Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Festival of Maps Chicago Begins November 2

Festival of Maps Chicago Begins November 2

November 2 is the official opening of The Festival of Maps Chicago. According to the website overview, “The Festival of Maps Chicago is a citywide celebration that joins over 30 cultural and scientific institutions in a unique collaboration to display humanity’s greatest discoveries and the maps that record our boldest explorations.” The festival features globes, artifacts, artwork, and hundreds of unique maps, including the map Charles Lindbergh carried with him on the first nonstop solo flight from New York to Paris in 1927.

The participating institutions include the University of Chicago Special Collections Research Center, The Art Institute of Chicago, the Chicago History Museum, the Museum of Science and Industry, the Brookfield Zoo, and the Newberry Library. The Festival of Maps Chicago includes amazing exhibits, lectures, seminars, and films.

The Festival of Maps Chicago runs through January 31, 2008. For more information, visit http://www.festivalofmaps.com/

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

New Maps in the Geospatial Resources & Map Collection

Weekend Excursions Using New Maps from the GRMC

Autumn is a great time to pack up a picnic basket and take a weekend excursion to southern Indiana. The Geospatial Resources & Map Collection recently acquired new maps that may help with planning the perfect weekend adventure.

The Indiana Wine Trail: Down the Lazy River, Southeast Indiana map suggests “kicking back to enjoy a leisurely drive, stopping along the way to discover the quaint charm of the region and visit six artisan wineries.” Swiss immigrants planted vineyards near Vevay two hundred years ago to produce America’s first commercial wines. Now travelers can explore this wine trail to sample a taste of that history. The wineries located on this trail are located in Guilford, Batesville, Madison, and Vevay.

Indiana Uplands Wine Trail map features wineries located in south central Indiana. These wineries include the popular Oliver Winery in Bloomington, the Butler Winery and Vineyard in Bloomington, the Carousel Winery in Bedford, the French Lick Winery, the Winzerwald Winery in Bristow, Turtle Run Winery in Corydon, and Huber’s Orchard and Winery in Starlight. The map suggests travelers on this trail stretch their tour over two days—one for the northern section and one for the southern section.

Another map recently acquired by the GRMC is called Wineries of Indiana. This map includes 40 wineries located all over the state—from Whiting over to Rockville down to Evansville and east over to Modoc. The map claims “wineries offer close to home adventures with an educational flare.” More information is available at http://www.indianawines.org/

These maps were a generous gift from Jacqueline Luzar, Ball State University alumnus.

Maps in the GRMC check out for two weeks. Contact the staff for more information.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

World War II Display in Bracken Library

World War II Display in University Libraries

The exhibit, Shared Sacrifice: Scholars, Soldiers, and World War II, will be on display from October 15, 2007 through January 4, 2008 outside the University Libraries’ Archives and Special Collections and the Geospatial Resources & Map Collection on the second floor of Bracken Library.

This exhibit will focus on Ball State University’s contributions to the war effort, soldiers from Muncie, and life on the home front, as well as additional resources found in the Archives and the Geospatial Resources and Map Collection. Ball State’s contribution will be documented through photographs from the Army Specialized Training Program. The activities of Muncie’s soldiers will be shown through photographs, letters, and other ephemera from former Dean Victor Lawhead’s papers and Joseph Fisher’s scrapbook, as well as books featuring the recollections of local soldiers. The home front section of the exhibit will contain ration books, Red Cross materials, newspapers, and government publications. An additional feature of this exhibit will be World War II resources such as items from the Nazi Collection and the 376th Bombardment Group Archive, as well as other printed materials and wartime maps.

Maps and photographs featured in atlases about World War II are featured in a special display on the windows of the GRMC. Authentic wartime news maps created for the Armed Forces are also included, along with Army Map Service maps of France, wartime newspaper maps from the Chicago Tribune, and a nautical chart of Nantucket Island that was used by the Nazis during the war.

An online exhibit will also be available later in the month at www.bsu.edu/library/collections/archives/exhibits.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Indiana October Festivals Map in the GRMC

Fall Festivals Map in the Geospatial Resources & Map Collection

Amber Lukes, student assistant in the Geospatial Resources & Map Collection, created a special display of fall festivals for the month of October. Amber chose some of the most popular fall celebrations for the special Indiana map. The map includes classic fall festivals like the Parke County Covered Bridge Festival, the Riley Festival in Greenfield, and the Feast of the Hunter’s Moon in Lafayette. The map also includes activities for Halloween like the Headless Horseman at Conner Prairie in Fishers.

Amber is a senior and has worked in the GRMC since January. She is majoring in residential property management.

Vera Bradley GIS Project in the GRMC

Vera Bradley GIS Project in the Geospatial Resources & Map Collection

Students at Ball State are taking advantage of an exciting immersive learning experience with Vera Bradley Designs, Inc., an internationally-known company based in Fort Wayne, Indiana. In two classes at the Miller College of Business, Dr. Rod Davis and Dr. Jennifer Bott are instructing a cohort of 15 students to work with Vera Bradley Designs representatives to design roll-out plans for a signature store grand opening in three new markets. Faculty at the Miller College of Business concluded that working with Vera Bradley Designs would be a great immersive learning experience for their students.

The class is working in three groups of five students. Each team will focus on a particular city and will determine the best way to identify information about competitors and cities. The assignment requires the students to create a city report, company report, team report, and a presentation, among other outcomes. Students will research the company and the market, and perform a strategic planning analysis, known as a Strengths-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats (SWOT) analysis. During a class presentation, Stephen K. Duecker, Information Services Librarian, identified five databases that the students would find useful in their research. Angela S. Gibson, GIS Specialist, also gave a brief presentation to the class regarding the capabilities of GIS and how incorporating demographic GIS data and maps into their research would greatly benefit their project.

Dr. Davis and Angela then met to decide the best way to use GIS for both the students’ self-learning and achieving the project goals. A portion of the project’s grant money was set aside to buy trial licenses of ESRI’s Business Analyst Online, a software package which combines GIS technology with demographic, consumer, and business data to deliver on-demand analysis, graphic reports, and maps over the Web.

Students from this class are also visiting the GRMC to map potential business competitors. To do this,
Angela is using a feature called geo-coding in the ArcGIS software. Dr. Davis said, “The Libraries’ instruction session helped students to identify avenues for information. Students did a good job finding data and understanding what is available.” Commenting on the immersive learning experience, Dr. Davis said, “The students are able to apply what is being taught in their classes to real life experiences. They realize this is not your typical class."

For more information about using GIS in a classroom project, contact the Geospatial Resources & Map Collection staff.

Friday, October 05, 2007

New South Wales Topographic Maps in the GRMC

Geospatial Resources & Map Collection: Maps from Down Under

The Geospatial Resources & Map Collection purchased a set of topographic maps of New South Wales, Australia. The maps were acquired from the Department of Lands in New South Wales. The maps feature topography on one side and aerial photography of the area from 2002 on the verso, and the scale is 1:25,000.

The location of these maps is concentrated around the area of the Ball State University Australia Center in Lennox Head. Last summer the Australia Center Director Paul Wohlt (Assistant Professor in Anthropology) requested the maps for use in Australia for the fall semester. Students from Ball State University used the maps in the classroom and for field work during their time in Lennox Head.

These topographic maps/aerial photographs are available for checkout from the GRMC. The maps circulate for two weeks.

The GRMC encourages recommendations for purchase of maps and atlases needed for research and learning. Please contact the GRMC for more information.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Guided Tours of Christy Woods at Ball State University

Fall Tree Walks at Christy Woods

The Ball State University Field Station & Environmental Education Center is hosting guided tours of the trees in Christy Woods. The Fall Tree Walks at Christy Woods are held each Saturday in October at 1:00 P.M. Field Station & Environmental Land Manager John Taylor serves as the guide for the tours. The tours meet outside the Orchid Greenhouse and last about 45 minutes, and admission is free and open to the public. Parking is available along Riverside Avenue and in lot G13, south of the Orchid Greenhouse on University Avenue just west of West Quad.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

September 2007 GRMC Events

What’s Happening in the GRMC? September 2007 Edition

The Geospatial Resources & Map Collection served as a second classroom during the month of September. Many different classes visited the GRMC for instructional sessions and tours, including English, Teachers of English to Students of Other Languages, and Foundations of Education.

Students from the College of Architecture & Planning also used the resources of the GRMC for special classroom projects. Landscape Architecture students working on a regional planning project of the White River borrowed maps showing vegetation, soils, recreational areas, transportation, and wildlife. The students were also able to access digital data and custom maps in the GIS lab in the GRMC.

Jay County High School students enrolled in English 103 used maps from countries all over the world to create culture packets for a class assignment. Anthropology students used maps and atlases of Africa for a research presentation. Biology students borrowed ecological maps of the Mississippi Delta for use in their classroom. And elementary education students used maps of Sweden and Scotland for special lessons.

A professor of Language and Linguistics was able to have custom maps of areas of Mexico created using the GIS lab. The maps showed areas where Mexican-Indiana dialects are spoken. Students working on an immersive learning project were able to access census data and have custom maps created in the GIS lab.

The resources of the GRMC were also used for recreational purposes during September. Two students planning a trip down the Mississippi River reviewed topographic maps and atlases to review the course of the trip. And topographic maps of an obscure wilderness area in Canada were used by another visitor planning a fishing expedition.

Visit the GRMC on the second floor of Bracken Library for resources for the classroom, for research projects, and for recreational excursions--for fun!

GRMC Website Features Online Map Tutorials

Learning about Maps: Online Map Tutorials from the GRMC

Interested in learning about the basic parts of maps? Need to brush up on some geographic skills? The main Website for the Geospatial Resources & Map Collection has added a new feature: custom map tutorials.

Users wishing to learn about maps can now access the site at their own convenience. The first tutorials are from a developing series on maps and cartography. The Elements of a Map is a tutorial that teaches about the main geographic features found on every map, like legend, scale, and directional indicators. The tutorial features colorful examples of elements of maps from the Map Collection. The second tutorial Topographic Maps teaches users how to read topographic maps and how the maps are used in industry and development projects. Teachers of geography and other subjects are encouraged to use the tutorials in their classroom or for review purposes with their students.

These online resources are available under the Maps and Atlases section of the main GRMC page located at http://www.bsu.edu/library/collections/gcmc/ After completing the tutorials, users are asked to provide feedback, including suggestions for topics of future tutorials. Please contact the GRMC to suggest subjects for other online tutorials or with any questions regarding their use.