Monday, December 12, 2011

Geography Classes Using Ball State University Libraries' Maps

Geography Students Learn about the Effects of Flooding Using Topographic Maps

Dr. David Call, Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography at Ball State University, teaches two sections of Geography 101: Earth, Sea, and Sky: A Geographic View. In the class, students learn about selected aspects of the physical environment and their relationship to human occupancy of the earth.

The final project for the students this fall involved learning about the effects of flooding on various environments around the United States. Dr. Call used topographic maps from the University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) to show students how these environmental factors are depicted graphically on the maps.

Students used maps of New Orleans and Laplace, Louisiana, Chester, Illinois, and Natchez and Valley, Mississippi to study how the changing course of rivers affect state boundaries and land claims, how the city’s low elevation affects New Orleans, and how river deltas can be an excellent resource for fossil fuels. Dr. Call also uses topographic maps from the GRMC for another assignment about cities in relation to rivers and mountains and glacial landforms and transportation evolution.

The GRMC provides maps for professors, teachers, and students for presentations and classroom projects. Maps from the GRMC can be used for these special projects for the entire semester. All maps circulate for two weeks or longer. Please contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097 or email for more information about using maps in the classroom.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Pearl Harbor Map Exhibit at Ball State University Libraries

Pearl Harbor Maps Available from Ball State University Libraries

Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) is featuring a special maps exhibit to mark the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. National Geographic published a map to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the attack, and the map is being featured in the window of the GRMC on the second floor of Bracken Library.

The GRMC includes many maps about World War II—several actually produced during the war. This particular map (shown above—click to enlarge) includes an aerial photograph of Battleship Row and the Navy Yard taken three days after the Japanese attack. Oil from the sunken and damaged ships can be seen streaming through the harbor. The map details what happened to each of the battleships on that day, including a description of the 1,100 lives lost on the Arizona. The verso of the map is a map of the Pacific Theater of World War II.

The Atlas Collection also on the second floor of Bracken Library features many maps about World War II. The Atlas of Weaponry includes this map (above—click to enlarge) showing the wave of bombers that attacked the harbor on December 7, 1941.

Maps from the GRMC circulate for two weeks or longer. Atlases from the Atlas Collection circulate for 28 days or longer. For more information on using cartographic resources, please contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097 or email  

Monday, December 05, 2011

Ball State University LIbraries Offers Indiana Hydrology GIS Datasets

University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection Offers Indiana Hydrology GIS Datasets

The University Libraries’GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) has recently compiled and made available a comprehensive collection of Indiana water-related GIS datasets. This new resource, available to those in the Ball State Community via the University Libraries LIBGIS data server, consists of nearly twenty datasets from multiple state and federal organizations and was created to make access to this data faster and easier by Ball State students, faculty, and staff.

Watershed, surface water, and groundwater data is created by multiple entities such as the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Wetland Inventory (NWI) and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). Each of these departments has its own independent Web site for downloading data, which makes locating data a potentially time-consuming task. By compiling all the data created by these units into a centralized, accessible location on the LIBGIS data server, users are able to spend more time analyzing and creating maps with the data instead of searching for it on multiple Web sites.

The Indiana Water GIS Collection can be accessed on the LIBGIS server by mapping a network drive to \\LIBGIS\GCMC\data and navigating to the Indiana Water Data folder. Users will also have access to local county GIS datasets and ESRI International data when accessing the LIBGIS data drive. For instructions on mapping a network drive to the LIBGIS server, please see our tutorial entitled “Accessing GIS Data on the University Libraries’ GIS Data Server,” available online at  

The University Libraries also offer access to the Indiana Water Quality Atlas, a software application created by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, on all the public access computers in the GRMC. The Indiana Water Quality Atlas is a Web-based interactive mapping application created to provide access to a wide array of GIS data through a common interface for watershed management, land use planning, and water quality analysis purposes.

For more information about available GIS datasets on the LIBGIS server, or about using the Indiana Water Quality Atlas application, email Angela S. Gibson at  or call 765-285-1097.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Map of Tehran from Ball State University Libraries

Maps in the News: Tehran, Iran

The Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) has a large collection of maps and atlases of Iran and the Middle East. The collection includes new and historic topographic, tourist, geological, and street maps. The Atlas Collection includes several atlases of Iran, including geological maps of Persia compiled by British Petroleum Company in 1956.

The map shown above (click to enlarge) identifies the location of the former United States Embassy in Tehran. The map was published in 1978, so the street names of nearby Roosevelt and America and even Shahreza have been changed since the revolution in Iran.

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.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

College of Architecture and Planning Gallery Exhibit

CAP Gallery Exhibit: 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition

Unity & Utopia: The 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition is currently on display in the Ball State University College of Architecture and Planning Gallery. The photographic profile features photogravure plates selected from William Henry Jackson’s The White City (as it was) and Jackson’s Famous Pictures of the World’s Fair, published in 1894 and 1895. Both publications are part of the archival collections of the Drawings + Documents Archive.

Augmenting this photographic tour of the fair is a series of HD 3D animations developed by the Urban Simulation Team, School of the Arts and Architecture, UCLA. These images were created from original building, site, and landscape construction documents for the Exposition and present a fascinating and colorful contrast to the detailed black and white photography in the Jackson publications.

A larger copy of a bird’s-eye view map of the Exposition from the GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) is featured in the display. This map is part of the GRMC collection of similar maps from the Library of Congress’ American Memory Collection of cities and towns.

The exhibit is a joint project of the University Libraries’ Drawing + Documents Archive and the CAP Exhibits Program. It continues through Wednesday, December 7. The CAP gallery is located in Architecture Building room 121 and is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 to 4:30.

HIV/AIDS Maps Available from Ball State University Libraries

World AIDS Day: HIV/AIDS Maps Available from Ball State University Libraries

World AIDS Day is held on December 1 each year as an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show support for people living with the condition, and to remember those who have died. The theme for the 2011 is “Leading with Science, Uniting for Action.” The first World AIDS Day was held in 1988.

Many of the atlases available from the Atlas Collection in Bracken Library feature maps that depict the AIDS crisis around the world. The Penguin Atlas of Women in the World published a map showing the number of adults living with HIV/AIDS as of 2006-2007. The map features a graphic showing the number of men and women living with the disease. More women than men in Sub-Saharan Africa have HIV/AIDS.

Another map from the atlas shows the availability to drugs fighting the disease in Sub-Saharan Africa. Less than 10% of the population in many of these countries is receiving anti-retroviral drugs as of 2005. Another graph depicts the estimated number of people who died each week from HIV/AIDS in 2005.

The Penguin State of the World Atlas also features a similar map. This map includes the percentage of people infected during 2007.

The Penguin Atlas of Human Sexual Behavior from the Atlas Collection includes a map showing the HIV/AIDS population. This map also depicts the countries where more women than men have the disease. According to this map, “By 2015, AIDS will reduce the life expectancy by 17 years in countries with high HIV prevalence” in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The Allyn Bacon Social Atlas of the United States features a map and chart describing the HIV/AIDS prevalence here in America. The map shows the number of persons living with the disease in 2002 and the Center for Disease Control spending in each state. The chart from the atlas shows the number of new diagnoses, which have actually declined since the 1990’s due to prevention and treatment improvements.

Atlases are great resources for maps, charts, photographs, and other graphics, and atlases can be easily scanned for use in papers or presentations. The Atlas Collection in Bracken Library includes thousands of atlases that feature maps about many significant world and regional issues. For more information about using maps as visual aids, please contact the GIS Research and Map Collection in Bracken Library at 765-285-1097 or use the online guide for using maps for papers and presentations at