Friday, August 26, 2011

Hurricane Maps Available from Ball State University Libraries

Hurricane Maps Available from Ball State University Libraries

As the Atlantic coast prepares for Hurricane Irene to make landfall, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is constantly updating maps of its path. Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) on the second floor of Bracken Library houses a number of maps and atlases depicting hurricanes and other natural hazards.

The map above (click to enlarge) shows Hurricane Isabel from September of 2003, the last major hurricane to strike the coast of the Carolinas. This map is from the World Atlas of Natural Hazards by Bill McGuire published in 2004. The atlas includes maps of historic events and their impact, hazard management, and future prospects for natural hazards.

The GRMC also includes maps of the relative water depth of New Orleans just after Hurricane Katrina, world maps of the most intense tropical storms, and a map of the Caribbean that includes a hurricane log.

Maps from the GRMC circulate for two weeks or longer. Atlases circulate for 28 days or longer. For more information, please contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Maps of Libya Available from Ball State University Libraries

Maps in the News: Tripoli, Libya

The Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) on the second floor of Bracken Library houses a large collection of historic and modern maps of Libya, including maps of the capital city of Tripoli. The Atlas Collection also includes resources of Africa and the Sahara region including Libya.

The maps shown above are available in the GRMC. The topographic map of the region of Tripoli (click to enlarge) was published by the Army Map Service in 1942 during World War II. The street map of Tripoli (Tarabulus) displays green spaces in the coastal city. The map of the region between Tripoli and Surt along the coast is from the National Geographic Africa Adventure Atlas. Tripoli is described as a tourist destination in the 2008 atlas:  A thoroughly modern city, with tall contemporary structures, a well-planned infrastructure and latter-day tourist traps, the old section was built on the original site of ancient Oea….The most impressive mosque in the city is the stately Karamanli Mosque off Green Square which, in turn, is guarded over by the most recognized landmark in Tripoli: the Old Castle—known locally as Assai al Hamra—overlooking both the harbor front and the ancient medina….As long as you observe the traditions and customs of the locals and reserve judgment on the political situation, it may prove to be one of the safest and most enjoyable destinations in North Africa.

For more information about these maps and atlases, please contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097 Monday through Friday from 8:00 to 5:00 P.M.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Ball State University National Road Project

National Road Farmhouse To Reopen as Heritage Site
(Provided by J.P. Hall, Indiana Landmarks)

The National Road Heritage Site at the Huddleston Farmhouse promotes public awareness of one of the first significant national engineering achievements in American transportation. The Huddleston Farmhouse is on the National Road (US Highway 40) at the western edge of Cambridge City. Indiana Landmarks will reopen its 1841 Huddleston Farmhouse in September with an entire floor of new exhibits focused on the historic National Road, from the pioneer era to the present. The new exhibits will debut on September 10 with a free open house from 10 A.M. to 4 P.M. in conjunction with Cambridge City’s Canal Days festival.

The exhibits tell the 200-year story of the National Road from its start in Cumberland, Maryland, in 1806 through Indiana in the mid-1820’s to its end in Vandalia, Illinois. The new exhibits allow visitors to hear from a covered wagon traveler about the conditions on the road, the food they ate, and where they found lodging. Visitors will experience the road surfaces over time, from a bumpy mud track dotted with tree stumps to brick, concrete, and the current asphalt.

Children can try out the straw-filled mattress like the ones pioneers used on the floor of the travelers’ kitchens. At an interactive wall-sized map, visitors can click on places from Maryland to Illinois to learn more about sites to visit on the National Road today. A simulation allows tourists to drive along the road viewing important National Road landmarks of the past.

Indiana Landmarks received a National Scenic Byways Grant to create the new exhibits, which were produced by Split Rock Studios in collaboration with the Ball State University Department of Telecommunications and the Indiana National Road Association. The project also received support from private donors across the state.

Nancy Carlson, Associate Professor in the Department of Telecommunications, coordinated a student team to create the documentary completed in 2009 as an immersive learning project from the National Scenic Byways Grant from the Federal Highway Administration. Carlson and her students researched stories from residents who lived near the National Road in Indiana, which stretches from Richmond to Terre Haute near Indiana Highway 40. According to Carlson, “no one has told the many human stories of building the road, living along it or traveling across it.” The GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) and University Libraries provided maps, books, and other research resources for the project. The documentary, Movers and Stakers: Stories along the Indiana National Road, is available from the Educational Resources Collection in Bracken Library.

For more information on the National Road Heritage Site at Huddleston Farmhouse, contact J.P. Hall at 317-822-7937 or visit For more information about the maps of the National Road, please contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Back-to-School Resources from Ball State University Libraries

Back-to-School Resources from the GIS Research and Map Collection

Students and faculty returning to the Ball State University campus will be able to access important classroom resources created by the GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) from the University Libraries’ Cardinal Scholar institutional repository. Cardinal Scholar allows users to access these invaluable resources from any location with Web availability.

Teachers and student teachers headed back to the classroom can find numerous games, posters, lesson plans, map worksheets, cartographic tutorials, and other resources in Cardinal Scholar. These classroom resources were developed specifically for K-12 teachers. Access the Cardinal Scholar by visiting the University Libraries main Web page or directly from To find all of the available resources from the GRMC in Cardinal Scholar, click on “Communities and Collections” on the left side of the page. Scroll down to the Information Technology section, and the GIS Research and Map Collection will be under University Libraries. On the GRMC collection home page click on “browse by title” in the middle of the page. This lists all the titles in the collection. For a more specific search, you may also type in a subject, such as “Africa” or “game.” Users can click on the title of the resource and save it for use in papers, presentations, or other research or print any of the games and maps.

Students and other researchers writing papers or preparing presentations may consider using maps from the GRMC or the Atlas Collection as visual aids to add interest and impact. These collections include maps and other cartographic images that visually depict numerous current issues. The new online guide, Using Maps and Atlases as Resources for Papers, Posters, and Presentations, details how cartographic images can enhance research. The guide can be accessed from Cardinal Scholar at

The State of the World Atlas Images is a poster available from the GRMC in Cardinal Scholar that gives examples of the different maps, charts, photographs, and other images available from atlases in the Atlas Collection or the GRMC. This poster was created using a single atlas, The Penguin State of the World Atlas, which is available in the Atlas Collection and the GRMC and displays numerous topics like war, child labor, obesity, smoking, women’s issues, and the environment. This resource can be accessed from Cardinal Scholar at

The GRMC has two large-format color plotter printers available for printing some of the large maps or posters, and a large-format laminator is also available. (The GRMC charges printing and laminating directly to the Bursar). Students and faculty can create posters to use in presentations and print them in the GRMC. A guide to creating posters is also available on Cardinal Scholar at

Faculty, students, and other researchers using maps and atlases can also find information about citing these resources in Cardinal Scholar using the Guide to the Citation of Maps and Atlases. This guide describes the format for citing cartographic resources and provides examples from University Libraries. The guide can be accessed at

For more information about any of these classroom resources, please contact Melissa Gentry at 765-285-1097 or email


Maps of World Refugees Available from Ball State University Libraries

Maps in the News: World Refugees

The map shown above is part of a feature on world refugees from The State of the World Atlas. The atlas was created by Dan Smith in 2008 and is available from Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) or from the Atlas Collection on the second floor of Bracken Library.

The map shows some of the areas of the world affected by the 14 million refugees worldwide. The bright red countries at the top host from 100,000 to one million refugees. The darker red countries on the bottom map show countries that have over one million internally displaced people—people who have fled their homes but remain in their own countries. For example, Colombia has 3 million internally displaced people, while Iraq has 1.8 million. These maps were created using data from 2006.

The atlas explains that “unsatisfactory and inconsistent statistics” exist to describe the plight of refugees. “While a well-respected independent U.S. organization counts 99 countries as hosting refugees, the U.N. identifies 163 host countries.” The population of refugees includes Palestinians, Iraqis, Afghans and people from countries in Africa, including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, and Somalia.

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

Thursday, August 11, 2011

GIS Presentation at the Indiana State Fair

GIS Goes to the Fair

The Indiana Geographic Information Council (IGIC) will be offering a presentation highlighting GIS initiatives at the Indiana State Fair next Wednesday, August 17 from 12:30 to 2:00 P.M. in the Normandy Barn (click to enlarge above map). The presentation will explain how the growing geographic information infrastructure and technology is helping make Indiana a leader in precision farming, alternative energy, economic development, homeland security, and infrastructure and environmental management.

Jim Sparks, State of Indiana Geographic Information Officer, Phil Worrall, IGIC Executive Director, and others will discuss and demonstrate some of the latest high-tech GIS data and technology advances in the state. Presentation topics include an introduction to IGIC and GIS for Indiana; demonstrations of statewide data programs, including orthophotography, LiDAR, and broadband mapping; and previews of new initiatives across Indiana, including the new IndianaMap Viewer.

Attendance to the presentation is free with a paid admission to the State Fair. Admission to the State Fair is $8. For more information, please contact IGIC at

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Maps of London Available from Ball State University Libraries

Maps in the News: London

Researchers interested in studying the geography of London, England will find dozens of maps of the city in the Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) on the second floor of Bracken Library. The maps range in scope from historic maps to reproductions to current street and tourist maps. And the Atlas Collection also includes many street finders and guides, as well as atlases of the history of London in maps.

A pictorial map of the detailing the history of the city included in the collection features images throughout the city and coats of arms. The GRMC also includes historic reproductions of views of the city in 1413, 1500, 1560, 1616, 1647, and 1749. Another reproduction shows the plan of London designed by Sir Christopher Wren. The National Geographic map Shakespeare’s Britain also features London.

Numerous tourist and guide maps are included in the collection, as well as railway and bus route maps, throughway maps, maps of theaters and cinemas, and maps of London’s postal districts. The London Crafts Map details the location of artists and other craftsmen around the city. A pictorial map of London architecture includes the locations of landmarks with building diagrams. There are also detailed maps of Westminster and other areas of London.

The GRMC created a map called Storybook England that includes works of children’s literature, including many associated with London. And the GRMC’s My Fair Lady Map of London was created to show English students the locations of sites from the play/movie.

The GRMC also includes a copy of Ben Jonson’s London: A Jacobean Placename Dictionary and The Oxford Literary Guide to Great Britain and Ireland. These reference books provide details about the history of places in London.

For more information about these maps, please visit the GRMC Monday through Friday from 7:30 to 4:30.

Maps of Somalia Available from Ball State University Libraries

Maps in the News: Somalia

The Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) on the second floor of Bracken Library includes a collection of maps of Somalia and its capital city, Mogadishu. The collection also features historic maps of this region of Africa formerly known as the Somaliland Protectorate (1956 map) and Somalia and Djibouti (1977 map).

The GRMC has general maps of Somalia produced by the Central Intelligence Agency, maps showing roads, and topographic maps of the country at various scales. Maps depicting the country’s land use and natural resources, population, and ethnic groups (shown above) are also included in the collection. A chart on the map shows the clan families of Somalia and major subclans.

The satellite map of Mogadishu (above) at 1:50,000-scale was published in 1992 by the Centre Geographique Interarmees. The red circles on the map mark the locations of hospitals at that time.

Maps of Somalia have not yet been cataloged and will not appear in the University Libraries’ CardCat system, so contact or visit the GRMC for more information about the maps. The phone number for the GRMC is 765-285-1097 or email

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Delaware County Aerial Photographs Available from Ball State University Libraries

The View from Above: Aerial Photograph Collection Added to Digital Media Repository

A new collection of aerial photography is now available on the Ball State University Libraries’ Digital Media Repository at  The Roger Conatser Aerial Photograph digital collection currently contains over 1500 aerial views of Muncie and Delaware County, Indiana, taken by Muncie resident Roger Conatser in 2005. The collection will grow to include aerial photographs from 1985 through 2005.

The Roger Conatser Aerial Photograph digital collection documents the landmarks and landscape of Muncie and Hartford City. The digital images of Muncie include the central business district, Ball State University, Ball Memorial Hospital, churches, schools, agricultural areas, shopping centers, the White River, Cardinal Greenway, the Minnetrista Cultural Center, parks, industrial sites, and major roadways. The courthouse square, agricultural and residential areas, industrial parks and major roadways of Hartford City are also included in this collection.

For more information about the Digital Media Repository, please contact the Archives and Special Collections at 765-285-5078.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Maps of Syria Available from Ball State University Libraries

Maps in the News: Syria

The Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) has a significant collection of maps of Syria and the Middle East. The maps include both historic maps of the country and the region and new, updated maps.

The image shown above (click to enlarge) is from a historic pictorial map of Syria from 1943 called “Illustrated Syria.” The map depicts agricultural and industrial products and places of interest, including parts of Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon, and then Palestine. An inset map shows main roads, air routes, railroads, pipelines, and political divisions. The map text is written in English and Arabic.

Other maps of Syria in the collection include tourist maps, maps of archaeological sites, road maps with images of sites of interest, economic activity maps, and land use and population maps. A unique tectonic sketch map showing oil wells and petroleum exploration from 1978 was produced by the Foreign Scouting Service. Four sets of topographic maps of Syria at varying scales are also available. Newer maps showing administrative divisions and relief show the changing borders of the region, and many of the maps include the Golan Heights. City maps of Syria are also featured in the collection, including a reproduction of a bird’s eye view map of Damascus from 1575.

The Atlas Collection on the second floor of Bracken Library also includes resources on Syria and the Middle East. The Historical Atlas of Syria and the Lonely Planet Atlas of Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon are available for circulation for one month or longer.

Maps from the GRMC circulate for two weeks or longer.

For more information, please contact the GRMC Monday through Friday during the summer from 7:30 to 4:30 P.M.

Ball State University Libraries Map of the Month

Looking Back: Back to School in 1978
Ball State University Libraries’ Map of the Month

The map of the month for August in the Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) is a map of Ball State University in 1978 (click to enlarge above). The pictorial map features all sorts of activities happening around the campus. The map offers an interesting glimpse of life at Ball State during that time and a chance to review all the new buildings and other changes to the campus.

A copy of the map is available in the Digital Media Repository. For more information about this map, please contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097.