Thursday, October 30, 2014

GIS Story Maps for Halloween

Halloween Cartography:  ESRI Story Map Celebrity Cemetery Tour

ESRI, the international supplier of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software and applications, created an interactive mapping tool called "Story Maps."  Story Maps “combine interactive maps and multimedia content into elegant user experiences…and make it easy to harness the power of maps to tell stories.”  The maps are created by a diverse community of authors, and one of the latest added to the Story Map Gallery just in time for Halloween is called Where Are the Bodies?

WhereAre the Bodies? Story Map provides locations of celebrity burial sites using Digital Globe satellite imagery.  The celebrities include historical figures, notorious criminals, and great authors like Ernest Hemingway (buried in Ketchum, Idaho), William Shakespeare (buried in Warwickshire, England) and Bram Stoker (London, England).  The Grimm Brothers, authors of spooky fairy tales, are buried in Berlin, Germany.

The map also includes legends of Hollywood:  Marilyn Monroe is buried in Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles, California.  Bela Lugosi, best known for his role as “Dracula,” was buried in one of his Dracula capes in Culver City, California.  Actor Marlon Brando had his ashes scattered in Death Valley, California, and in Tahiti, while legendary director Alfred Hitchcock’s ashes were spread over the Pacific Ocean.

Musician Janis Joplin’s ashes were also scattered over the Pacific Ocean.  John Lennon’s ashes were scattered over Central Park in New York, New York.  Buddy Holly is buried in Lubbock, Texas.  Jimi Hendrix is buried in Renton, Washington.  Freddie Mercury was cremated at Kensal Green Cemetery in London, England, but his burial location is unknown.  And the grave site of Jim Morrison, lead singer of The Doors, at Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris, France, is one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions and has attracted vandals since his death in 1971.

This Story Map also includes celebrities with connections to Indiana:  America’s first “Public Enemy Number One,” John Dillinger and author Kurt Vonnegut (both native Hoosiers) are buried in Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis, Indiana.  Indiana native Michael Jackson’s gravesite in Glendale, California is also featured on the map.  And Indiana actor James Dean was buried in Fairmount, Indiana, following his fatal car crash in 1955.

For more information about using story maps, visit the ESRI Web page or contact Angela Gibson, GIS Specialist, in the Ball State University Libraries GIS Research and Map Collection at 765-285-1097. 

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