Thursday, January 29, 2009

Celebrating Black History Month at Ball State University Libraries

Celebrating Black History Month at University Libraries

The Geospatial Resources & Map Collection will be participating in the Ball State University Libraries’ Black History Month celebration. Using Primary Sources and Maps to Study African American Heritage are informational sessions providing an introduction to the resources from the GRMC, the Archives and Special Collections, and the Digital Media Repository. These sessions are open to the public and are scheduled for February 10 from 12:30 P.M. to 1:30 P.M. and February 18 from 4:00 to 5:00 P.M. Both sessions will be held in Bracken Library Room 210, the Archives and Special Collections.

Researching Black History at Bracken Library are informational sessions providing an introduction to resources from the General Collection, Articles and Databases, and the Music Collection. These sessions will be held on February 11 from 12:00 P.M. to 1:00 P.M. and February 17 from 3:30 P.M. to 4:30 P.M. in Bracken Library Room 215.

Documentary screenings will also be a featured event every Monday evening at 7:00 P.M. in the Bracken Library Forum Room (Room 225): Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years, Volume 1, will be shown on February 2; African American Lives with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., will be shown on February 9; The Murder of Emmett Till will be shown on February 16; and Prince Among Slaves, featuring Mos Def, will be shown on February 23. All showing are free and open to the public.

The windows of the GRMC will be featuring a special exhibit of maps and atlases depicting people and places of Black history, The Geography of Black History. Archives and Special Collections will be presenting Voices of Freedom throughout African American History in the cases outside Room 210. Digital Resources Celebrating Black History Month: A Look Inside the Digital Media Repository is a digital exhibit featuring local citizens, campus events, publications, and milestones and will be presented on the lobby monitors in Bracken Library.

For more information about these events, please contact the Archives and Special Collections at 765/285-5078.

World Wildlife Map Available in Ball State University Libraries

Featured Map: New Wildlife Map in the Geospatial Resources & Map Collection

The Geospatial Resources & Map Collection on the second floor of Bracken Library has a new world wildlife map available for research and learning. “The World of Wild Animals” is a large (30” x 38”) laminated map depicting the world habitats of 197 wild animals. This colorful map features drawings of some of the animals and lists names at the bottom. The map would be an excellent visual aid for a speech on wildlife conservation or for elementary education students teaching a lesson on the animals of the world. The map is available for circulation for two week or longer.

Atlas of World Wildlife is also available in the University Libraries General Collection, and the Educational Resources Collection has two atlases describing animals of the world—Rand McNally Children’s Atlas of World Wildlife and Atlas of Wildlife.

For more information about these resources, please contact the GRMC Monday through Friday from 8:00 to 5:00 at 765/285-1097.

New Delaware County GIS Web Page Available

Delaware County Launches New Public Access GIS Web Site

From the Delaware County GIS Office Newsletter:

Delaware County has launched a new GIS Web site with increased functionality, speed, and simplicity of use. The Beacon interactive public access tool provided by the Schneider Corporation allows users to view county and city information, public records and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data via an online portal. The site combines both web-based GIS and web-based reporting tools including CAMA (property database), assessment, and tax information into one user-friendly web application.

Delaware County will work with Schneider to incorporate the county’s new property database when it comes online in early 2009. (The GIS Office hopes) to provide additional property information through the site that has previously only been available on printed property cards such as information about structures, number of rooms, square footage, year built, assessed value and much more. Street-level photographs are planned to be added once they have been collected by the Assessor’s office. An automatic update process will be set in place that will ensure the property records, as well as any dynamic GIS data will be updated to the web site from the County’s GIS server on a nightly basis.

Currently, users can search by owner name, property address, or parcel number (13-digit PIN/Sidwell number). Search results, reports, and maps can be printed or saved as an Adobe Acrobat pdf with the ability to customize the print layout, title, and other elements. Users can also send web site links (URLs) to specific property records. The site allows users to select multiple properties on the map to create custom lists, which users will be able to download as a spreadsheet or mailing labels. Advanced selection tools will allow you to select parcels or other map features within a distance that the user specifies.

Additional functionality includes the ability to retrieve Section Corner Monument information and download the tie sheet surveys in a .pdf format. Several transportation GIS layers are available including traffic counts, average annual daily traffic, railroad crossings, road functional classification, and bridge inventory. The newly-created and recently officially approved Delaware County and City of Muncie zoning layer is also available. Two years of aerial photography is available, the 2005 12” resolution color photography, as well as the new 2008 6” resolution photography.

The Delaware County Geographic Information Systems Department Office Web page is located at . For more information, contact Kyle Johnson, GIS coordinator, at 765/213-1269.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

"Imagine Where You Could Be" Exhibit in University Libraries

“Imagine Where You Could Be” Exhibit in University Libraries

The Ball State University College of Architecture & Planning (CAP) Archives and the Geospatial Resources & Map Collection are featuring an exhibit aimed at relieving winter blues. The “Imagine Where You Could Be…” exhibit features items related to summer activities and tropical destinations.

The CAP Archives exhibit is located in the display cases just west of the Architecture Library. This part of the exhibit features documents and drawings like a preliminary sketch of a drive-in movie theater, a plot plan of a baseball park, and even a detailed diagram of mixed drinks, created using architectural symbols. These materials are all part of the CAP Archives collection.

The Geospatial Resources & Map Collection is displaying maps of tropical destinations as part of the exhibit (shown above) on the second floor of Bracken Library. This part of the exhibit features maps of St. Thomas of the U.S. Virgin Islands, a map of Suva in Fiji, and a map of the island of Anguilla. These maps are part of the GRMC collection.

This exhibit will be available through the middle of February. For more information about this exhibit or the materials featured, please contact the staff of the GRMC at 765/285-1097 or Brian Knowles of the CAP Archives at 765/285-5078.

Friday, January 16, 2009

GRMC Open for MLK Holiday

GRMC Open for Holiday on Monday, January 19

Classes will not be in session at Ball State University for the Martin Luther King, Junior holiday; however, the Geospatial Resources & Map Collection, will be open for regular business hours on Monday from 8:00 to 5:00. University Libraries will be open on the holiday from 7:00 A.M. to 3:00 A.M.

Friday, January 09, 2009

2008 Review for the Geospatial Resources & Map Collection

Geospatial Resources & Map Collection 2008 Year in Review

The Geospatial Resources & Map Collection on the second floor of Bracken Library provided services to a variety of students, faculty, and community members and organizations over the course of 2008. Students and researchers used the maps, atlases, GIS software, and other resources of the GRMC for knowledge creation and classroom instruction.

The list of classes using the GRMC in 2008 is extremely diverse: geography, urban planning, historic preservation, landscape architecture, architecture, anthropology, art, history, communications, construction management, geology, elementary and secondary education, political science, sociology, music, Spanish, and biology.

The GRMC also hosted specific classes using maps, atlases, GIS, and other resources. Students in English classes learned how to use maps and atlases as visual aids in papers and presentations and how to cite maps properly. The students were asked to find a map that related to a research paper on elections.

Social studies methods classes learned how to use maps and atlases in their classrooms. Women’s studies classes learned about maps and atlases related to women’s issues. Students in these classes also learned about the new online tutorials and guides for lesson plans and women’s studies issues on the GRMC Web page.

Students in geography visited the GRMC to complete a special project about urban development. The students were able to track the growth of various American cities using historical and current maps from the Collection. Earth, Sea, and Sky geography students used topographic maps from the GRMC in their classrooms (shown above) to study the effects of flooding and urban sprawl on landscapes. Other maps from the GRMC were used in classroom projects for Natural Resources and Environmental Management and education programs at the Ball State Museum of Art.

Maps from the GRMC were also used for the Rinker Center for International Program’s weekly Culture Exchange presentations. And maps of dozens of countries provided the backdrop for the booths at the Center’s International Festival in November.

Journalism students learned how to use GIS software to create maps for the news. This information is also available as an online tutorial on the GRMC Web page. Foundations of Education students used census data from the GIS lab in the GRMC to create custom maps about various school districts for immersive learning projects.

The GRMC also provided workshops on GIS technology to faculty and staff. Introduction to GIS and Google Maps on the Web were custom classes offered by the GIS Specialist in the GRMC.

Keeping track of the numbers for the past year: 2,782 items were circulated from the GRMC in 2008; 2389 reference projects were researched using 21,949 items in the room; GIS software was used 336 times; 1,353 people used the large-format plotters for printing; and 35 classes with 738 participants were given instructional sessions.

For more information about using the resources of the GRMC for your classroom or to schedule an instructional tour, please contact Melissa Gentry at 765/285-1097 or The GRMC is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 to 5:00, but evening classes can be accommodated.