Friday, February 04, 2011

Mount Kilimanjaro Maps Available from Ball State University Libraries

Mapping the Trek: Mount Kilimanjaro in Maps

Dr. Rajib Sanyal is the Dean of the Miller College of Business at Ball State University. Sanyal has taught internationally, in both India and New Zealand, and has presented research papers at seminars and conferences around the world. He is the author of a textbook on international management, has designed experiential exercises for classroom instruction, and has been published in numerous refereed journals. In January of this year, he added a successful climb of Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa to his impressive resume’.

Sanyal’s climbing group hiked for nine days using the Western Approach Route to reach the 19,340-foot peak. “We climbed from tropical rainforest to Arctic Circle temperatures where there was snow and only rocks—not a blade of grass or any vegetation. So terrain, vegetation, and climate changed.”

The group had a team of four very experienced guides leading the group up the mountain. One guide led the single-file line while two followed closely behind to check on stragglers. The fourth guide roved alongside the line of climbers to tend to everyone’s needs. In addition, the group had 39 porters, one cook, and one waiter for the expedition. The group began with eleven climbers, and ten successfully reached the summit, including Dr. Sanyal.

Dr. Sanyal returned to Ball State University and visited the GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) to find maps of Tanzania and Mount Kilimanjaro. The GRMC has in its collection a variety of topographic maps of areas and landmarks around the world.

The topographic map “Kilimanjaro” (click above to enlarge) was created by the Ordnance Survey Mapping Division at a scale of 1:50,000. The map clearly marks the topography of the summit and the stark line where vegetation on the mountain ends. The map shows the location of “Uhuru Peak” (the mountain’s highest point) with the 19,340-foot elevation shown.

A second map used by Dr. Sanyal combines a satellite aerial image with contour lines, roads, water sources, bivouacs, and campsites. This map shows the location of Kilimanjaro inside Tanzania just along the border with Kenya. The map also includes a diagram of the vegetation zones discussed by Dr. Sanyal—from savannah to what is called Alpine desert to the summit zone. Dr. Sanyal was able to retrace the path of his expedition up the mountain using these maps.

All of the over 140,000 maps in the GRMC can be circulated for two weeks or longer. For more information about these resources, please contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097 Monday through Friday from 8:00 to 5:00.

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