers, or exhibits.

The maps from the GRMC circulate for two weeks or longer.  Atlases may be borrowed from the Library for 28 days or longer.


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

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Holiday hours for the Map Collection


The GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) will be closed on the Fourth of July and reopen at 7:30 am on Wednesday, July 5.