Friday, November 30, 2007

University Libraries Hosts Visitors from China

Visitors from China in the Geospatial Resources & Map Collection

University Libraries and the Geospatial Resources & Map Collection hosted a group visiting Ball State University from China on November 30. The group consisted of officials affiliated with seven universities in China and the Sino-American University Cooperation and Exchange Office. The universities included Xi’an Shiyou University, Nanjing Normal University, Soochow (Suzhou) University, Shandong University at Weihai, Gansu Agricultural University, Inner Mongolia University of Technology, and Southwest Jiaotong University.

The visitors were thrilled to see so many maps of their hometowns and provinces in the Map Collection here at Bracken Library. The Collection includes new city maps, historic city plans, bird’s-eye-view maps of cities in China, topographic maps, and various thematic maps and atlases. Many of the maps and atlases from the Collection are printed in the Chinese language.

Ming-Ming Kuo, Collection Development Librarian, and Suzanne Rice, Assistant Dean for Public Services, organized and provided the tour of the University Libraries for the visitors.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thanksgiving Break Hours in the GRMC

Thanksgiving Break Hours in the GRMC

The Geospatial Resources & Map Collection will be closing for Thanksgiving Break at 5:00 P.M. on Wednesday, November 21. The GRMC will reopen at 8:00 A.M. on Monday, November 26.

GIS Exhibit on the History of the White River

Online GIS Exhibit on the History of the White River

An exhibit showcasing the history of the White River in Muncie entitled, “The Life of a River: A History of the White River in Muncie in Maps and Photographs,” is now available: Users can also access the exhibit through the main GRMC Web page under “GIS Special Resources:”

This exhibit was created by Angela Gibson, GIS Specialist, using a combination of historic maps from the Geospatial Resources & Map Collection, historic photographs from Archives and Special Collections and the latest GIS technologies available in the GRMC. The exhibit focuses on the changes that the river has experienced through time both culturally and physically. The GIS maps were created using a process known as geo-referencing (establishing the relationship between page coordinates on a planar map and known real-world coordinates) overlay and overlaying original historic maps from the GRMC with current GIS data to show the changing course of the river and the location of Delaware Indian settlements (above) and industries in relation to the current city geography.

The exhibit provides a remarkable resource for researchers, educators, and historians about the White River in east central Indiana. Contact Angela Gibson in the GRMC for more information about this exhibit and other GIS resources.

New GIS Resources at University Libraries

New GIS Resources Available in University Libraries’ Geospatial Resources and Map Collection

by Angela S. Gibson, GIS Specialist, Geospatial Resources & Map Collection

Ball State students and faculty now have new Geographic Information Systems (GIS) resources to use for learning, teaching and research through the University Libraries’ Geospatial Resources & Map Collection (GRMC).

Online Google Map for Visitors to the University Libraries

Angela Gibson, GIS Specialist, created an online visitors’ map of Ball State University that uses Google Maps API technology. Google Maps is a free Web mapping service application and technology provided by Google that powers many map-based services. The University Libraries’ Visitor Map is an added benefit to those visitors not familiar with Ball State University. The map highlights all library locations, parking garages, and food courts. Points of interest around campus such as Beneficence and Shafer Tower are also highlighted. Users are able to use the full range of Google technology such as pan and zoom, and have the option of street view, satellite view, or a hybrid of both. Images of each building and a link to their campus map Web page are embedded in the map. The Google map for visitors to University Libraries can be found at

New Delaware County Oblique Photography

The GRMC now houses the complete set of Indiana’s Delaware County oblique aerial photography. The Delaware County GIS office donated a copy of the photography to the GRMC for University and community use.

Oblique photography is the technical term used to describe an aerial photograph that is taken at an angle. A feature such as a house, a building, or an overpass can be seen in its entirety. You can rotate the image and see the front door, the back door and both sides as well. This viewpoint is more familiar to users and provides almost instant 3-D modeling. These datasets are available for use by anyone inside or outside of the University. The datasets can be used by students and faculty who are working on surveying, 3-D modeling, and landscaping and urban planning projects. Geographic data and 3-D models from this program can be imported into Google Map for further analysis and sharing of data.

BusinessMAP Software by ESRI

BusinessMAP 4.5 is now available in the GRMC for students and faculty. This powerful GIS software prepackages North American street and zip code data, demographic data, Dun & Bradstreet business listings, contact manager links (ACT!, GoldMine, Outlook/BCM,
and Excel), and many other resources for analysis via GIS. Users can easily create reports, charts and maps of their study area. They can also do drive-time analysis and ring study analysis of their project site. This software is especially useful for anyone interested in marketing or demographic analysis. To test or use the software, visit the Geospatial Resources & Map Collection on the second floor of Bracken Library.

For more information on these new resources or any other GIS applications, contact Angela S. Gibson, GIS Specialist.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

University Libraries Celebrates GIS Day, November 14

University Libraries Celebrates GIS Day

GIS Day is being celebrated nationwide on Wednesday, November 14. GIS is a “collection of computer hardware, software, and geographic data for capturing, managing, analyzing, and displaying all forms of geographically referenced information.” This is the definition of GIS according to ESRI, an annual sponsor of GIS Day.

University Libraries will be celebrating GIS Day in the Geospatial Resources & Map Collection on Wednesday from 9:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. Visitors can try out new GIS software including BusinessMap 4.5, see online maps created with Google Maps API, view the Delaware County Oblique Photography, and explore online exhibits using GIS technology. Angela Gibson, GIS Specialist, will be available to demonstrate the new technology and provide more information about using GIS for applications in almost every discipline and field.

The annual GIS open house sponsored by the Geography Department and the Office of Wireless Research and Mapping will also be held on Wednesday in Cooper Life 469.

Geography Awareness Week, November 11-17

Geography Awareness Week: Passport to Asia

November 11 -17 is Geography Awareness Week. National Geographic has been celebrating Geography Awareness Week since 1987, and this year’s theme is Passport to Asia. The Geospatial Resources & Map Collection has a variety of resources featuring Asia.

New maps of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan are available in the GRMC. Maps of Myanmar (Burma) and Thailand were also recently acquired. Maps of East Timor, Asia’s newest country, are also available from the GRMC. A tourist map of Phuket and southern Thailand features places of interest, and the Streetwise Tokyo map displays current tourist destinations. New tourist maps of Hong Kong and Singapore are also available for checkout, as well as city plans of Sri Lanka and China.

The Atlas Collection houses a large collection of recent atlases of Asia. The State of China Atlas: Mapping the World’s Fastest Growing Economy offers a variety of maps about different topics in China. Researchers of history will be interested to find historical atlases of Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, and Central Asia. The Atlas of Asian-American History is another excellent resource for historians available in the Atlas Collection. The East Sea in Old Western Maps features maps of the sea located between Japan and the Korean peninsula.

Contact the staff of the Geospatial Resources & Map Collection for more information about these resources or any other questions at (765) 285-1097.

Monday, November 12, 2007

University Libraries Hosts International Festival

University Libraries Welcomes the World with International Festival

The annual Rinker Center for International Programs’ International Festival was held in the lobby of Bracken Library on Friday, November 10. The festival featured booths representing over thirty countries from around the world. (Ball State University is home to international students from 91 countries).

Students shared information about their home countries, displaying artifacts, artwork, maps, photographs, food and drinks. Music from around the world played throughout the festival, and a fashion show exhibited the beautiful clothing worn across the globe.

The Geospatial Resources & Map Collection provided maps used during the festival. Displays featured maps of Africa, Iceland, Germany, France, and the Netherlands from the Map Collection. “The Americas” section of the festival used several maps from the GRMC for their display. Maps of all of Latin America, South America, the Caribbean, Colombia, Uruguay, and the Amazon rainforest were featured for the festival. Many of the international students were surprised to find a map of their hometown in the GRMC.

University Libraries is a great destination for international resources. In addition to the thousands of maps and atlases in the GRMC and Atlas Collection, researchers can explore the Educational Resources Collections’ variety of materials to support learning about cultures, including videos, pictures, artifacts, flags, globes, kits, international dolls, musical instruments, realia and more.

Find international music resources using the “World Music” Media Finder on the University Libraries’ Web site. This media finder will locate CD’s, books, scores and thousands of titles and artists featuring music from all over the world.

Rare books, art books, copies of The Bible and great works of fiction and poetry can be found in many different languages in the Archives & Special Collections. Pamphlets from the French Revolution, Nazi atlases, brochures, and books, and many other materials are located in the Archives, and historic photographs, speeches, magazines, films, and oral histories are available on the Digital Media Repository on the University Libraries’ Web site.

The Digital Media Repository also includes images from the Architecture Library’s Visual Resources Collection. High quality images of architecture from around the world are featured, along with photographs taken during the World Tour and CAPAsia trip. The Architecture Library also includes books on international architecture, landscape architecture, and urban planning.

Visit the University Libraries’ Web site located at
for more information about international resources available from this great destination for research and learning.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

New and Notable in the GRMC, October 2007

New and Notable in the GRMC, October 2007

The Geospatial Resources & Map Collection hosted many different classes during the month of October. Over 130 students from Social Studies Methods, History, Education Library, and English attended instructional sessions learning about maps and atlases and GIS resources in the GRMC.

Students working on class projects also used the resources of the GRMC during October. Architecture students working on a project in Cincinnati borrowed historic and current maps for their work. Students in landscape architecture are planning an urban park in downtown Muncie, so they visited the GRMC to borrow maps and to collect GIS data. Other landscape architecture students studied historic maps of Muncie to learn about the location of streetcar lines, and historic preservation students used maps and atlases of New Albany for an upcoming project. The GIS Specialist created custom maps using data and resources for students in urban planning, foundations of education, and journalism. A professor of language and linguistics acquired GIS maps for a project on Mexican-Indian dialects in Mexico. And a professor in natural resources is using physical maps of Australia from the GRMC in his classroom for a special project.

The GIS lab received updated software during the month of October. Oblique aerial photography of Delaware County was installed on the GIS lab computers, and ESRI BusinessMap 4.5 software was also added to the lab.

The GRMC Web site was also updated with a third online map tutorial, Using Maps and Atlases in Social Studies Lessons. This tutorial explains how K-12 teachers can teach lessons about a large variety of topics by featuring images and information from maps and atlases. The tutorial is located under the “Maps and Atlases” section of the GRMC Web site at

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

International Festival at University Libraries

International Festival at University Libraries

The Rinker Center for International Programs is sponsoring the annual International Festival on Friday, November 9 in the lobby of Bracken Library from 9:00 to 4:00 P.M.

The International Festival features over twenty booths displaying food, music, clothing, maps, and cultural artifacts from around the world. Visitors can explore the displays about various countries and groups, taste the different foods, listen to music, and mingle with students from around the world.

A special display will feature international resources available from University Libraries, including maps, international music, flags, globes, videos and foreign films, photographs, realia, kits, and more. International resources are available from the Educational Resources Collections, the Geospatial Resources & Map Collection, the Music Collection and Music Listening Center, Archives and Special Collections, and the Architecture Library. Many of the University Libraries’ international resources are available from the Digital Media Repository located at

Admission is free to the International Festival. For more information, contact Debra Goens at the Rinker Center for International Programs.

Host of National Geographic "Explorer" Visits Ball State University

National Geographic "Explorer" Host Lisa Ling to Speak at Ball State University

National Geographic’s Geography Awareness Week is November 11-17, but the celebration of geography begins early this year as Ball State University welcomes Lisa Ling, host of National Geographic “Explorer.” Ling will be a guest lecturer at the Pittenger Student Center Cardinal Hall at 7:00 P.M. on Thursday, November 8.

Ling will present “National Geographic Reports: A Global Perspective,” in which she will discuss issues impacting our world and solutions for helping those in need. Ling will feature video clips from her television program, “Explorer,” and there will be a short question-and-answer session and meet-and-greet following the presentation.

Ling’s lecture is sponsored by Excellence in Leadership, Asian American Student Association, Housing and Residence Life, the Multicultural Center, and the Department of Telecommunications. The event is free and open to the public.