Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Cartographic Materials Available from Ball State University Libraries










Summer Reading List:  Cartography, Secret Cities, and the Power of Maps

The Ball State University Libraries provide the latest resources for research and learning.  Anyone interested in learning more about creating maps, human geography, or thematic atlases may wish to check out some of the new materials available from Bracken Library.

Unruly Places:  Lost Spaces, Secret Cities, and Other Inscrutable Geographies by Alastair Bonnett is available in the General Collection on the third floor of Bracken Library (Range 46).  This book was published in 2014 and provides a tour of the world’s hidden geographies—from no man’s lands, secret and dead cities, breakaway nations and enclaves, even the parking lot at LAX, and disappearing islands.  For example, Bonnett describes Sandy Island (reportedly off the coast of Australia), which appeared on National Geographic maps and even Google Earth up until 2012 even though it does not exist.

Mapping the Nation:  History and Cartography in Nineteenth-Century America by Susan Schulten is also available in the General Collection on the third floor of Bracken Library (Range 48).  This book provides a history of map-making in American history, including the mapping of disease, slavery, and environmental issues.  The book includes maps from the Geography and Map Division of the Library of Congress and other historic collections.

Mapping in the Cloud by Michael Peterson was published in 2014 and can also be found on the third floor of Bracken Library (Range 48).  This book includes an introduction to maps and the Internet, a map gallery, online street maps, map digitizing and GPS, map mashups, and animated mapping.  Readers can learn about the technology of modern cartography, GIS software, and Web-based mapping.  The book includes a companion Web page providing supplementary materials for instructors and students.

Maps by Aleksandra Mizielinska and Daniel Mizielinski was published in 2013.  This atlas was published for children, but the illustrations and maps (above, click to enlarge) may be interesting for teachers, artists, and other interested in unique cartography.  The maps depict geographical features and political borders, places of interest, iconic personalities, native animals and plants, and cultural events for each region of the world.  The atlas even shows popular names in different regions of the world.  The book is available in the GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) on the second floor of Bracken Library.

World Atlas of Birds by Peter Scott was published in 2014 and includes color portraits of 500 specially selected species, 270 line drawings, and 167 maps showing the realms of birds around the world.  The maps cover virtually every habitat from polar regions to rainforests, mountains, and even oceans.  Fourteen of the world’s most distinguished ornithologists provided information for the book.  This resource can be found in the Atlas Collection (Range 3) on the second floor of Bracken Library.

For more information about cartographic resources available from Bracken Library, please contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Maps of Syria Available from Ball State University Libraries






Maps in the News:  Ancient City of Palmyra, Syria

Palmyra in Syria is the latest city to fall into the hands of the Islamic State militants.  The Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) and Atlas Collection feature cartographic resources of Palmyra and other cities in the Middle East.

The first map was published by GeoProjects in association with Oxford University Press.  The map of the Syrian Arab Republic includes inset maps of Damascus, Aleppo, and this map of Palmyra.  The map includes a photograph of ancient Roman ruins and shows the locations of ancient tombs and basilicas, Justinian’s Wall, museums, main roads and ancient roads.

The last two maps are from The Penguin Historical Atlas of Ancient Rome available from the Atlas Collection.  The top map shows the location of the Roman frontier and empire and the Empire of Palmyra in 271 A.D. with campaigns and conquests marked.

The second map shows the city as it appeared before the city was destroyed by the Romans in 273 A.D.  “The oasis city of Palmyra in the Syrian desert became an important centre on the long-distance trade routes leading to the populous cities of the East Mediterranean.”  The most important part of the city was the great sanctuary of Bel, a large enclosed temple.

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

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Maps Exhibit at Ball State University Libraries


Indianapolis Motor Speedway:  Time-lapse in Maps Exhibit

The Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) has created a special maps exhibit to commemorate the Indianapolis 500 race.  The exhibit, Indianapolis Motor Speedway: Time-lapse in Maps, will be featured in the front windows of the GRMC on the second floor of Bracken Library through May.

The exhibit was created by GRMC student-assistant John Renschler and features maps depicting changes in the Speedway grounds dating back to 1945.  Classic photographs from the Ralph J. Satterlee Indianapolis 500 Photographs Collection in the Libraries’ Digital Media Repository (including photographs documenting Walter Cronkite, Jimmy Stewart, Jim Nabors and other visiting celebrities) are also included.

A copy of the exhibit is available from the Libraries’ Cardinal Scholar repository is also available for research and learning.  The poster may be printed for use in the classroom or other educational projects.  The GRMC offers to members of the BSU community two large-format plotters for printing posters.

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

Earthquake and Seismic Hazard Maps Available from Ball State University Libraries




Dynamic Planet:  Earthquake and Seismic Hazard Maps from Ball State University Libraries

The Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) has added a set of seismic activity maps to the Digital Media Repository (DMR).  This collection, Earthquake and Seismic Hazard Maps, provides online access to a set of 14 maps depicting the locations of fault lines, historic earthquakes, active volcanoes, and plate tectonics from around the world and in the United States, including regional locations like the New Madrid fault line in the Midwest.

The Digital Media Repository allows users to access and download files for research and learning.  Once a map has been selected, click on the top right “download” button to choose a small, medium, or large file copy or print the map.  The DMR also provides metadata of publication information and dates.  Users can also order a reproduction from the archival file of the map from Archives and Special Collections at 765-285-5078.

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

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Free GIS Training Available May 7




Storytelling with Maps:  ESRI GIS Live Training Seminars

ESRI, the leading publisher of GIS software, is offering a free training seminar about how to create and publish story maps.  Bern Szukalski and Rupert Essinger will present “Telling Your Story with ESRI Story Maps” on May 7 at noon, 2:00, and 6:00 pm Eastern time.

From ESRI:  ESRI story maps are an exciting and popular feature of the ArcGIS platform that combine maps, photos, text, and other media, in a single interactive application. Any topic or project that includes a map can be a story map. Their engaging, easy- and fun-to-use format makes story maps especially ideal for public outreach, stakeholder engagement, and GIS project presentations. In this seminar, attendees will learn about ESRI application templates that simplify story map creation and require no coding. The presenters will discuss how to choose the best template for a project and the steps to create a compelling story map from a template.

After viewing this seminar, you will understand how to:  Access the Story Maps Gallery to find inspiration; select a suitable story map template to showcase your story; and get started using the three most popular story map application templates.

The Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) on the second floor of Bracken Library offers access to 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.

Monday, May 04, 2015

Kent State University Anniversary Map


Map of the Shootings at Kent State University:  May 4, 1970

The Ball State University Libraries provide cartographic resources for research and learning.  From Historical Atlas of the Vietnam War by Harry G. Summers, this map shows the locations of the student protest marchers at Kent State University on May 4, 1970.  The movement of National Guard troops from the ROTC building is shown in blue.  And the locations of the injured and four killed students are shown in white and red.

The atlas is available from Bracken Library for circulation for 28 days or longer.  For more information, please contact the GIS Research and Map Collection at 765-285-1097.


Thursday, April 30, 2015

Maps in the News: Kathmandu, Nepal and the Straits of Hormuz


Central Intelligence Agency Nepal population density

Durbar Square, Kathmandu

Himalayas and Mt. Everest

Central Intelligence Agency Straits of Hormuz

Central Intelligence Agency Middle East

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Baltimore Maryland Maps Available from Ball State University Libraries





Maps in the News:  Baltimore

The Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) has dozens of maps of Baltimore, Maryland, available for research and learning.  The collection includes nautical charts of the harbor area of Baltimore, U.S. Geological Survey historic and modern topographic maps that show the development of the city, and modern and historic street maps.

The Maryland Geological Survey published maps available from the GRMC of the topography, election districts, and geological formations of Baltimore from 1925 and 1939.  The Underground Railroad: Maryland’s Network to Freedom was published in 2010 and includes important landmarks of the Underground Railroad in Baltimore, and Baltimore: A House Divided is a map depicting the events of the Civil War in the Chesapeake Bay area.

The Washington Post published two maps showing the races of the residents of Baltimore in relation to the neighborhoods with the most vacant houses.  The racial map was published by The Cooper Center for Public Service at the University of Virginia.  The map of vacant buildings (15,928 in Baltimore) was published in 2012 by Elliott Plack.

The GRMC is located on the second floor of Bracken Library.



Vietnam War Maps from Ball State University Libraries









Mapping the Vietnam War and the Fall of Saigon

April 30, 2015 marks the 40th anniversary of the end of American involvement in the Vietnam War.  The war in which 58,000 Americans died ended with the communist forces of North Vietnam overtaking Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City) and the collapse of the Republic of South Vietnam.

The Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) on the second floor of Bracken Library houses current and historic maps of Vietnam, including maps depicting North and South Vietnam.  Original U.S. Army maps published during the war are also available for research and learning—Long Binh was a U.S. Army supply facility constructed near the city of Bien Hoa, about 20 miles north of Saigon.  The map above (second from top, click to enlarge) was published in 1967 and shows the location of ammunition supplies, antennas, a heliport, hospital, and recreation areas.

The Atlas Collection in Bracken Library also includes current travel, road, and topographic atlases of Vietnam and atlases describing the Vietnam War.  South Vietnam Provincial Administrative Maps was published by the Central Intelligence Agency in 1967. 

Historical Atlas of the Vietnam War by Harry Summers was published in 1995 and is a comprehensive cartographic guide detailing the war.  The atlas includes photographs, charts, and maps describing the landmark events leading up to and during the war.

The second map above is from Historical Atlas of the Vietnam War.  The red lines represent troop movements of the North Vietnamese infantry.  The blue boxes are the locations of the U.S. and allied forces around Saigon, including the Long Binh base.  The inset map, Evacuation of Saigon, shows where the North Vietnamese fired rockets into downtown Saigon on April 27, 1975, near the U.S. Embassy.

The events of the last days of the American presence in Saigon are described in the atlas:  The U.S. Embassy workers were tasked with calming the evacuees and organizing them for evacuation: 

At 3:58 A.M. on April 29, 1975, North Vietnamese rockets struck the U.S. defense attaché’ office compound at Tan Son Nhut, effectively closing the air base and ending the fixed-wing aerial evacuation of U.S. civilian workers, third-country contract employees and their dependents, and selected South Vietnamese civilians and their families underway since April 1.

On the afternoon of April 29, they began to move everyone out.  By 4:15 A.M. on April 30, 2,619 evacuees had been helifted from the Embassy.  But in a final betrayal, made all the more tragic by the fact that it was inadvertent, the lift was cancelled, and the final 420 evacuees were abandoned:  Believing that there was a bottomless pit (of evacuees), the White House had ordered a halt.  It was the Vietnam War in microcosm—good intentions but fatally flawed execution.

…The war was at an end.  But not all South Vietnamese forces heeded the call for unconditional surrender.  Many Air Force officers flew to bases in Thailand or to U.S. aircraft carriers, and 34 Navy warships sailed to the Philippines.

The GRMC created posters featuring photographs and maps detailing World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War for use in classroom and other educational exhibits.  The posters are available from the University Libraries’ Cardinal Scholar repository.  The Vietnam War poster (top, above) includes photographs and maps from atlases in the collection against a backdrop of the Vietnam War Memorial. 


Maps from the GRMC may be circulated for two weeks or longer.  Atlases from the atlas collection may be circulated for 28 days or longer.  For more information, please contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097.