Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Ball State University Libraries Acquires New GIS Data for Indiana Counties

Ball State University Libraries Acquires New GIS Data

The Ball State University Libraries’ Geospatial Resources and Map Collection (GRMC) has up-to-date GIS datasets for both the Indiana counties of Henry and Delaware. The GIS administrators for those counties generously provided these rich datasets to the GRMC to assist the research and learning of Ball State students, faculty, and staff. Each dataset includes detailed GIS layers that are not available for download anywhere on the Web.

Available layers for both Henry and Delaware Counties include street networks, land use, zoning, fire and police station locations, schools, churches, parcel data, hydrology, flood zones, and much more. New six-inch resolution 2008 aerial photography and two-foot contours for Delaware County are included in this update. These datasets are for educational purposes only and are subject to terms of use.

For more information on accessing these layers, contact Angela Gibson, GIS Specialist, at 765/285-1097.

Education Resources Available from Ball State University Libraries Cardinal Scholar

Learning with Maps: Using University Libraries Resources in the K-12 Classroom

Teachers and education students can now access classroom activities from the Ball State University Libraries Cardinal Scholar institutional repository located at http://cardinalscholar.bsu.edu/ or from the main University Libraries Web page. The Geospatial Resources & Map Collection in Bracken Library created several original lesson plans using maps, atlases, and other cartographic resources. These lessons are part of an online guide, Teaching with Maps: Lesson Plan Guide from the Geospatial Resources and Map Collection, located at http://www.bsu.edu/library/article/0,,54747--,00.html. The lessons cover grades K-12 and a number of different subjects. Activities from the lessons are now stored in the Cardinal Scholar depository, allowing teachers and education students online access to original games, worksheets, and posters to use in the classroom.

These activities can be used in their original form or adapted for different ages of students. In one of the lessons, students use a National Geographic map of the Amazon River basin to create an alphabet book about the rain forest. Teachers could use the sample book provided to inspire students to create a similar book; or teachers could use another map to create an alphabet book about the Australian Outback, the Grand Canyon, or Siberia or China. The posters available on Cardinal Scholar can be printed in small or large format, so teachers may wish to use the large-format plotters in the GRMC for printing.

Posters and other activities used in previous events (Black History Month, Veterans Day) are also available from Cardinal Scholar, and users can also access the GRMC online tutorials about maps through the repository. From the Cardinal Scholar home page, click on “Browse by creator” on the left, and scroll down to the Geospatial Resources and Map Collection to access a complete list of available resources.

Cardinal Scholar is available as a repository for all members of the Ball State University community. For more information, please contact the Archives and Special Collections at 765/285-5078. For more information about the lesson plans, please contact the GRMC at 765/285-1097.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Kyrgyzstan Maps Available at Ball State University Libraries

Maps in the News: Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan holds a strategic location for American troops fighting in southwest Asia, so the closing of an American base there may be critical. The Geospatial Resources and Map Collection on the second floor of Bracken Library has several maps of Kyrgyzstan available for research and learning.

Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan Geographical Map in the GRMC was published in 2006. This version includes a physical hypsometric map with roads emphasized. An index of places is listed on the verso. This map is displayed in English and five other languages. A map of central Asia published by Nelles Verlag in 2003 is two-sided and shows categories of roads with tourist features. Relief is shown on the map with shading and spot heights. An inset map of Bishkek is also featured on the map. This map is published in English, German, and French. The GRMC also has topographic maps of the region and several maps of Kyrgyzstan published by the Central Intelligence Agency.

Atlas of Russia and the Independent Republics in the Atlas Collection also features maps and statistics on Kyrgyzstan. This atlas includes information on natural features, history, population, and communications networks of the former Soviet Union.

Maps of Kyrgyzstan in the GRMC are not fully cataloged, so please call or visit the GRMC to research the entire collection of maps. Maps can be circulated for two weeks or longer.

Contact the GRMC Monday through Friday from 8:00 to 5:00 for more information about these Kyrgyzstan resources at 765/285-1097.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Ball State University Culture Exchange Program at Bracken Library

Around the World in One Hour: Culture Exchange Program at Ball State University Libraries

The Ball State University Rinker Center for International Programs is once again hosting its Culture Exchange. The Culture Exchange features speakers discussing various countries and international issues. The program is held every Wednesday from 12:00 P.M. to 1:00 P.M. in Bracken Library Room 225, the Forum Room. Visitors are encouraged to bring a sack lunch or refreshment.

The schedule for the Culture Exchange program for the spring semester of 2009 is:

  • February 11, Hillel Student Association
  • February 18, Argentina
  • February 25, Who is an American
  • March 4, Netherlands
  • March 18, Pakistan
  • March 25, Romania
  • April 1, Jamaica
  • April 8, Costa Rica trips from the Study Abroad program
  • April 15, Ask a Muslim Woman

Maps and atlases from the Geospatial Resources & Map Collection will be featured during the Culture Exchange programs.

For more information about these events, please contact Debra Goens at 765/285-5422.

Black History Month Maps Exhibit at Ball State University Libraries

People and Places of the Past: GRMC Black History Month Exhibit

The Geospatial Resources & Map Collection is celebrating Black History Month with a special exhibit on the second floor of Bracken Library. The exhibit (shown above) features maps and images from atlases in the Atlas Collection. The “Map of the Month” for February—a map of the Harlem Renaissance—is also in celebration of Black History Month.

The special Black History exhibit displays images of prominent figures in African-American history but also includes some lesser known leaders, such as Esteban Dorantes, a Spanish-speaking African slave who led explorations of the Southwest, one in search of El Dorado, the legendary “seven cities of gold.” Maps included in the exhibit feature African-Americans in the American Revolution, Black explorers in the West, a map showing the locations of slave uprisings before the Civil War, Black spy activity during the Civil War, African-American participation in World War I, missions of the Tuskegee Airmen during World War II, the location of Negro League baseball teams, and a map of the Selma to Montgomery civil rights march.

Students and faculty interested in learning more about African-American cartographic and other educational resources in Ball State University Libraries may wish to attend one of the upcoming informational sessions in the Archives and Special Collections of Bracken Library. The first session will be on Tuesday, February 10 from 12:30 P.M. to 1:30 P.M. The final session will be on Wednesday, February 18 from 4:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M. Also, researchers can access the GRMC study guide for African-American resources on the GRMC Web page located at http://www.bsu.edu/library/article/0,,59405--,00.html.

For more information about these resources, please contact the staff of the GRMC at 765/285-1097.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

New Google Earth Available for Research and Learning

New Google Earth Dives into Ocean Exploration

Google Earth 5 was launched on Monday, February 2, just four years after the original launch of the software that allows users to access geographical information through digital maps and satellite photography. The new Google Earth 5 possesses a number of new features and tools that can be used as a valuable resource for education and research.

Google Earth 5 includes a feature called Google Ocean. This tool allows users to interact with three-dimensional maps of the ocean floor. Previously the water was inaccessible in Google Earth. Users can now dive into the ocean depths and view articles and videos about everything from global warming to footage of shipwrecks provided by the National Geographic Society, the British Broadcasting Company, and many other organizations. Scientific data and links provide a vast resource for students, educators, and researchers.

The new Google Earth also includes the Historical Imagery tool. This allows users to archive satellite images of individual locations to track environmental or other physical changes. Users can also view three-dimensional satellite images of Mars with the Google Mars 3D tool.

The new software can be downloaded for free on the Google Web page.

Cardinal Quiz Bowl Features Maps from Ball State University Libraries

Primetime: GRMC Maps on Television Quiz Show

What countries border Paraguay? What is the largest lake in Europe? These are some of the geography map questions high school students must answer correctly on the Cardinal Quiz Bowl. Cardinal Quiz Bowl is a series airing on public television station WIPB in Muncie. According to WIPB producers, Cardinal Quiz Bowl focuses attention on the academic ability of area high school students and brings attention to what Ball State University has to offer. Students are quizzed about current events and their general knowledge of art, English literature, math, science, and, of course, geography.

Each year producers of the show borrow the most current maps available from the Geospatial Resources & Map Collection to use on the show. The first Cardinal Quiz Bowl episode airs on WIPB on Friday, February 27 at 6:00 P.M. The show then airs on Sunday, March 1 at 8:30 A.M. The quiz show then continues to air at the same times on Fridays and Sundays. Maps from the GRMC will be featured on the second, third, sixth, and seventh episodes.