Monday, April 30, 2007

University Libraries' Laptop Wireless Printing

Printing from Laptops Available at University Libraries

Students working in the Geospatial Center & Map Collection and other areas of University Libraries are now able to print from their laptops to a public printer:

Click on

Provide your BSU email address to identify your print job.

Provide the file name or the URL to be printed.

Select the University Libraries' public printer where you want to pick up your print job.

Click on "Print" at the bottom right of the webpage. Then simply pick up your job at the selected printer in the library. Note that jobs time-out after 90 minutes.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Notable Donations to the Map Collection in April

Generous Donations to the Map Collection in April

The Map Collection received numerous maps from two notable donors during the month of April 2007.

Jacqueline Luzar, a graduate student at Ball State University, donated over eighty maps to the Map Collection. The maps were from her personal collection, many acquired as she travelled around the country. Some of the interesting maps donated by Miss Luzar include Kentucky's Lewis and Clark Legacy, Wineries of Indiana, Indiana Christmas Trees, Amish Country Ohio, and beautiful maps of New Harmony and the covered bridges of Parke County, Indiana. Miss Luzar also donated the Cracker Barrel Roadway Map, which shows the locations of Cracker Barrel restaurants around the United States. Miss Luzar will be graduating from Ball State University in May with a Master's Degree in Landscape Architecture. She was the recipient of a fellowship from the Garden Club of Virginia in 2005 and documented historic landscapes in the state. This work was noted in the publication Vineyard of the National Park Service Historic Landscape Initiative. This summer Miss Luzar will be working on historic documentation of the gardens at the White House in Washington, D.C.

Also in April the sizeable donation of Helen and Martin Schwartz was processed and cataloged for the Map Collection. The Schwartz donation included many historic maps, including the strategic plotting chart produced by the Secretary of the Navy in July 1941 (shown above). Also included in the donation: Israel and Adjoining Countries, China Coast and Korea, Greater New York, Cathay Pacific, and several maps of the Holy Land. Mr. and Mrs. Schwartz of the Schwartz Paper Company have been active in the Muncie community for decades. Mr. Schwartz was the president of the Muncie Civic Theater and worked with the Boys Club, Red Cross, Junior Achievement, the Muncie Symphony, and was a founding member of the World Business Council. Mr. Schwartz worked part-time in the political science department at Ball State University. Mrs. Schwartz was the first woman president of the Temple Beth El of Muncie. Mrs. Schwartz also established Hoosier Bounty, a food program providing meals to thousands of people. She and her husband endowed lectures and a publication series in the Harvard Center for Jewish Studies and the Indiana University Jewish Studies Program. The Schwartzes have also been active in the Muncie Public Library and the Friends of Alexander M. Bracken Library.

The Geospatial Center & Map Collection is grateful for these generous donations. Contact the staff of the Center to donate materials or to view these new additions to the Map Collection.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Oceanic Races Using GIS Technology

Races Across the Oceans Using GIS and GPS Technology

GIS and technologies like GPS are being used to allow races across the ocean to become spectator sports where fans can follow the action of the race is it occurs via the Internet. Two such races are the Transat Monotype en Solitaire and The Great Turtle Race.

The French Transat Monotype en Solitaire is a transoceanic yacht race that travels from southern France to Guadeloupe in the French West Indies. The 3,436-thousand mile journey across the Atlantic Ocean began on March 25. Visit the website for the race at and click under "Cartographie" to check the progress of the race, get details about each boat and skipper, and check wind speeds.

The 14-day Great Turtle Race begins on April 16. This race features leatherback turtles outfitted with satellite tags to track their progress from Playa Grande, Costa Rica to their feeding grounds near the Galapagos Islands. This race draws attention to the plight of leatherback turtles: "90 percent of the leatherbacks have vanished from the Pacific Ocean, victims of human pressures." Visit the website at to choose a turtle to cheer on during the "race." The site features beautiful photography, lesson plans for teachers, and a chance to donate to help the leatherbacks' survival.

Now thanks to GIS and GPS technology fans of races on the ocean can cheer on the racers beyond the beach.

Visit the Geospatial Center & Map Collection on the second floor of Bracken Library to view a map about the leatherback turtles in conjunction with the Earth Day displays.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Small Cities Conference at Ball State University

Small Cities Conference April 12-14 at Ball State University

The fifth Small Cities Conference sponsored by the Center for Middletown Studies at Ball State University will be held in Muncie on April 12-14, 2007. The theme of this conference will be "The Small City in a Global Context," exploring the history of nonmetropolitan-urban settings. The conference will feature scholars from around the world whose work has addressed the history of the small city.
The papers to be presented this year study communities in the United States, Latin America, Europe, Asia, and Africa.

Historian Timothy Mahoney will lead off the conference presentations in the Forum Room of Bracken Library from 7:30 P.M. to 9:00 P.M. on Thursday, April 12. Mahoney's presentation will describe the process of creating a digital small city, "Digital History and the Small City: The Plains Gilded Age City Digital Project." The session will be moderated by Bruce Geelhoed, Chairperson of the Department of History. This presentation is free and open to the public. Other sessions will be held at the E.B. Ball Center on the campus of the Minnestrista Cultural Center.

The Geospatial Center & Map Collection will be presenting a special display of maps related to the cities described at the sessions. These maps will be on display in the windows of the GCMC, located just outside the Forum Room at Bracken Library.

For more information about the Small Cities Conference and a complete schedule of events, please visit or contact James Connolly, director of the Center for Middletown Studies at (765) 285-8037.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Earth Day Displays in the GCMC
Earth Day is celebrated this year on April 22, so the Geospatial Center & Map Collection is marking the day with a special map display. The theme of this year's Earth Day events is A Call for Action on Climate Change. The image (left) is from the atlas One Planet, Many People: Atlas of Our Changing Environment. The atlas was published by the United Nations Environmental Program with NASA, the U.S. Geological Survey, and the University of Maryland, and is available from the Atlas Collection in Bracken Library. This image shows "an area of severe stratospheric ozone depletion--an 'ozone hole" over the South Pole and Antarctica in 2000 and 2003, the "largest and second largest on record, respectively." Other maps in the display show the warming of Arctic regions, carbon emissions, and the threats to the Amazon Basin.

Visit the GCMC in Bracken Library during the month of April to view these and other displays or to check out other maps and atlases about the environment.

March 2007 Events in the GCMC

March 2007 in the GCMC

Genealogists, historians, educators, archaelogists, and even a speech pathologist visited the Geospatial Center & Map Collection during the month of March. So what type of projects and activities brought them to the GCMC?

  • A GIS map was created using Delaware County and U.S. Census Bureau data for a group from the Virginia Ball Center for Creative Inquiry for a project on poverty in Muncie.
  • The Office of International Advancement at Ball State University used maps of the Middle East to help plan a trip to Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.
  • Visiting students working on credit for English 103 borrowed maps of various countries around the world to add to a paper on the cultures of the world.
  • A biology instructor borrowed nautical charts from the Map Collection to use in the classroom for a special project.
  • An Honors student included GIS maps and data about Middletown in her thesis.
  • A retired faculty member borrowed maps of New Zealand to plan for an upcoming vacation.
  • A speech pathologist borrowed maps, atlases, and travel guides of New York to use in a project for improving conversational speech.
  • GIS was used to create a map showing the hometowns of the running backs participating in spring practice on the Ball State University football team.
  • Students borrowed maps to use for speeches on the route of the Titanic, ancient Greece and Rome, Mecca in Saudi Arabia, and the Inuit population.
  • Natural Resources & Environmental Management students borrowed maps for a project on water cycles.
  • Education students borrowed maps to teach elementary students about Israel, Iraq, and Central and South America.
  • Students from the College of Architecture and Planning borrowed maps of national parks for a special project, and Landscape Architecture students used GIS data and aerial photography for site planning.
  • An archaeologist used topographic maps from the Map Collection to research the construction of ethanol plants, cell phone towers, and upcoming road construction.
  • A local genealogist researched maps of Warrick County to search for roots.
  • Many students used the large-format plotter to print off posters for class presentations.