Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Nautical Charts in the GCMC

AHOY! Using Nautical Charts in the Classroom

The Geospatial Center & Map Collection includes thousands of nautical charts that may be checked out for research. (The nautical charts, however, should not be used for navigation purposes). The nautical chart collection includes charts displaying details of navigable water bodies and coastal areas of the United States and throughout the world. These charts display features such as coasts, ports, restricted waters, wrecks, currents, and cultural features such as urban areas, major roads, or buildings. Many times a nautical chart can prove to be an excellent map for coastal cities.

Mark Walker, an instructor in the Department of Biology, commonly uses nautical charts from the Map Collection in his classroom. Walker appreciates the nautical charts in his classroom: "For the last three years, I have presented a study of invasive species found in the Great Lakes ecosystem to my science education students. The maps provided to me each semester have been of the highest quality." Walker claims that the nautical charts "have great detail, are accurate, and have always been available on short notice due to the sheer volume of the collection." Apparently the nautical charts are an excellent research tool for the biology classroom. Walker explains that the students "involved with the presentation can pinpoint the important canals and rivers of the region without fail after time spent in hands-on fashion with the maps."

For more information about using nautical charts or any other maps or geographic resources from the GCMC, please contact the Center. Workshops reviewing the use of the resources of the GCMC for the university classroom will be held on September 6 at 2:00 and September 19 at 1:00 in the GCMC. Sign up for a workshop on the University Libraries Training and Technology Support page.

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