Friday, May 31, 2013

Summer Road Trip Exhibit at Ball State University Libraries

Hitting the Road:  Summer Road Trip Exhibit at Ball State University Libraries

A new exhibit is on display on the second floor of Bracken Library:  Summer Road Trip features historic maps, road atlases, photographs, tour guides, and other materials depicting the heyday of the automobile.  Ball State University Libraries’ Archives and Special Collections and GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) collaborated to create the special exhibit for the summer.  Jeff Koenker, Bracken Library Bookstacks Supervisor, also generously donated historic maps, cases, and guides from his personal collection for the display.

With the Eisenhower-era creation of the national interstate system came a strong interest and desire to travel the country via the car.  The maps, atlases, photographs, and ephemera displayed in this exhibit provide a taste of what travel was like during this historic period and detail some of the tourist destinations. 

Historic photographs from the Archives and Special Collections feature historic filling stations, drive-in restaurants, and beaches.  Historic tour guides illustrate how directions to popular cities and destinations were written using local landmarks like fences and trees.  The maps from the GRMC and the Koenker collection and the atlases from the Atlas Collection feature beautiful artwork and advertising meant to persuade drivers to travel the country (map images shown above--click to enlarge).

Maps from the GRMC featured in the exhibit include a Indiana road maps from 1925 and 1934, a 1945 map of Indianapolis showing the location of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, a 1932 road map of Colorado that once belonged to activist Margaret Sanger, historic pictorial maps of Missouri and Florida, a modern map of Route 66, and a unique modern road map of the state of Hawaii.

The exhibit is located in the display cases on the north side of the Archives and Special Collections.  For more information about these resources, please contact Neal Coil from the Archives and Special Collections at 765-285-5078.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Ball State University Libraries' Atlas Collection Features Maps for History Research

Looking Back:  Using Atlases in the Study of History

The Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) and the Atlas Collection on the second floor of Bracken Library provide unique cartographic resources for learning about historical events.  Over 145,000 maps, atlases and charts can be used for research and learning about the past.  Maps included in atlases can be especially conveniently scanned and incorporated into research papers, lessons and other classroom presentations as visual aids.

Today, May 17 marks the anniversary of the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court landmark Brown versus the Board of Education of Topeka ruling.  The Court declared state laws establishing “separate but equal” public schools unconstitutional.  The map above (click to enlarge) shows the states requiring segregation at the time of this decision.  The map is from the United States History Atlas from the Atlas Collection.

Ball State University social studies education student-teachers taught a lesson about the Diary of Anne Frank and wished to incorporate maps to help their elementary students better understand the situation.  The maps above are from the Atlas of the Holocaust.

Native American Studies students researching the history of the Navajo used this map depicting the locations of parks and sacred places for a class presentation.  The map is available from The Navajo Atlas in the Atlas Collection.

A local seventh-grade social studies teacher incorporated maps with a lesson about the Trojan War and The Iliad and The Odyssey.  This map, The Homeric World, is from the Atlas of Classical History.

Atlases about history and atlases featuring specific historical events or eras can be an important resource for cartographic research.  The Atlas Collection houses nearly 3,000 atlases covering a wide-ranging list of topics and themes and geographic locations from all over the world.  Topical maps from atlases can be easily scanned and can add visual interest and impact to a message.  Atlases also circulate for 28 days or longer.

For more information, please contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097 Monday through Friday from 7:30 to 4:30 during the summer.

Monday, May 13, 2013

New Improved Digital Media Repository from Ball State University Libraries

Ball State University Libraries Announce New and Improved Digital Media Repository
by Michael Szajewski, Archivist for Digital Development and University Records

The Ball State University Libraries are pleased to introduce a new and improved Digital Media Repository (DMR), featuring a redesigned interface and incorporating the latest updates to CONTENTdm, the repository’s content management system.  The newly designed DMR provides a more dynamic and interactive user experience, highlighting the value of the repository’s diverse digital collections and enhancing the discovery, visibility, searching of digital resources that support learning, teaching, and research.

New features include an enhanced image viewer that provides for easy zooming and panning, allowing users to enjoy a greater level of interactivity with DMR’s varied and diverse visual materials, including photographs, maps, and architectural drawings.  The newly designed repository incorporates user comments and tagging to provide digital users with a more social experience.

New image downloading options give users increased access to archival material and educational content.  Enhanced Search Engine Optimization improves the discoverability of DMR assets in web search engines, expanding the global reach of Ball State University’s unique digital content.  These new enhancements make the DMR a dynamic and interactive learning and research tool for Ball State students and faculty and for users worldwide.

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Indiana GIS Conference News

Ball State University Libraries Hosts 2013 Indiana GIS Conference

The 2013 Indiana Geographic Information Council Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Conference will take place in Muncie on May 7 and 8, including workshop sessions at Ball State University Libraries.  Class sessions will be held in the GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) in Bracken Library.

The state conference will feature over 45 workshops and presentations, with hands-on workshops and “top-notch educational opportunities.”  The complete class and workshop schedule with locations is available.

The conference will also include over 25 booths showcasing the latest geospatial technology covering all facets of GIS use and development.  The vendor showcase will be located in the Exhibition Ballroom of the Horizon Convention Center in Muncie.

The conference also includes a bike tour of Muncie, a meet-up in downtown Muncie, a social orienteering event, a golf outing, and a reception.  Complete details are available on the conference Web page.

The GRMC GIS Specialist is available to provide assistance using and analyzing GIS and integrating hardware, software, and data for education and research projects.  For more information about using GIS, please contact Angela Gibson, GIS Specialist, at 765-285-1097. 

Weather Maps Exhibit in Ball State University Libraries

Tornado Week:  Ball State University Cartography Students Create Weather Maps

This week is “Tornado Week” on cable television’s The Weather Channel.  The week features informative segments on tornadoes and special tornado-themed episodes of shows such as “Deadliest Space Weather” and “Storm Riders.”  The Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) on the second floor of Bracken Library is exhibiting tornado-related maps to mark the tornado season.

Students in Geography 340 cartography classes create custom maps for a final project, and many of the students design maps related to weather events.  Dr. Elizabeth Vaughan, Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography, donates some of the student maps from the class to the GRMC each year.  Some of these maps are featured in the tornado map exhibit.

Daniel Mills created a map showing the locations of F5 tornadoes in the United States from 1950-2007.  The map (above, click to enlarge) shows the number of tornadoes, injuries, and fatalities during that time period. 

Chris Stumpf created the map Lightning Hazards in the United States.  This map includes the number of average strikes of lightning around the U.S. shown in varying shades of pink and the number of deaths from lightning.

For more information about these maps, please contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097.