Friday, September 04, 2015

Holiday Hours at Ball State University Libraries



The GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) will be closed for Labor Day on Monday, September 7.  The GRMC will reopen on Tuesday, September 8 at 8:00 am.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Mapping the Life of Dr. King






“I Have a Dream:” Martin Luther King, Jr. Maps from Ball State University Libraries

On this day in 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.  Over 250,000 civil rights activists listened as Dr. King spoke the famous words, “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident—that all men are created equal.’”

The Ball State University GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) created a special map (above, click to enlarge) commemorating the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  The map is based on the book M.L.K.: Journey of a King by Tonya Bolden (available in the General Collection of Bracken Library).

The map includes a timeline of important events in Dr. King’s life.  The map is available from the Cardinal Scholar repository and may be used for displays, the classroom, or other research and learning.

The GRMC also created a map recognizing U.S. Representative Katie Hall from Gary, Indiana.  Hall led the campaign to establish the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Holiday.  President Reagan signed Hall's bill into law in November 1983.  Hall is featured on the GRMC Indiana history map, Her Story: Indiana Women’s History.  This map is also available from Cardinal Scholar.

For more information about these maps or other cartographic resources, please contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Cool Maps Gallery from ESRI











Cool Maps:  ESRI Interactive Map Gallery

ESRI, the world’s leading supplier of Geographic Information System (GIS) software, Web GIS, and geodatabase management applications, has created an online maps gallery, Cool MapsThe gallery contains 15 interactive mapping applications.  From ESRI, Cool Maps is a “collection of creative maps that use the ESRI Mapping Platform to demonstrate how solutions can be enriched with the power of location. …They are designed to stimulate ideas and for demonstration purposes only.”

The gallery includes a mapping application called “Love Thy Neighborhood” where users enter in a zip code to search for various lifestyle characteristics existing in different zip codes.  For example, the City Dimensions (above, click to enlarge) lifestyle is described as a mixed race/ethnicity with a median age of 29.2 with lower middle income who have overdraft protection.  The map indicates the location of this group in the chosen zip code.  The application serves as a different way to search for housing areas.

The “Sale of Two Cities” application compares the cost of living between two cities.  “Crime Time” maps crime in San Francisco by neighborhood, time of day, and other factors.  “Socially Awkward” is a mapping application that tracks different companies’ social media presence by the number of mentions—positive and negative—and factors the percentage of male or female users.  “World Happiness” maps the happiest countries of the world based on the 2013 World Happiness Report.  “Top and Bottom of the World” maps the top and bottom three countries in the world in categories like inflation, power consumption, life expectancy, and children with HIV.

Students studying cartography can utilize the site to acquire ideas for new maps.  Teachers can use the maps for various topics of current events and classroom activities or to stimulate students to think in spatial terms.

The Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) on the second floor of Bracken Library offers access to ESRI GIS software and online GIS tutorials, datasets, online mapping applications, in-house GIS data, and one-on-one assistance from the GIS Specialist.  The GIS Research Area is equipped with 28 high-end Lenovo ThinkCentre N58 computers, and faculty may reserve the area for instructional or working lab sessions.

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

Monday, August 24, 2015

Muncie Sesquicentennial Map Exhibit at Ball State University Libraries








A Year in the Life of Magic City: Mapping a Muncie Founding Father

The Ball State University Libraries’ Archives and Special Collections and the GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) on the second floor of Bracken Library are celebrating the Muncie Sesquicentennial with a special exhibit.  The exhibit includes historic maps of Muncie displayed in the front windows in the GRMC, including a bird’s eye view of the city from 1872, a natural gas map of Muncie, a map of streetcar lines from 1907, and a map showing the quarantine area during the smallpox outbreak of 1893.  A map of factories located in Muncie in 1939 and a pictorial map of merchants in Muncie in 1985 are also displayed.

The main part of the map exhibit, however, focuses on one of Muncie’s early residents, Thomas Neely.  Neely arrived in Muncie in 1839.  He organized a fundraising drive to build Muncie’s first schoolhouse.  Neely served as a member of the Board of County Commissioners, as School Director, as a blacksmith, and printer.  He established a daguerreotype (photographic process) gallery and created the first photographs in Muncie.  His family also had a roller skate factory next to his residence.

Thomas Neely began keeping a diary in January of 1860, and he continued to make regular entries with few interruptions for almost 42 years.  He often wrote about the weather and the condition of his garden and orchard behind his residence on East Adams Street (above as seen today).  But his diaries also offer a detailed description of life in Muncie.  Neely offered glimpses of the city’s happenings and historic events happening in the state and nation.  For example, Neely described the presidential election of 1888 that was decided by the Electoral College and the smallpox epidemic that hit the city in 1893.

Neely attended church at the First Presbyterian almost daily.  He describes sleighing in the winter streets and the heat of the summers.  Neely tracks the building of the new Courthouse in 1887 and the gas boom in Muncie, drawing visitors from around the Midwest but eliminating the need for a hired helper to chop wood.  Emancipation Day, women’s suffrage, and cultural trends like the Chautauqua education movement are all depicted in the diaries, with many special events taking place in the nearby roller skating rink.  Neely also notes the arrival of the Ball Brothers Glass Factory in 1887.

One of the posters in the exhibit displays some of the diary pages with excerpt text highlighted.  The accompanying map of Muncie shows the location of some of the events and people mentioned by Neely in the diary.  The map is a base street map of Muncie with Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps overlain to show the location of the Courthouse, factories, Neely’s doctor’s office, and even where Thomas Neely had boots made.  Photographs and drawings of other important locations are also included.  Advertisements from Muncie city directories are also included on the map.

The diaries are available from the Libraries’ Digital Media Repository (DMR).  The DMR includes volumes of the Neely diaries dating from 1867 through 1901.  Other collections of the DMR used to create the exhibit are the Muncie Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps and Muncie city directories.

The Neely diary poster and map are also available from Cardinal Scholar.  The GRMC includes two large-format plotters for printing large maps and posters for members of the Ball State University community.

These maps will be exhibited through the end of September.  Paid visitor parking is available on the top floor of the Emens Parking Garage; free parking in the Emens Garage is available after 7:00 pm Monday through Friday.

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

Friday, August 21, 2015

Hurricane Katrina Maps at Ball State University Libraries










Ten Years after Katrina:  Hurricane Maps Available from Ball State University Libraries

Next week marks the tenth anniversary of the landfall of Hurricane Katrina, one of the deadliest and costliest hurricanes in the history of the United States.  President Obama will be visiting New Orleans to commemorate the event, and the Weather Channel will be hosting “Hurricane Week” with special programming. 

The Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) on the second floor of Bracken Library includes maps, atlases, and other cartographic resources depicting the impact of hurricanes in the United States.  The U.S. Geological Survey published a map (above, click to enlarge) in 2005 showing the relative water depth for the New Orleans area after Hurricane Katrina.  Red on the map represents areas of the city with more than eleven feet of floodwaters. 

New Orleans from Space (above) is a map that shows how the configuration of the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain and their flooding impact on the city.  The GRMC also includes a collection of maps showing the most intense tropical storms over time.  Topographic maps from the U.S.G.S. (above) note elevation levels and reveal the locations of canals and levees between the rivers and the lake.  These maps have been useful in studying the history of the development of the city.

The AccuWeather Web page has an Interactive Hurricane Tracker where users can view historical storm tracks.  Users can choose the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Ocean; then select a year (2005 for Hurricane Katrina); then select a named storm.  The page shows the track of the storm with the levels of the hurricane’s strength marked (see Hurricane Katrina above).

For more information about using the cartographic resources from Ball State University Libraries, please contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097 from 8:00 to 5:00 Monday through Friday.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Elvis Map Available from Ball State University Libraries










Mapping Memphis:  Elvis Maps Available from Ball State University Libraries

Sunday, August 16 marks the 38th anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley, legendary rock ‘n’ roll performer.  The Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) on the second floor of Bracken Library has a new map of Memphis commemorating the life of Elvis.

Memphis Map for Elvis Fans was created by Maria Rabinsky and Good Foot Enterprises in 2013.  The map was sponsored by Andrea Shaw and Alan Grossman of New York following a visit to Memphis, Tennessee—the home of Elvis Presley.

The pictorial map includes 137 tourist sites in Memphis, with special emphasis given to landmarks related to the life of Elvis Presley.  The map (above, click to enlarge) includes detailed inset maps of downtown Memphis and Elvis’ home, Graceland.  Locations like where Elvis made his first public appearance and where he met Colonel Tom Parker are marked on the map.  Lost landmarks are also described and illustrated.

The Atlas Collection in Bracken Library also includes an atlas devoted to the life of Elvis Presley.  Elvis Atlas: A Journey through Elvis Presley’s America was published in 2011 by Chartwell Book of New York.  The atlas covers Elvis’ life from Tupelo, Mississippi, his contract with Sun Records, Elvis' time in the Army, and his movie career.

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

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Maps in the News: Tianjin, China

China: A Provincial Atlas

The State of China Atlas, 2009









Places in the News:  Tianjin, China

The Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) on the second floor of Bracken Library includes hundreds of maps of China, including the harbor city of Tianjin, where a series of huge explosions occurred in a warehouse this week.  The Atlas Collection also includes many new and historic resources covering China.

Tianjin is a major seaport city along the west coast of the Bohai Gulf southeast of Beijing (see top inset map; click to enlarge).  Manufacturing is the largest and fastest-growing sector of Tianjin’s economy.  The maps above from The State of China Atlas show Tianjin with a leading gross domestic product, a major natural gas producer, and a leading manufacturer of cars and cell phones.  Tianjin also possesses one of the largest urban populations in China—with over 75% of the population living in an urban area.

The final map shows the harbor area of Tianjin.  The map was produced by a tourism bureau in Tianjin and printed in English.

Maps from the GRMC circulate for two weeks or longer.  Atlases from the Atlas Collection circulate for 28 days or longer.

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

Indiana GIS Day Conference September 22





2015 Indiana GIS Day Conference September 22

From the Indiana Office of Technology

The 2015 Indiana GIS Day Conference will be on September 22 from 7:30 to 3:30 at the Indiana State Government Center South (302 West Washington Street) in Indianapolis.  Anyone who plans, manages, or performs governmental decision-making is invited to attend.

Participants can explore the innovative ways GIS is used to improve government operations.  Cross-agency applications appear seamless when data is merged into a GIS, and GIS is used in state agencies to plan transportation projects, study flooding, emergency response, environmental programs, and promoting economic development.

At the conference, participants can attend 18 different presentations, learn about the unmanned aerial systems in Indiana, and participate in eight optional ESRI Learning Lab sessions.  A tour of the State of Indiana Emergency Operations Center will also be a highlight of the day.

The conference is free, but registration is required.  The registration deadline is September 19.

For more information, please visit the GIS Day Web page or contact Amanda O’Daniel at the Indiana Office of Technology at 317-234-4111.