Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Maps in the News: Bears Ears and Ventura Wildfire


New York Times

Patagonia REI

Ventura County Fire Department

Places in the News:  Bears Ears and Ventura

The Ball State University Libraries GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) provides access to thousands of cartographic resources from the Collection that may be used for research and learning projects.  Staff of the GRMC also locate and provide access to online cartographic resources that may be used as visual aids for papers and presentations related to current events and social topics, and online maps are produced by a large variety of sources.

News sites such as The New York Times (above, click to enlarge), Washington Post, Vox, CNN, and Slate create useful maps that depict current issues.  And online mapping sites like ESRI and Metrocosm offer unique visual depictions of news events.  However, sometimes the research of cartographic resources leads to new sources—like outdoor sports clothing and gear designer Patagonia.

When President Trump announced the elimination of some of the protected land at the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments, Patagonia REI protested the cuts on their Web page.  The company published maps (above) to show the size of the monuments before and after the cuts.  And the Web page includes statistics related to oil and gas development on public lands.

Governmental social media accounts can also be a valuable resources for the latest maps related to natural disasters and other emergencies.  Local governments often employ the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for tracking and planning emergency response.  For example, the Ventura County Fire Department posts updated maps related to the Thomas Fire on December 5, 2017.

Other government agencies like the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) also publish useful maps on their Web pages and social media accounts.  These current events maps are downloaded and archived by the GRMC for use in classroom research and learning.

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

Monday, November 20, 2017

Ball State University Libraries Presents a White House Christmas

A White (House) Christmas Presentation Next Week in Downtown Muncie

Staff from the Ball State University Libraries Archives and Special Collections and GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) will be presenting a workshop about the history of decorating for Christmas at the White House.  The presentation, A White (House) Christmas, will be on Tuesday, November 28 from 6:30 to 7:30 pm in the Colonnade Room at the Cornerstone Center for the Arts (520 East Main Street).

The presentation will provide a history (including social history, renovations, and historic preservation) of the White House using maps, plans, and photographs.  Attendees will learn about the interesting decorating themes and the origins of the White House Christmas trees.  And Cody Sprunger, graduate assistant for the Archives and Special Collections, will provide behind-the-scenes details from his experiences decorating at the White House in 2016.

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

(Free parking is available at the Cornerstone Center for the Arts).

Friday, November 17, 2017

Thanksgiving Break Hours at Ball State University Libraries

Turkey Time:  Thanksgiving Break Hours for the GIS Research and Map Collection

The Ball State University Libraries GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) will be closed on Thursday, November 23 and Friday, November 24 for Thanksgiving break.  The GRMC will reopen at 8:00 on Monday, November 27.

Maps in the News: African Elephant Trophy Hunting

Fred Krakowiak drawing

World Wildlife Federation 

Maps in the News:  Hunting Elephants for Trophies

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that it has lifted a 2014 Obama administration ban on importing sport-hunted trophies of elephants from Zimbabwe and Zambia.  In a statement to National Public Radio, the Service “determined that the hunting and management programs for African elephants in Zimbabwe and Zambia will enhance the survival of the species in the wild.”

The Humane Society of the U.S. plans to fight the lifting of the ban, claiming that Zimbabwe’s unstable government will not support an elephant management plan.  From Wayne Pacelle, the organization’s president and CEO: “Elephants are on the list of threatened species; the global community has rallied to stem the ivory trade; and now, the U.S. government is giving American trophy hunters the green light to kill them.”

National Geographic published maps (above, click to enlarge) related to sport-hunted trophies in the decade leading up to the ban in 2014.  Canada was the biggest source of trophy imports due to its close proximity and popular species such as black bears, grizzly bears, moose, and wolves.  South Africa was the second largest source with nearly 400,000 imports.

According to the report from National Geographic, in the decade from 2005 to 2014, “American trophy hunters imported nearly 32,500 lions, elephants, rhinos, buffalo, and leopards.”  1,892 African elephants were imported to the U.S. from Zimbabwe during that time.

In 2007 National Geographic published maps depicting the range of the African elephants in 1979 versus 2007.  And the next map shows the range of the elephant in 2012 just prior to the ban.

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

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Ball State University Libraries Celebrates GIS Day November 15

Discover the World with GIS:  GIS Day Is Next Wednesday, November 15

Ball State University Libraries and the Digital Scholarship Lab is hosting GIS Day next Wednesday, November 15.  GIS Day is an international forum for users of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology.  GIS Day celebrates and showcases the real-world GIS applications that are improving society in numerous ways.

On Wednesday from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. in the Digital Scholarship Lab in Bracken Library, visitors can meet Patricia Carbajales-Dale for a coffee hour.  Carbajales-Dale established and managed the Stanford University Geospatial Center for four years and was a GIS lecturer in the School of Earth Sciences.  She created and taught the first “GIS for Good” class, a service-learning program where students from different disciplines partnered with the United Nations.  Carbajales-Dale is currently the Co-Director of the Center of Excellence and Center for Geospatial Technologies at Clemson University.

Faculty and graduate students are invited to join the GIS Day Digital Feed, “Geospatial Support Services: A Tale of Two Campuses,” from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m. in the Digital Scholarship Lab.  (Please RSVP or contact Angela Gibson, University Libraries GIS Specialist, by 9:00 a.m. on November 13 to request a box lunch).

The annual GIS Day poster session is from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. in the Schwartz Digital Complex.  Attendees can vote for the best poster and best Story Map, and prizes will be awarded.  (Poster and Story Map entries are due by Tuesday, November 14).

And Carbajales-Dale will present “GIS for Good: Serving Communities through Education” about her experience partnering with the United Nations.  This presentation is free and open to the public from 3:00 to 4:00 in Bracken Library room 104 across from the Schwartz Digital Complex.

For more information, please contact Angela Gibson in the GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) at 765-285-1097. 

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

This Day in History: Battle of Tippecanoe

Native American Heritage Month Map:  Tecumseh Was Here

On November 6, 1811, Governor William Henry Harrison of the Indiana Territory led American forces to the Native American village of Prophetstown, near what is now Battle Ground, Indiana.  On November 7, Shawnee warriors attacked Harrison’s army.  This “Battle of Tippecanoe” was won by the American forces after the warriors ran out of ammunition.  And Harrison’s men destroyed the abandoned village the next day.

Tenskwatawa, “the Prophet,” was the spiritual leader of the Shawnee.  His brother, Tecumseh, emerged as the military and political leader.  Tecumseh was recruiting warriors from other tribes to form a confederacy at the time of the battle.  He had urged his brother to wait for any military action. 

But when the U.S. declared war on Great Britain in the War of 1812, Tecumseh’s confederacy had finally been organized with the help of British allies.  Tecumseh’s warriors composed nearly half of the forces that captured Detroit from the U.S. during the war.  But when Tecumseh was killed at the Battle of the Thames in Canada, his confederacy weakened and finally disintegrated.

The Ball State University Libraries GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) is commemorating Native American Heritage Month by featuring a map about the life of Tecumseh as the “Map of the Month.”  The map, Tecumseh Was Here, includes important places in the life of the Shawnee leader, including his probable birthplace in Ohio.  Tetepachsit and Utenink were Native American villages near modern-day Muncie where Tecumseh was known to live (above, click to enlarge).

The map will be displayed in the front windows of the GRMC through the month of November.  The GRMC also provides a guide to other notable Native American cartographic resources for research and learning.

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

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Maps Exhibit This Thursday in Downtown Muncie

Carto-GRAPHICS: Maps or Modern Art?

The Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) is coordinating an exhibit, Carto-GRAPHICS: Maps as Art, for the Muncie Downtown First Thursday Arts Walk.  This Thursday, November 2, Twin Archer Brew Pub (117 West Charles Street) will be hosting the exhibit starting at 5:00 through 8:00 pm.

Dr. Jorn Seemann, Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography, has participated in the community arts project for two years.  This year Dr. Seemann’s cartography students created artistic maps of Indiana (above, click to enlarge).  The maps cover Indiana’s rich history depicted in interesting cartographic styles.

Dr. George Elvin, Associate Professor in the Department of Architecture, is an advocate of green design strategies and technology.  Students in Dr. Elvin’s class created large shelter structures that truly represent unique works of art.

Ball State University students in Heidi Jensen’s drawing class also created original maps for the exhibit.  Students visited the Map Collection in Bracken Library to explore the thousands of types of maps for inspiration; then they drew different kinds of artistic maps, including a garden and home neighborhood (above).  And student employees of the GRMC also created unique maps for the exhibit.

Maps from the exhibit last year can be viewed on the Libraries' Digital Media Repository.

TwinArcher Brew Pub serves all ages as a restaurant and a bar that serves craft beer.  The menu includes fresh ingredients every day.  The event is free and open to the public, and the map exhibit is in the western room next to the dining room.  (No purchase is required to attend the exhibit).

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

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Art of Cartography Presentation at Cornerstone Center for the Arts

Libby Vanderploeg

Burris Elementary School map of Muncie

Hannah Barnes 2015 art exhibit at University Libraries

First Thursday Arts Walk at Twin Archer, December 2016

Getting Carto-GRAPHIC: Art Maps Program in Downtown Muncie

The Ball State University Libraries GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) will provide a workshop featuring maps created as works of art.  The program will be in the Colonnade Room at the Cornerstone Center for the Arts (520 East Main Street) on Tuesday, October 17 from 6:30 to 7:30.

The program will include maps created by artists who specialize in creating cartographic works, including Martin Haake, Lucy Letherland, and Libby Vanderploeg (above).  And maps submitted to the Instagram “They Draw and Travel” account and books series will also be presented.  Books detailing the art of cartography from the Libraries’ collection will also be available.

Art students from Burris School created hand-drawn maps (above, click to enlarge) that will be presented in the program.  In December 2016, the GRMC coordinated a First Thursday Arts Walk maps exhibit called “Home.”  Students from Ball State University professors Hannah Barnes’ watercolor and Jorn Seemann’s cartography class created maps for the special show.  (The watercolor maps are included in a special collection in the Libraries’ DigitalMedia Repository).  These maps will be presented at the program, and attendees will get a sneak peek at some of the maps being created for another First Thursday exhibit on November 2.

The program will also include information about how to create maps using online resources and design software.  And attendees can learn about creating their own cartographic works that can be donated to the Libraries’ collection of maps or displayed as art.

Admission to the program is free and open to the public, and free parking is also available.  For more information, please contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097.