Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Maps of Havana, Three Mile Island, and Washington, DC Available from Ball State University Libraries

Maps in the News: Havana, Cuba, Three Mile Island, and the Supreme Court

The Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) in Bracken Library houses nearly 145,000 maps that can be used for research and learning. The Collection includes tourist and road maps, topographic maps, and various thematic maps covering thousands of places and topics—from historic to modern.

The map shown above of The Mall in Washington, D.C., is a pop-out map published by the Compass Map Group. This laminated map neatly folds into a portable 4-inch by 5-inch shape. It includes maps of Old Town Alexandria, Virginia; Georgetown; Greater Washington; The Mall; and a map of the Metro rail system. The Mall is anchored by the Lincoln Memorial and the U.S. Capitol. The Supreme Court of the United States is currently listening to arguments regarding healthcare at the location on Capital Street and First Street. The GRMC includes several tourist maps and guide books of the nation’s capital that may be checked out for two weeks or longer.

On this day, March 28, 1979, the worst nuclear disaster occurred at the Three Mile Island plant when a reactor experienced a partial meltdown near Middletown, Pennsylvania. The above portion of the Middletown, Pennsylvania topographic map shows the location of the reactors at the site. This map was published by the United States Geological Survey in 1999. The GRMC maintains a collection of USGS topographic maps for the entirety of the United States.

The map of central Havana, Cuba shown above depicts the location of the Plaza de la Revolucion’ (Revolution Plaza) where Pope Benedict delivered an open-air Mass during his visit to the island country. The GRMC maintains a large collection of maps and atlases of Cuba, both pre- and post-revolutionary era. Historic maps of the island country date back to 1922 and include topographic maps of Cuba published by the U.S. Department of War in 1933. The collection also includes city maps, bilingual tourist maps, maps of Cuba’s urban and rural population, physical and political maps of the country.

Maps from the GRMC may be circulated for two weeks or longer. For more information, please contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097 Monday through Friday from 8:00 to 5:00, or email Melissa Gentry at

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Ball State University Libraries Offer Maps Related to Kony, Uganda Crisis

Maps in the News: Kony, Uganda, and Child Soldiers

A group of activists posted a video on YouTube recently about a civil conflict in Africa that began 30 years ago. The video was long and sad, but within a few days over 75 million people had watched it.

The video details the story of Joseph Kony, who became head of the Lord’s Resistance Army, a guerilla group in Uganda, in the mid-1980’s. The activists wanted to bring attention to how Kony began a terror campaign kidnapping thousands of children and forcing them into child warfare, rape, and murder.

The top map above (click to enlarge) depicts the countries in the world where child soldiers have been used in active combat by militias, including Uganda and other countries of central Africa. The second map shows the countries where warlords and militias are actively fighting as of 2008. Again Uganda and other central African countries are included. The third map shows the countries with non-state wars. The maps are from the Penguin State of the World Atlas available in the GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) and Atlas Collection on the second floor of Bracken Library.

The atlas is an excellent resource for maps, charts, and other graphics detailing many social issues from around the world. The atlas includes maps about education, warfare, gender equality, the world economy, energy resources, and health. The atlas was published in 2008, so the data used to create the maps and graphs is current.

A reference copy is always available in the GRMC so that the maps can be scanned and used as visual aids for papers and presentations. Several copies of the atlas in the Atlas Collection may be circulated for 28 days or longer.

For more information about this atlas or using maps as visual aids, please contact the GRMC Monday through Friday from 8:00 to 5:00 at 765-285-1097 or email Melissa Gentry at

Thursday, March 08, 2012

The History of Women in the United States Congress Map Available from Ball State University Libraries

Women's History Month Exhibit at Ball State University Libraries: Mapping the Women of the United States Congress

The GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) in Bracken Library is marking Women's History Month with a special map exhibit.  The map shown above (click to enlarge) details the history of some of the pioneering women of the United States Congress, including Jeannette Rankin of Montana and Shirley Chisholm of New York.

The map is also available from the University Libraries' Cardinal Scholar here: and may be used in classrooms or for other exhibits or presentations.  Previous map exhibits created by the GRMC celebrating Women's History Month can also be accessed in the Cardinal Scholar repository.

For more information about this map or how to use the resources from the GRMC for presentations, please contact Melissa Gentry at or call 765-285-1097.

Friday, March 02, 2012

Indiana High School Boys Basketball State Champions Map Exhibit

March Map-ness: Indiana High School Boys Basketball Champions Map at Ball State Univeristy Libraries
The Ball State University Libraries' GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) created this map of Indiana High School Boys Basketball Champions for a March exhibit to coincide with the beginning of the high school state basketball tournament.  The map shows the locations of the state champions in boys basketball from 1911 with Crawfordsville High School to 1997 with Bloomington North, just before class basketball was introduced in the tournament in 1998.  The hometown team, Muncie Central, leads the state with eight championships during that time.

The map is also available for printing from the University Libraries' Cardinal Scholar:

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