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

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