Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Planetary Maps and Atlases Available in University Libraries GRMC

Maps of Mars Available in the Geospatial Resources & Map Collection

NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander touched down on the Red Planet on Sunday night. The Phoenix began transmitting images of the surface of the northern polar part of the planet. (Images appear at ). The rover’s equipment will begin digging the planet's terrain for the raw ingredients necessary to support life on Mars.

The Geospatial Resources & Map Collection has maps of Mars available for those who wish to study the planet in more detail. The GRMC has topographic maps and pictorial representation maps of the Red Planet. The United States Geological Survey published Geology of the Solar System and Planetary Maps: Maps to Help You Find Your Way around on the Moon and Mars and on Some of Earth’s Neighboring Planets and Their Satellites in 1991, and both are available in the GRMC.

National Geographic has published many maps of the solar system, including The Red Planet Mars and A Map of the Heavens. In 2006 National Geographic updated their solar system maps with Eight Planets: The New Cosmic Order, a map showing Pluto as a dwarf planet. These maps are also available for circulation from the GRMC.

The NASA Atlas of the Solar System and Orbit: NASA Astronauts Photograph the Earth are other resources about outer space available in the Atlas Collection.

Please contact the staff of the GRMC for more information about these planetary maps and atlases.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Bicycle Route Maps Available at Ball State University Libraries

National Bike Month in May: Bike Maps Available in the University Libraries

Ball State University became a part of the national celebration of National Bike Month in May, and employees were encouraged to participate in Bike-to-Work Day on May 16. The University even created a bike rack location map with trails marked. This map is available at

The Geospatial Resources & Map Collection on the second floor of Bracken Library has a large collection of bike trail maps for those bicyclists motivated to use their bikes even more this summer. The GRMC has dozens of trail maps available that were published by Bikecentennial, the former name of the Adventure Cycling Association. The Adventure Cycling Association is an organization promoting long-distance bicycle tours across America, and many of these maps provide information about the condition and elevation of the trails and even edible plants along the trail. These maps also show the locations of bike shops, grocery stores, hotels, and post offices, and provide statistics about weather conditions.

The Collection includes Bikecentennial maps of sections of the Trans-America Bicycle Trail, the Great River Bicycle Trail, bike routes from Iowa to Maine, routes from Maine to Virginia, routes from Virginia to Florida, and many other trails. Bicycle trails in Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Florida, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin are all available on maps in the GRMC.

The GRMC also has a copy of the Official Bicycle Map of Illinois. Individual county bike maps of numerous counties in Michigan and special trail maps of Ohio are also available for circulation.
The Collection of bicycle trail maps is available in the ready-reference area of the GRMC, but these maps are not yet cataloged so maps cannot be located using the CardCat system. Stop by the GRMC, and staff can find the bicycle trail maps needed for planning treks across the country.

Maps of Australia and New Zealand Available in the GRMC

New Zealand and Australia maps in the GRMC

The 2008 Indianapolis 500 winner Scott Dixon is the first native of New Zealand to win the race. Dixon actually was born in Brisbane, Australia and moved to Auckland, New Zealand at a young age.

The Geospatial Resources & Map Collection on the second floor of Bracken Library has hundreds of maps of Australia and New Zealand available for research and learning. Most of the maps of this “down under” area of the world have not yet been cataloged, so a visit to the GRMC is necessary to provide more information about the maps available. A CardCat search will not reveal all of the maps available for the area.

The GRMC includes hundreds of thematic and topographic maps of Australia and New Zealand, including a set of 2002 topographic maps of New South Wales with aerial photography on the verso. The topographic maps of the countries are available at various scales. City maps for Auckland, Brisbane, Sydney, Wellington and dozens of other locations are also available in the GRMC. And maps of the islands around New Zealand can also be researched in the GRMC.

All maps from the GRMC circulate for two weeks or longer and may be used for semester-long projects in the classroom. For more information about these maps, please contact the GRMC Monday through Friday from 7:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. at 765/285-1097.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Using GIS in Archaeology

Indiana Jones and GIS

The new “Indiana Jones” movie officially opens in theaters today, and the field of archaeology will once again be in the spotlight. Archaeologists like the fictional Dr. Jones are beginning to expand their understanding of their research by using Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

GIS provides a tool for linking objects on a map to a database, and archaeology is a field that utilizes data in a spatial manner. Data from ancient documents and from field research can be mapped and charted using GIS. Archaeologists can chart the distribution of peoples, study ancient governments, and map ancient trade routes. GIS software can assist in surveying an archaeological site, creating a model of the site, and creating a map of the site.

The National Science Foundation is sponsoring the National Historic Geographic Information System at This site provides census data and GIS-compatible boundary files for the United States between 1790 and 2000. Users can access the NHGIS Shape Finder using GIS software to access and map data. Data can be accessed with the NHGIS Data Finder, and users can use Social Explorer to map census data from 1940 to 2000.

The National Park Service is using GIS and GPS technology to map historic battlefields and other sites. More information and sample projects are available at

The Silk Road Foundation newsletter details the use of GIS in archaeological projects throughout central Asia. “The Origin of Chess and the Silk Road” and “Evolving the Archaeological Mapping of Afghanistan” are some of the featured articles at

Researchers interested in learning more about using GIS technology in archaeology can find several books in the General Collection in Bracken Library. Geographical Information Systems in Archaeology by James Conolly, Spatial Technology and Archaeology: the Archaeological Applications of GIS by David Wheatley, and Practical Applications of GIS for Archaeologists: A Predictive Modeling Toolkit by Konnie Westcott are all excellent resources about the field. Placing History: How Maps, Spatial Data, and GIS Are Changing Historical Scholarship by Anne Kelly Knowles is a new reference item in the Geospatial Resources & Map Collection.

The GRMC on the second floor of the Library has eight computer work stations available with the latest GIS software, and the GIS Specialist is available for assistance with projects. GIS software is also available on the computers located in the Periodical Reserves area of the Library and the Architecture Library.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Holiday Hours in the Geospatial Resources & Map Collection

GRMC Holiday Hours

The Geospatial Resources & Map Collection will be closed for Memorial Day on Monday, May 26. The GRMC will reopen at 7:30 A.M. on Tuesday, May 27.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Ohio Watershed Maps in University Libraries GRMC

New Materials in the GRMC: Ohio Watershed Maps

New maps of Ohio watersheds are available in the Ball State University Libraries Geospatial Resources & Map Collection. The set of 20 maps published by the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District in 2002 was a gift from Ball State University alumnus Jacqueline Luzar.

The maps of various creeks in northeastern Ohio include land cover and land use statistics, a map of the community and community statistics, a topography map of the area, and a watershed map including roads and drainage networks showing pipes, culverts, and streams. The maps also include photographs of the area and an inset map of the watershed’s location in Ohio.

The watershed areas included are Abram Creek, Bakers Creek, Bear Creek, Big Creek, Brandywine Creek, Busby Ditch, Chippewa Creek, Dugway Brook, Euclid Creek (shown), Furnace Run, Hemlock Creek, Mill Creek, Nine Mile Creek, Plum Creek, Sagamore Creek, Shaw Brook, Tinkers Creek Main Branch, West Branch, West Creek, and Wood Creek.

These maps may be checked out individually and can be borrowed for two weeks or longer. For more information about using these maps for research and learning, please contact the GRMC at 765/285-1097.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Guide to Atlases in Ball State University Libraries

Guide to Atlases in University Libraries

Atlases can offer a world of information to researchers, and the Atlas Collection in Bracken Library contains thousands of atlases of the world, nations, cities, and various specific themes. However, researchers can find atlases located in other areas of University Libraries in addition to the Atlas Collection.

Some atlases are cataloged to be located in the general collection due to the percentage of maps found in the work. These atlases still contain many maps and data that might be useful to researchers. The Atlas of Poverty in America: One Nation, Pulling Apart, 1960-2003 is an excellent atlas using U.S. Census data in maps about poverty in relation to children, the elderly, Hispanics, Blacks, and other groups in the American population.

The Atlas of European Values is located in the general collection and features maps involving national pride, religion, the work environment, women, politics, and social outlook and networks.

The Gourmet Atlas in the general collection is obviously an atlas all about the foods of the world. This atlas features maps showing the pastas of Italy and the locations of the earliest fruits in the world.

The Penguin Atlas of Endangered Species (shown) offers a thorough examination of the threatened species around the world. This atlas offers maps showing the specific ecosystems of the world and maps about the various endangered animals. The atlas also features graphs and other statistics about the plight of these species.

The Atlas of Egyptian Art, Historical Atlas of American Crime, Atlas of the Civil War, Historical Atlas of the Renaissance, Historical Atlas of Religions, Historical Atlas of the Celtic World, and the Routledge Atlas of African American History are just some of the other atlases available in the general collection.

Atlases can also be located in the reference collection. The Archives and Special Collections houses rare and historical atlases. The Architecture Library includes atlases about architecture, world cities, and the popular Delorme topographic atlases of states. The Science Library includes many atlases about outer space, including stars and galaxies. The Government Publications area includes many atlases produced by the U.S. government, including the new U.S. Census Atlas. And Educational Resources in the lower level contains many atlases directed to children, including the Dinosaur Atlas.

Atlases can be an excellent resource for researchers since the maps can be easily scanned for inclusion in a presentation or report. Users can search for atlases in the Library’s CardCat system under the “advanced search.” Just enter the topic of interest and the word atlas to find an atlas related to many disciplines and areas of study.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

New Materials in the Ball State University Libraries GRMC

Maps for Young and Old Available in University Libraries GRMC

The Geospatial Resources & Map Collection on the second floor of Bracken Library has added a unique item to its collection of resources. Elementary education students often use basic maps and other resources from the GRMC in various lessons, so more juvenile resources are being added for the younger library users. There’s a Map on My Lap is a new book available in the GRMC. The book by Tish Rabe is from The Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library series.

This new book introduces beginning readers to all different kinds of maps, even featuring a section on topographic maps and latitude and longitude. The elements of a map like legends, scales, and the compass rose are also described. The book even features ideas for games using maps and a glossary to explain the geographic terms, all using the rhyming made famous in the Dr. Seuss books:

You may travel the world,
But no matter how far,
With a map on your lap,
You will know where you are.

This book is available as a reference item in the GRMC. The GRMC is open from 7:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. Monday through Friday throughout the summer.

GIS Workshops at Ball State University Libraries

GIS Workshops Available at University Libraries

Angela Gibson, GIS Specialist in the Geospatial Resources & Map Collection, will be conducting two GIS workshops in May for faculty and staff of Ball State University. Geographic Information Systems: Introduction will be held on Wednesday, May 14 from 10:00 A.M. to 11:00 A.M. in Bracken Library room 008. This course provides the basics of GIS and its applications in various businesses and academic disciplines.

GIS Trends: Google Maps on the Web will be presented on Wednesday, May 28 from 10:00 A.M. to 11:00 A.M. in Bracken Library room 311. This workshop teaches how to embed a Google map on Web pages and how to add informative points on the map.

To register for these workshops, visit or contact Yasemin Tunc at 765/285-5902 or Angela Gibson at 765/285-1097.

Map Display for May in University Libraries

May 2008 “Map of the Month” in the GRMC

The “Map of the Month” for May 2008 is actually three maps of Cape May, New Jersey. The GRMC features thousands of maps of vacation destinations for the summer like Cape May and tourist favorites around the world.

April 2008 Events in the GRMC

April 2008 in the Geospatial Resources & Map Collection

Over 70 students in Geography 101 completed a semester-long classroom project, Fluvial-Focused Topographic Maps, using maps from the Geospatial Resources & Map Collection. Dr. David Call, Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography, worked with Melissa Gentry from the GRMC developing lessons using specific topographic maps. Students used new and historic maps to evaluate the development of flood-prone areas around the United States.

Melissa Gentry also provided a customized instructional session to students in Social Science 397, Elementary Social Studies Teaching Methods, for Brian Scott from the Department of History. The session showed students how to use maps and atlases in elementary lessons and classroom activities and games.

Angela Gibson, GIS Specialist, presented a specialized instructional session to students in Journalism 102 for Sheryl Swingley, Instructor in the Department of Journalism. This session showed students how to implement GIS mapping into news stories.

Students from the Indiana Academy also used maps from the GRMC to complete a classroom assignment on international rivers. Also students from the College of Architecture and Planning Environmental Design Studio and Architecture 100 completed final projects using GIS and maps from the GRMC during the month of April.

For more information about customized instructional sessions and classroom projects using resources from the GRMC, please contact the staff at 765/285-1097.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Summer Hours in the University Libraries GRMC

Summer Hours for the GRMC Begin May 5

The Geospatial Resources & Map Collection hours for the summer session begin on Monday, May 5. The GRMC will open at 7:30 A.M. and close at 4:30 P.M. Monday through Friday until August.

Maps of the Seychelles in University Libraries GRMC

Final Destination: Maps of the Seychelles Available in University Libraries

The final day of the Today Show “Where in the World Is Matt Lauer?” adventure has the host landing in the country of the Seychelles. Travelers to this Indian Ocean island paradise will enjoy the beautiful sights, white sand beaches, and crystal turquoise waters.

The University Libraries Geospatial Resources & Map Collection offers several resources for tourists visiting the Seychelles. Seychelles: Detailed, Informative, Practice, Including Victoria Town Plan is an invaluable tourist map. The convenient folded map features a location map, a map of Victoria’s city center, the city of Beau Vallon, maps of the botanical gardens and Bird Island, and the Vallee de Mai Nature Trail. The map also shows a calendar of events and language tips. The legend is printed in English, German, and French.

The Atlas Collection on the second floor of Bracken Library also has an informative atlas about the country, Atlas for Seychelles. The atlas features several thematic maps of the country and also maps showing the relationship of the Seychelles to the rest of the world.

Contact the staff of the Geospatial Resources & Map Collection at 765/285-1097 for more information about these resources.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Where in the World Is Matt Lauer? Maps of Istanbul in University Libraries

Maps of Istanbul, Turkey Available in GRMC

Istanbul, Turkey is the fourth destination of the Today Show’s “Where in the World Is Matt Lauer?” adventure. Straddling Europe and Asia, Turkey is where “East” meets “West.”

The Geospatial Resources & Map Collection contains several maps of Turkey and the city of Istanbul specifically. Lonely Planet Istanbul is an excellent map for tourists and includes a telephone directory, suggested walking tour, and a Turkish-English glossary. The map features inset maps of Old Istanbul, central Istanbul, and the Topkapi Palace. Turkey Tourist Map, created by the Turkish Ministry of Tourism, shows relief in shading, an inset map of Turkey in Europe, and distances from the airport. Isztambul, Terkep is another interesting map of the city printed in Hungarian, German, English, and French.

The Atlas Collection also includes several atlases and guidebooks about Turkey, including Turkey: Lonely Planet Travel Atlas. This guide is printed in English, French, German, Spanish, and Japanese.

Maps can be borrowed for two weeks or longer. Atlases check out for four weeks.