Friday, January 25, 2013

Libya, Algeria, Mali, and North Korea Maps Available from Ball State University Libraries

Maps in the News:  Libya, Algeria, Mali, and North Korea

News this week has been focused on the new terror threats in Mali and Algeria, coverage of the Congressional hearings on Benghazi, Libya, and missile testing in North Korea.  The Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) on the second floor of Bracken Library includes thousands of historic and modern maps of places around the world.  The most up-to-date maps of countries around the world are published by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and the GRMC includes hundreds of political and physical maps in this collection.

The collection of CIA maps is also available online in the Digital Media Repository.  The Ball State University Libraries’ Digital Media Repository  provides online access to a variety of primary source materials including photographs, oral history interviews, film footage, and cartographic resources.  This collection, Maps of the World, provides digital maps of nearly 200 regional and national maps.  These public domain maps reflect the most current changes in national borders and territories.

This collection of current maps of the world provides an excellent resource for research and for use in the classroom.  The maps are clear and easy to read can be conveniently downloaded for use as a visual aid in papers and presentations.

For more information, contact John B. Straw, Assistant Dean for Digital Initiatives and Special Collections, at 765-285-5078.  Contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097.  

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Health And Wellness Maps from Ball State University Libraries

Mapping the Flu:  Health and Wellness Maps Available in Ball State University Libraries

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), an early and “moderate to severe flu season” has prompted officials to declare a public health emergency in Boston, Massachusetts.  Over 700 people have been diagnosed with the virus compared to only 70 at this time last year.

The top map above (click to enlarge) shows the geographic locations of the virus in the last week of 2012.  The brown states are areas where the reported cases of the flu are widespread.  Orange shows regional outbreaks, and the yellow-green of the District of Columbia indicates only local cases.  In the first week of 2013, however, the CDC is now reporting 44 states fall into the “widespread” category.

The CDC Web page is an excellent resource for tracking information about health and wellness issues in the United States.  For world health information, the World Health Organization offers an online Map Gallery that includes the surveillance of diseases and other health and safety issues around the world.

The Ball State University Libraries’ Atlas Collection on the second floor of Bracken Library also includes valuable cartographic resources for health research.  The State of Health Atlas includes hundreds of maps and charts related to a variety of health questions, including mental health issues like suicide (map shown above).

The Tobacco Atlas available in the Atlas Collection was funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and includes maps and charts about tobacco-related diseases around the world.  The chart above shows the top male smoking populations around the world, with China’s male smoking population equaling the entire population of the United States.

The Allyn Bacon Social Atlas of the United States focuses more on health-related maps and charts in the U.S.  The atlas features maps and charts about birth rates, life expectancy, AIDS, pandemic diseases, cancer, and health insurance coverage (map shown above).

The State of the World Atlas, The State of Women in the World Atlas, Atlas of Global Development, Student Atlas of Anthropology, Growing Up in America, and other atlases in the Collection also include maps, photographs, and charts useful in health and wellness research.  Atlases may be circulated for 28 days or longer, and the maps can be easily scanned for inclusion in papers and presentations.

For more information about the Atlas Collection or other cartographic resources, please contact the GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) at 765-285-1097.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Mexican Artifacts and Maps on Display at Ball State University Libraries

Mexican Artifacts on Display in Bracken Library

The Ball State University Department of Modern Languages and Classics is sponsoring an exhibit of Mexican archaeological artifacts in Bracken Library.  The National Institute of Anthropology and History Museum of Mexico donated twenty unique pieces for an exhibit on the second floor of Bracken Library in the display cases on the north side of the Archives and Special Collections.  

The exhibit commemorated the visit of the Deputy Consul of Mexico, Guillermo Gutierrez, and a representative from the Mexican Consulate in Indianapolis on January 4.  Adam Ballart, Instructor of Spanish, curated the exhibit and was responsible for bringing the international delegation to the Ball State University campus.

The exhibit features artifacts from various cultures and regions of Mexico, including Teotihuacan, Chupicuaro, Mexica, Maya, Olmec, and Zapotec.  The age of the artifacts range from the periods between 1200 B.C. and 1521 A.D.

Maps from the Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) were included in the display.  The maps show the locations of some of the cultural areas and important archaeological sites of Mexico and ancient Central America.

The special artifacts and maps will be on display until March 22, 2013.

For more information about using maps for exhibits and presentations, please contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097.

Friday, January 04, 2013

By the Numbers: 2012 in the Ball State University Libraries' GIS Research and Map Collection

Students, faculty, and staff from a variety of departments used the maps, atlases, GIS software, color plotters, and other resources of the Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) in Bracken Library in 2012.  In fact, the list of departments is extremely diverse:  Geography, Urban Planning, Historic Preservation, Landscape Architecture, Architecture, Anthropology, History, Biology, and Construction Management.  Visitors completed projects and research for classes in English, Art, Elementary Education, Natural Resources and Environmental Management, Journalism, Sociology, Political Science, and Modern Languages and Classics.

By the numbers:  Staff of the GRMC provided instructional sessions on cartographic resources to 86 classes with 1,828 students.  2,752 maps were circulated; 2,336 cartographic reference questions were researched using 23,949 maps and other resources in the GRMC. GIS software was used by 763 visitors to the GIS Research Area or with the assistance of the GIS Specialist.  1,478 people used the large-format color plotters for printing posters for presentations, and 315 items were laminated using the large-format laminator.  And this GRMC Blog had 61,716 page views in 2012.

Contact the GRMC about any of these services or resources at 765-285-1097 Monday through Friday.