Thursday, October 30, 2014

GIS Story Maps for Halloween



Halloween Cartography:  ESRI Story Map Celebrity Cemetery Tour

ESRI, the international supplier of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software and applications, created an interactive mapping tool called "Story Maps."  Story Maps “combine interactive maps and multimedia content into elegant user experiences…and make it easy to harness the power of maps to tell stories.”  The maps are created by a diverse community of authors, and one of the latest added to the Story Map Gallery just in time for Halloween is called Where Are the Bodies?

WhereAre the Bodies? Story Map provides locations of celebrity burial sites using Digital Globe satellite imagery.  The celebrities include historical figures, notorious criminals, and great authors like Ernest Hemingway (buried in Ketchum, Idaho), William Shakespeare (buried in Warwickshire, England) and Bram Stoker (London, England).  The Grimm Brothers, authors of spooky fairy tales, are buried in Berlin, Germany.

The map also includes legends of Hollywood:  Marilyn Monroe is buried in Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles, California.  Bela Lugosi, best known for his role as “Dracula,” was buried in one of his Dracula capes in Culver City, California.  Actor Marlon Brando had his ashes scattered in Death Valley, California, and in Tahiti, while legendary director Alfred Hitchcock’s ashes were spread over the Pacific Ocean.

Musician Janis Joplin’s ashes were also scattered over the Pacific Ocean.  John Lennon’s ashes were scattered over Central Park in New York, New York.  Buddy Holly is buried in Lubbock, Texas.  Jimi Hendrix is buried in Renton, Washington.  Freddie Mercury was cremated at Kensal Green Cemetery in London, England, but his burial location is unknown.  And the grave site of Jim Morrison, lead singer of The Doors, at Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris, France, is one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions and has attracted vandals since his death in 1971.

This Story Map also includes celebrities with connections to Indiana:  America’s first “Public Enemy Number One,” John Dillinger and author Kurt Vonnegut (both native Hoosiers) are buried in Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis, Indiana.  Indiana native Michael Jackson’s gravesite in Glendale, California is also featured on the map.  And Indiana actor James Dean was buried in Fairmount, Indiana, following his fatal car crash in 1955.

For more information about using story maps, visit the ESRI Web page or contact Angela Gibson, GIS Specialist, in the Ball State University Libraries GIS Research and Map Collection at 765-285-1097. 

Original World War I Maps Available from Ball State University Libraries





Historic World War I Maps Available Online from Ball State University Libraries

The Ball State University Libraries’ Digital Media Repository (DMR) provides online access to a broad range of digitized primary source materials, including artwork, architectural drawings, films and video, oral histories, photographs, publications, and cartographic resources.  The GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) has provided more maps for a new collection available from the DMR—the New York Times War Maps Collection.

The New York Times War Maps are a set of five maps published periodically in the Sunday edition of the newspaper in early 1918.  Each map is newspaper-sized and connects to create a large map of the Western front in France, the Netherlands, Germany, and Belgium during World War I.  The maps cover an area just west of Calais, France, along the coast of the North Sea south to Orleans eastward to Freiburg, Germany, and crossing back northward to near Cologne, Germany.

The maps identify the locations of railways, principal highways, canals, aircraft depots, forts and fortified towns, and naval arsenals.  The battle line as of December 31, 1917, and the furthest advance of the German Army are shown with solid and dashed lines.

For more information about the Digital Media Repository, please contact the Archives and Special Collections at 765-285-5078.  For more information about these or other historic maps, please contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Maps of Volcanoes from Ball State University Libraries




Places in the News:  Maps of Hawaii Volcanoes Available from Ball State University Libraries

The latest eruption of the Kilauea Volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii is threatening residents of the small town of Pahoa.  Burning lava is traveling at rates as fast as 11 yards per hour according to the Hawaii Volcano Observatory.  Many of the residents have voluntarily evacuated from their homes.

The Ball State University Libraries GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) includes a number of maps of volcanoes around the world.  This Dynamic Planet map was published in 2006 by the U.S. Geological Survey.  The map includes locations of volcanoes around the world.  Earthquakes, impact craters, and plate tectonics are also depicted.  A color cross-section map is shown.

The GRMC also includes the World Atlas of Natural Hazards published in 2004.  The atlas includes a world seismicity map and relief maps of world volcanoes.  A section on volcano hazard mapping is included.

Hawaii’s Volcanoes Revealed map (above, click to enlarge) was also published by the U.S. Geological Survey.  The map identifies the locations of volcanoes throughout the state of Hawaii, and sea-floor relief is also shown.  Ancillary maps include the bathymetry of the northwest Pacific Ocean, a 3-D perspective view of Hawaii, and an interpretive map of Hawaii’s volcanoes.

The town of Pahoa is located in the southeast corner of the Big Island of Hawaii.  Pahoa’s location is shown on the Google map of Hawaii (above).

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


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

ESRI Creates Zip Code Profiles from Census Data




Profiling America with GIS Data

The Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) is a vital resource that provides comprehensive GIS support to the entire campus community.  The GRMC offers access to the leading GIS software and assistance from the GIS Specialist. Faculty and students have free access to the full suite of GIS software from the leading publisher, ESRI.  And now ESRI has created an online profile of Americans using zip codes to publish the Tapestry Segmentation Project.

ESRI combined U.S. Census demographic data with marketing data from different zip codes to analyze the percentages of population that can be categorized into different profile groups.  Tapestry classifies the population in 14 “LifeMode” categories from affluent to family-related to ethnic enclaves to a mode labelled “Scholars and Patriots.”  Then each residential neighborhood is divided into 67 distinct segments based on socioeconomic and demographic composition.

The Tapestry segment names offer a glimpse into the percentage of people who live in the neighborhood.  The segments include “Laptops and Lattes,” “Trendsetters,” “Soccer Moms,” “Urban Chic,” “Barrios Urbanos,” “Hardscrabble Road,” and “Diners and Miners.”

The Muncie, Indiana zip code 47304 resulted in 30% of the population described as “Midlife Constants.”  This group typically was married couples with no kids living in single family housing.  This group is described as “homebodies…happy to work on our houses and gardens, do scrapbooking, read, go fishing, play golf, and watch movies at home.”  The group is described as “outgoing seniors who belong to fraternal orders, veterans’ clubs, and charitable organization; attend church; volunteer; contribute to political…organizations.”  This zip code is also represented by 18% in the “In Style” segment and 14% as “College Towns.”

The well-known Beverly Hills zip code of 90210 resulted in a description of the population as 73% labelled “Top Tier.”  “Top Tier” neighborhoods include self-made entrepreneurs and business leaders.  Most are married couples with “lavish homes” who “can indulge…in personal services…and shop at high-end retailers.”  This zip code also includes 20% as “Trendsetters” and 8% as “Retirement Communities.”

The ESRI ArcGIS is available on computers in the GRMC, computers in the Educational Technology and Resources Collection in the lower level of Bracken Library, computers on the first, third, and fourth floor of Bracken Library, the Science-Health Science Library, and the Architecture Library.  Users can type “ESRI” in the Software Locator search box to see a map of computer availability.

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

Friday, October 17, 2014

Earthquake Maps Available from Ball State University Libraries





This Day in History:  Earthquake Maps Available from Ball State University Libraries

On October 17, 1989, at 5:04 p.m. local time, an earthquake struck a section of the San Andreas Fault System near the San Francisco Bay area.  This was the first earthquake ever to be broadcast live on national television since the San Francisco Giants were playing the Oakland A’s in Game 3 of the World Series at Candlestick Park.  The earthquake was later named the “Loma Prieta” earthquake for the southern Santa Cruz Mountains. 

The Ball State University Libraries GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) includes a substantial collection of maps and other resources documenting earthquakes.  The United States Geological Survey (USGS) has published a number of maps showing global seismicity and more detailed maps of individual states like California, Utah, and Alaska.  Another map by the USGS shows three centuries of earthquakes in the central United States—from 1699 to 2002. 

The map above (top, click to enlarge) is a USGS LandSat image of earthquakes and faults in the San Francisco Bay area.  The yellow circles depict the size of earthquakes occurring in the region.  The Loma Prieta earthquake epicenter is the largest circle in the mountain area northeast of Santa Cruz.

Another map (above) of San Francisco published by the USGS shows the actual ground-shaking effects around the city.  Using remote-sensing, the map shows areas of the city built on either sand (gold color on map), bedrock (blue), serpentinite (green), or bay mud and fill (red).  According to the map, the same areas of the city were damaged in the 1906 and 1989 earthquakes:  “These districts are repeatedly damaged because they are built on soft ground that amplifies the shaking in earthquakes.  Structures built on harder ground, such as bedrock, suffer less damage.” 

Earthquake digital data on CD-ROMs is also available from the GRMC and circulates just like maps in the collection.  Maps circulate for two weeks or longer.

For more information, please visit the GRMC Monday through Friday from 8:00 to 5:00 p.m. or call 765-285-1097.


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Map of the Cold War Available from Ball State University Libraries


This Day in History: Cuban Missile Crisis

On October 14, 1962, an American U-2 spy plane photographed a Soviet ballistic missile being assembled for installation in Cuba.  Thus began one of the biggest encounters of the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union—the Cuban Missile Crisis.  Following a naval blockade, nuclear war was avoided when President Kennedy agreed to not invade Cuba in exchange for the Soviet removal of all missiles in Cuba.

The Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) created a map of some of the most significant events of the Cold War.  The map (above, click to enlarge) shows the locations of events beginning with Winston Churchill’s “Iron Curtain” speech in Fulton, Missouri, in 1946 to the World Chess Championship in Reykjavik, Iceland, in 1972, and the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan.

The Cold War map, Capitalism vs. Communism: Events of the Cold War, is available for use in education, research, and learning for teachers, students, and others from the Libraries’ Cardinal Scholar repository.  A large-format copy of the map may be printed in the GRMC. A worksheet requiring students to map the events of the Cold War is also available for teachers to use in the geography or history classroom.

The Atlas Collection on the second floor of Bracken Library also includes resources for studying the Cold War.  The Palgrave Concise Historical Atlas of the Cold War, The Canadian Military Atlas, and The Times Atlas of European History all include maps and other cartographic sources.

For more information about using maps from the GRMC or Cardinal Scholar, please call 765-285-1097.


Friday, October 03, 2014

Community Maps Class in Downtown Muncie






Ball State University Libraries' Maps Class at Cornerstone Center for the Arts

The Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) will present a class on Tuesday, October 7 from 6:30 – 7:30 pm in the Founders’ Room of the Cornerstone Center for the Arts in Muncie.  The class, Using Maps in a Digital World, will feature maps from the GRMC in Bracken Library and is free and open to the public.

Participants will learn how to access maps and other resources from the University Libraries’ Digital MediaRepository and Cardinal Scholar.  The GRMC uses maps from the collection to explain current events happening around the globe.  Participants can also learn about using online maps to study genealogy and local history. 

Students and other speakers can learn how to use maps as visual aids for speeches, papers, and presentations.  The GRMC provides access to maps about women’s issues, the environment, education, health and disease, sports, and other social topics.  The GRMC also has large map and photograph posters for countries around the world available online.

Teachers can learn about how to create custom online maps for use in the classroom and learning.  And the GRMC also publishes K-12 lessons, games, tutorials, and other classroom resources online.

The Cornerstone Center for the Arts is located at 520 East Main Street in downtown Muncie.  Parking is free.  For more information, please contact the Cornerstone at 765-281-9503.

For more information about using maps for classroom lessons or as visual aids, please contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097.


Interactive Map of College Football Fandom


The Geography of College Football

The New York Times published an interactive map that shows the most popular college football teams around the United States.  Click on a county or enter a zip code to see a breakdown of the fan percentage for the three most popular schools. 

The map was based on the number of “likes” and mentions on Facebook.  Most of the teams are close geographically, but the map offers some surprises:  The most popular team in Bronx County, New York and Plymouth County, Massachusetts (and most of Maine and New Hampshire) for example, is the University of Florida Gators.  And the second-most popular team in Washington, D.C. is the Ohio State University Buckeyes.


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Syria Maps Available from Ball State University Libraries



Maps in the News:  Syria Maps Available from Ball State University Libraries

The Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) has a significant collection of maps of Syria and the Middle East.  The maps include both historic and new, updated maps of the country and region.

Illustrated Syria map was published in 1943.  The map depicts agricultural and industrial products and places of interest, including parts of Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon, and then Palestine.  An inset map shows main roads, air routes, railroads, pipelines, and political divisions.  The text is written in English and Arabic.

The GRMC also includes road maps of Syria, maps of archaeological sites, tourist maps, economic maps, and land use and population maps.  A unique tectonic sketch map showing oil wells and petroleum exploration from 1978 was published by the Foreign Scouting Service.

Four sets of topographic maps of Syria (including historic maps) at varying scales are also available.  City maps of Syria are also available from the GRMC, including a reproduction of a bird’s-eye view map of Damascus from 1575.

The top map above (click to enlarge) was published by the Central Intelligence Agency and shows the area near Ar-Raqqah on the Euphrates River where American airstrikes are targeted.  This map includes railroads and expressways.

The second map, Syria Country Profile, was published by the CIA in 2011 when the civil war there began and shows the location of an airbase near Ar Raqqah.  Inset maps include a map of the Golan Heights, the oil and gas infrastructure, ethnoreligious distribution, and population density.  The relative size of Syria compared to the eastern United States is also shown.  This map includes information and statistics for a number of geographic features.

For more information about these maps, please contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097 Monday through Friday from 8:00 to 5:00.


Ball Brothers Documentary Film Premiere


Ball Brothers Factory Band, Digital Media Repository



Gas Boom to Glass Jars: Ball Brothers Documentary Premieres This Week

A Legacy Etched in Glass: The Ball Brothers in Muncie, a documentary produced by the Ball State University Department of Telecommunications as part of an immersive learning project, premieres on Thursday, September 25 at 6:00 pm at Minnetrista in Muncie.  The documentary tells the story of the five Ball brothers—George, Lucius, Frank, Edmund, and William.

The Ball brothers moved their glass manufacturing business from Buffalo, New York, to Muncie during the Indiana gas boom of the 1890’s.  Locating the factories on the south side of Muncie, the Ball brothers expanded their operations enormously in the early 20th century.  The film explores the lives of the brothers, their families, the ongoing Ball legacy in Muncie, and the core values that propelled them to success as industrialists and community leaders.

The story weaves motion graphic animation, beautiful cinematography, and archival materials with interviews and analyses from expert historians.  Sanborn Fire Insurance maps (above, click to enlarge) and maps showing the Trenton gas field are featured in the film.  Historic maps from the GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) used for the film are available for viewing in the Ball State University Libraries’ Digital MediaRepository.  The map collections include:  Muncie Sanborn Insurance Maps, United States Transportation Maps, Ball State University Campus Maps, American Cities Historic Maps, Indiana Natural Resources Maps, International Historic Maps, Delaware County Aerial Plat Maps, Indiana Historic County Atlases, United States Soil Maps, and United States Topographic Maps.  The University Libraries’ YouTube channel allows users a different format for viewing some of the resources from the Digital Media Repository.

For questions about the documentary, please contact the executive producer and faculty advisor Chris Flook at 765-730-0841.  For more information about the Digital Media Repository, contact John Straw in the Archives and Special Collections at 765-285-5078.