Thursday, October 06, 2016
Teaching Geography from the Sky
The Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) conducts instructional sessions for education students to promote geographic literacy and to introduce future teachers to useful cartographic resources for their classrooms. Students are exposed to maps and atlases in the Libraries’ collection, the Libraries’ digital cartographic resources, and interesting Web pages that offer unique perspectives of the geography of the world.
One intriguing Web resource is the Flight Radar 24 page. The site is a live flight tracker that shows air traffic around the world in real time. Radar data and flight schedules and status data from airlines and airports combine to offer a unique way of looking at a world map.
Users can zoom in to a region or zoom out to see the common world flight paths (top above, click to enlarge). Teachers using the site for learning more about geography can discuss with students the “great circle routes,” where aircraft, for example, flying from London to New York travel north then south in an arc because further north is a smaller distance to fly. Teachers can discuss the lack of flights over the Sahara Desert and the Amazon Rain Forest. And older students can learn about why so few aircraft are flying over places like Syria and Iraq.
Click on one of the aircraft and the flight information (if available) will be shown on the left. The origin city and the destination are shown. The airline and flight number, departure time, length of the flight, and great circle distance are revealed. The type of aircraft and the altitude are also identified. And once an aircraft is selected, the flight path is shown on the screen.
Today offers an interesting lesson on the site. As Hurricane Matthew makes its way toward Florida, aircraft are avoiding the southeastern coast of the United States. A flight from Miami to Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic actually traveled west and then southeast to avoid the hurricane (above). And early this morning a “hurricane hunter” plane (Lockheed WP-3D Orion) deployed from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) could be seen flying back and forth through the hurricane (above).
For more information about using cartographic resources in the classroom, please contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097.
Tuesday, October 04, 2016
Haiti Maps Available from Ball State University Libraries
Hurricane Matthew made landfall on the coast of Haiti this morning as a Category 4 storm and is on track to affect the Carolinas this weekend as a Category 2 or 3 storm. The top image was taken from the International Space Station.
The Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) includes a variety of maps of Haiti and the Caribbean Islands. The Collection includes travel, physical, and topographic maps of Haiti, the island of Hispaniola, and the Caribbean Islands.
A reproduction map of the island of Hispaniola from 1722 was published by Historic Urban Plans and is available from the GRMC. This colorful map features relief shown pictorially on the island. A map dating back to 1956, Hispaniola: Urban and Rural Population Map, presents the population of Haiti and the Dominican Republic from 1950 statistics. Mapa de la Isla de Santo Domingo y Haiti por el General Cashmiro n de Moya (photograph above) is a map of Haiti and the Dominican Republic published in 1905. This original map corresponds with U.S. control of Dominican customs during Theodore Roosevelt’s presidential administration.
The GRMC also includes a tourist map of Haiti and the Dominican Republic that includes inset maps of large cities, including Port-au-Prince. The map was published in 2000. The map shown above (click to enlarge) of Port-au-Prince and Petion-Ville is a guide map published in 1978. The map was created by the Nader Art Gallery in Port-au-Prince and marks points of interest like the U.S. Embassy, cathedrals, museums, theaters, and hotels.
Nautical charts in the GRMC depict the coastline of Haiti. The last map shown above is a custom map of Haiti created by the GRMC for use in exhibits or presentations. These updated maps of countries around the world are available for download for research and learning. Map posters from the GRMC are also available from Cardinal Scholar. The large maps may be printed by members of the Ball State University community using the plotters in the GRMC on the second floor of Bracken Library.
Maps from the GRMC circulate for two weeks or longer. Please contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097 for more information about these cartographic resources.
Monday, October 03, 2016
Travel the World Every Wednesday at Lunch: Ball State University Hosts Weekly International Culture Exchange
The Ball State University Rinker Center for International Programs hosts a Culture Exchange each week where an international student presents information about a country. Every week a different country is highlighted. The majority of exchanges provide an overview of the country and its culture with time set aside for questions and answers.
The presentations are held every Wednesday from 12:00 to 1:00 pm in the Phyllis Yuhas Room in the Student Center (Room 102), and often the food court next door provides a featured dish from the country.
This week’s presentation features Libya from Kheiria Benkato. Ball State University Dining Services is sponsoring a FREE dish inspired by Libya from 11:00 am to 1:30 pm in the Student Center Tally on Wednesday.
Next week is a presentation about China, and the following Wednesday, October 19, offers a unique view of the Isle of Man. Iraq will be the feature on October 26; Papua New Guinea is November 2; Pakistan is November 9; Tajikistan is November 16. India will be the first presentation after the Thanksgiving break on November 30, and Kuwait will be presented on December 7.
The Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) provides maps and photographs from atlases as visual aids for the culture presentations. The map posters from previous Culture Exchange presentations are available from the Libraries’ Cardinal Scholar. Simply type the name of a country in the search box or choose keywords “map poster” to see the list of available posters for use in exhibits, classroom bulletin boards, speeches, or research. Large copies may be printed in the GRMC on the plotter printers and charged to the Bursar account for anyone in the Ball State University community.
For more information about the Culture Exchange program, p lease contact the Rinker Center for International Programs at 765-285-5422. For more information about using cartographic resources from Cardinal Scholar, please contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097.
Monday, September 26, 2016
Dear Diary: Mapping U.S. History Using Local Diaries
The Ball State University Libraries’ Digital Media Repository (DMR) provides online access to a range of digitized primary sources, including films, artwork, maps, and photographs. But also included in the DMR is a collection of unique local diaries dating back to the 1800’s. So the Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) used excerpts from some of the diaries to research different eras of American history in coordination with maps related to historical events.
The GRMC will be provide a presentation of this unique look at history tomorrow, September 27 from 6:00 to 7:00 pm at the Cornerstone Center for the Arts in downtown Muncie. The class, Dear Muncie: Mapping History Using Diaries, will use the diaries of city founder Thomas Neely, Muncie single working woman, Norene Hawk, and Muncie teenager Thomas Ryan to reveal some of the important events and places in the city at the turn of the 20th century.
The diaries describe how national and world events affected the people of Muncie. And coordinating maps track where Norene and the “Thomases” traveled in Muncie. Other local diaries will show how people across Indiana reacted to world events through the end of World War II.
The class is free and open to the public. The Cornerstone Center for the Arts is located at 520 East Main Street, and free parking is available.
Monday, September 19, 2016
Maps in the News: Gasoline Pipelines in the United States
A crucial gasoline pipeline closed on September 9 after the discovery of a spill of over 250,000 gallons in rural Alabama. The Colonial Pipeline runs from Houston and supplies gasoline to New York and the east coast. The leak will disrupt supplies and possibly drive up prices of fuel.
The Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) includes a collection of maps identifying the major gasoline and oil pipelines in the United States. The Collection is available in the GRMC or in digital format from the Digital Media Repository (DMR).
United States Commodities Maps Collection includes a set of maps published by the U.S. Army Engineer Institute for Water Resources. The Collection includes maps depicting various commodity movement routes, including iron, steel, crude oil, and grain. The Continental Pipeline and other gasoline pipelines are depicted in black on this map. Users can download the maps for research and learning.
For more information about using maps and other cartographic resources, please contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097.
Friday, September 09, 2016
World Migration on One Map
Cartographer Max Galka has created an interactive map that shows world migration by origin and destination country between 2010 and 2015. The map is available via the Web page, Metrocosm.
On the map, blue circles depict net migration coming in to a country; red circles represent more outflows. Users can hover over a circle to see a country’s net migration. Click on the circle to view the migration traffic of one country (click to enlarge map above, migration from Syria).