Wednesday, November 21, 2007

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.

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