Monday, February 15, 2010

Ball State University Libraries Expands GIS Services

Expanded GIS Services Available at the University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection

by Angie S. Gibson, GIS Specialist

Students, faculty, and staff visiting the University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) on the second floor of Bracken Library will find the space has been transformed. Manyimportant changes allow the facility to provide more access to GIS resources for the entire Ball State community, positioning the GRMC to meet campus needs for increased GIS-enabled research and instructional space.

The University Libraries has increased the amount of space devoted to the GIS research area, now nearly 1,200 square feet equipped with 28 high-end Lenovo ThinkCentre computers with dual 22-inch widescreen monitors. The units provide students and faculty with access to the type of software required for any GIS or mapping project, including Adobe Design Premium CS3, Autodesk AutoCAD 2009, ERDAS Imaging 9.3, ESRI ArcGIS Desktop 9.3.1, ESRI ArcPad 8.0, Google Earth, Google SketchUp, Intergraph GeoMedia 6.1.6, and Rhino 4.0.

Two LG 55-inch widescreen LED monitors and an ELMO projector are connected to an instructor station, facilitating the use of the equipment for workshops and classes. GRMC staff plan to offer workshops and tutorials and to facilitate instructional sessions in the space. Ball State faculty and students who require GIS and other related geospatial software for instructional purposes can reserve the area. The space is also available for use by students and faculty for group and individual learning. A certified GIS staff member is available to answer questions and help users with their projects.

GIS-enabled computers are also available throughout Bracken Library since the software is deployed on more than 140 public workstations throughout the building. Visit the University Libraries’ Software Locator Web site to find these public access stations:

The GRMC also provides users access to a broad collection of over 145,000 print maps, atlases, and travel guides. The GRMC provides members of the campus community with access to wide-format plotting and lamination services, both offered at a modest cost.

For more information about the GIS Research Area, please contact the GRMC at 765/285-1097.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

New Map of Iran Available from Ball State University Libraries

New Profile Map of Iran in Ball State University Libraries

Yesterday the nation of Iran marked the 31st anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, which transformed the country into an Islamic republic. The GIS Research & Map Collection (GRMC) in Bracken Library has just received a country profile map of Iran from the Central Intelligence Agency.

The map was created in 2009 and includes a location map and a comparative area map, which shows the country's size in relation to the United States. Ancillary maps include key petroleum sector facilities, regional physiography, Souther Caspian energy prospects, a map of the Strait of Hormuz, a population density map, and a map showing the ehtno-religious distribution in Iran (Click to enlarge above).

The map includes a list of major historical events in Iran since 1908. A section on the geographic and cultural profile of the country includes details about terrain, land use, climate, natural resources, economic factors, language, literacy, and time zone information.

Iran: Country Profile map may be circulated from the GRMC for two weeks or longer. The map is encapsulated in plastic for convenient display in a classroom or for a presentation.

For more information about maps available from the GRMC, please call 765/285-1097 Monday through Friday from 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. Eastern time.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Black History Month Map Exhibit in Ball State University Libraries

Mapping Black History Month: Special Maps Exhibit in Ball State University Libraries

The exhibit, The Geography of Black History, will be on display in the front windows of the GIS Research & Map Collection (GRMC) on the second floor of Bracken Library during the month of February in honor of Black History Month. (Click on the image to zoom).

The exhibit features images and maps from the Atlas of Firsts, Allyn Bacon Social Atlas of the United States, Atlas of African-American History and Politics, and The Atlas of African-American History from the Atlas Collection in Bracken Library. The exhibit details African-American contributions in the Spanish-American War, World War I and World War II, explorers of the American West, the Underground Railroad, the civil rights movement, and professional baseball leagues, as well as other important historic events and figures such as Jesse Owens, Booker T. Washington, Augusta Savage, and Rosa Parks.

The exhibit is also available from the Ball State University Libraries’ Cardinal Scholar institutional repository. This PDF-format poster is available for use in classrooms or other Black History Month events at

For more information about these atlases or the exhibit, contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097.