Tuesday, January 27, 2015

World War II and Holocaust Maps Available from Ball State University Libraries

Holocaust Remembrance Day:  Mapping Auschwitz

Today is International Holocaust Remembrance Day.  The United Nations designated January 27 as the day of this annual commemoration to mark the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau on January 27, 1945.

The Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) has a large collection of World War II-era maps and atlases that depict events and places related to the Holocaust.  Historical Atlas of the Holocaust was published by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and includes maps and statistics related to the camps in Germany and Eastern Europe.

On Auschwitz:  Auschwitz was the largest camp established by the Germans.  It was a complex of camps, including a concentration, extermination, and forced-labor camp.  It was located 37 miles west of Krakow, near the prewar German-Polish border in Eastern Upper Silesia, an area annexed to Germany in 1939.  Three large camps established near the Polish town of Oswiecim constituted the Auschwitz camp complex:  Auschwitz I, Auschwitz II (Birkenau), and Auschwitz III (Monowitz).

The top map above (click to enlarge) shows the location of Auschwitz in Europe with the borders of 1939 shown.  The second map is a diagram of the main camp in 1944.  According to the atlas, the camp was continuously expanded by forced labor.

The third map shows the routes of death marches and evacuations implemented by the SS in mid-January 1945 to move the prisoners to other camps in Germany.  According to the atlas, nearly 60,000 prisoners were forced on death marches from the Auschwitz camp system.  Thousands had been killed in the camps in the days before the death march….More than 15,000 died during the death marches from Auschwitz…. On January 27, 1945, the Soviet army entered Auschwitz and liberated over 7,000 remaining prisoners, who were mostly ill and dying.

The fourth map shows the locations and dates of the liberation other camps throughout Europe.  British and Canadian troops liberated the camps in northern Europe in the spring of 1945.  American troops liberated camps along the Western Front beginning in April of 1945.  Soviet troops began liberating camps in the Eastern Front in July 1944.

The final map is a map published by the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) in April of 1944.  The map shows the vast network of highways and railroads used by the Germans for moving prisoners and troops throughout Europe.

The OSS was an intelligence agency created during World War II to coordinate the movement of U.S. troops and other plans across Europe.  A predecessor to today’s Central Intelligence Agency, the GRMC includes a large collection of maps of Europe and other regions of the world published during the War by the OSS.

For more information about using maps and atlases for historical research and learning, please contact the GRMC Monday through Friday at 765-285-1097.

Monday, January 26, 2015

ESRI Online Mapping Application for Snowfall Predictions

Blizzard Blast:  ESRI Offers Snowfall Forecast Map

ESRI, the leading GIS software producer, and its Disaster Response Program has created a web mapping application designed to show the accumulation of snowfall over the Northeast U.S. for the next few days.  The map uses snowfall predictions from the National Weather Service, and the totals include ranges over two feet in depth.

Users can pan and zoom the map and identify personal locations.  Using the “Places” option, the New York metropolitan area or the Northeast can be shown.  Snowfall totals are given in six-hour intervals through January 28.  Most of the coastal area can expect from two- to three-feet of snow.

ESRI GIS software is available in the Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC), and a GIS Specialist is available for assistance.  Computers in the Educational Technology and Resources Collection in the lower level of Bracken Library and computers in the Architecture Library also include the latest ESRI GIS software.

For more information about using GIS for research and learning, please contact Angela Gibson, GIS Specialist, at 765-285-1097.

Ball State University Libraries Provides Maps for Exhibits and Programs

Around the World in One Semester:  Culture Exchange Program Features Maps from Ball State University Libraries

The Ball State University Rinker Center for International Programs will be presenting another semester of international speakers for their Culture Exchange program.  Every Wednesday at noon in the L.A. Pittenger Student Center Yuhas Room presenters will highlight the culture and lifestyle of countries around the world. 

The Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) provides maps and photographs from atlases to create exhibits to serve as a backdrop for the program.  The poster exhibits from past speakers are available in PDF-format in the Cardinal Scholar repository.  These posters may be used for other exhibits or for research and learning.

The program begins this Wednesday:

§  January 28:  Abbas Jammali, Iraq
§  February 4:  Kheiria Benkato, Libya
§  February 11:  Naweed Bakhtani, Afghanistan
§  February 25:  Mamadou Djiguimde, Burkina Faso
§  March 11:  Natasha Francksen, United Kingdom
§  March 18:  Sharifa Djurabaeva and Ziyoda Gazieva, Uzbekistan
§  March 25:  Isaac Muhando, Kenya
§  April 1:  Emilie Snickars, Finland
§  April 8:  Luma Bashmi, Bahrain
§  April 15:  Danah Alqunfuzi, Saudi Arabia

For more information about using maps for exhibits or other programs, please contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Miss Universe Pageant Maps Available from Ball State University Libraries

Mapping Beauty:  Map of Countries with Miss Universe Pageant Winners

The 63rd Annual Miss Universe Pageant airs on Sunday night.  The Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) presents a map showing the countries with winners of the pageant from 1952 to 2013. 

The map, (above, click to enlarge) Eye of the Beholder, features countries with winning contestants in red.  This map is based on a map (above) showing countries with participants in the pageant featured in The Penguin Atlas of Women in the World by Joni Seager available from the Atlas Collection and the GRMC on the second floor of Bracken Library.

The map from the atlas shows participating countries in purple and serves as a study in the perception of beauty and beauty pageants.  Many of the countries in the Middle East and Africa have never participated in the pageant—either due to cultural limitations, expense, or other traditions.

According to the atlas, “International beauty contests promote and export a white, Western standard of beauty.  Globalization is accelerating the adoption of these standards around the world.”  The first five winners of the pageant were from the United States or Western Europe.  Japan was the first Asian country to produce a winner in 1959.  Miss Lebanon won the pageant in 1971; Miss South Africa won in 1978; and Miss Namibia won in 1992.  The United States has the most winners with eight, and Venezuela has won seven pageants.

Hundreds of maps and atlases depicting numerous women’s issues are available for research and learning.  Maps featuring important events in the lives of prominent women are also available from the GRMC, including Amelia Earhart, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Madam C.J. Walker, and Jane Austen.  The GRMC provides an online guide for finding cartographic resources for women’s studies and a subject guide listing available maps and atlases.  The map of the winners is available from the University Libraries' Cardinal Scholar.

For more information about using maps and atlases for social research, please contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Ball State University Holiday Hours

The Ball State University Libraries' GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) will be closed on Monday, January 19 for the Martin Luther King holiday.  The GRMC will reopen at 8:00 am on Tuesday, January 20.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Using Maps in the News to Teach Geography

Mapping “Je Suis Charlie:”  A Lesson in Geography

In the hours following the attack on the Charlie Hebdo magazine office in Paris, France, millions of people on Twitter began using the hashtag “Je Suis Charlie” as a demonstration of unity for the people of France.  According to The Telegraph, the hashtag was tweeted at a rate of 6,500 times per minute and featured 3.4 million tweets in just one 24-hour period.

The Telegraph published a heat-map depicting the frequency of tweets using the hashtag.  Most of Europe, populated Canada, and the United States were lit up brightly on the map, as were many of the Caribbean Islands with ties to France. 

Identifying specific countries and cities on the map would be a timely lesson for geography students of all ages.  Teachers could have students working in groups or individually use a world map or atlas to try to determine locations identified on the heat-map. 

Some world cities are easy to locate:  Circles marking Wellington, New Zealand; Manila, Philippines; Lima, Peru; Seoul, South Korea; and Osaka and Tokyo, Japan can be clearly identified.  Delhi, India is a clear location on the map, but what city lies on the east coast of the country, just across from Sri Lanka?  And what island country is lit up just southwest of India?

Bangkok, Thailand is clearly depicted on the map.  But what cities in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea are depicted?  And what city on the coast of southern China is clearly defined with lots of tweets?

Most of the United States and populated Canada is lit up so that cities cannot be distinguished.  But what two cities in the north and central parts of Canada are shown with circles?  And can students identify which circle represents Mexico City?  And Rio de Janeiro is clearly located on the coast of Brazil, but what city is shown in central Brazil?

In Russia and the Ukraine, students may be able to identify Moscow and St. Petersburg and Kiev.  But what city is located at the circle in the far north of Russia just below Novaya Zemlya?  And what city is being depicted in Kazakhstan?

And Sydney and Melbourne, Australia can be identified on the east coast of the country.  But what cities are located in the center of Australia and near the northern part of Queensland?

Some countries in Africa show strong use of the hashtag, although actual cities associated with the locations may be more unclear.  Cote D’Ivoire has historical ties to France, as does Gabon in central Africa.  Reunion and other islands located east of Madagascar are also associated with France.  Other clear circles are depicted in Libya, Kenya, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana, and Cape Verde.  But what countries are identified with lighter circles in northern and central Africa?

The Ball State University Libraries GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) creates custom geography lesson plans, games, and maps for use by K-12 teachers in the classroom.  These resources can be accessed from the Cardinal Scholar digital repository.  In fact, one teacher recently referred to the GRMC section of Cardinal Scholar as "Pinterest for teachers."  

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

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Martin Luther King Commemorative Map Featuring Selma Available from Ball State University Libraries

Map of the Month:  Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Map

The new movie “Selma” debuts on Friday just ahead of the January 19 Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday.  Each month the Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) displays a special map as the “Map of the Month,” and the map for this month is Journey of a King: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior.

The GRMC created the map in 2012 to celebrate the national holiday.  The map (above, click to enlarge) depicts some of the places the civil rights leader visited during his lifetime.  The map is based on locations in the book MLK: Journey of a King by Tonya Bolden available from the General Collection in Bracken Library.

The map features photographs from the book and a timeline of important events in the life of Dr. Marin Luther King, Jr.  The map covers King’s travels around the United States as he worked for civil rights, but he also visited Africa, the Holy Land, and Oslo, Norway for his acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.

The map includes many little-known facts like Dr. King was named Michael when he was born in Atlanta in 1929, but his father changed both of their names after the family traveled to Germany in 1934 in honor of the German reformer, Martin Luther.  And Dr. King was stabbed by a woman during his book tour in New York in 1958.

The map is currently being displayed in the front windows of the GRMC on the second floor of Bracken Library. 

A PDF-format version of the map is available from the Ball State University Libraries’ Cardinal Scholar and can be used for classroom lessons and presentations or personal interest.  The GRMC has a large-format plotter available for members of the Ball State University community for printing large maps.

Please contact the GRMC Monday through Friday from 8:00 to 5:00 at 765-285-1097 for more information about this map and other maps for exhibits and classroom lessons.

Monday, January 05, 2015

Indiana State Police Using Online Interactive Map

Maps in the News:  Indiana State Police Using Interactive Maps

The Indiana State Police have created an interactive map that gives prospective renters or home owners a chance to see if their property was once a methamphetamine lab or dump site.

The data used to create this tool comes from a State Police database of locations of methamphetamine labs and dump sites dating back to 2007.  The data is curated and exported to the interactive map through the state’s technology agency.  

Some properties will remain unpublished due to legal technicalities, but the public can still learn about even unpublished properties by directly contacting the Indiana State Police or the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.

Users can also view a heat map of cities with an especially large methamphetamine presence—Columbus, Evansville, Fort Wayne, and Muncie.  According to the map, there were 1,568 incidents throughout the state in 2013.

Indiana History Map Available from Ball State University Libraries

New Year, New Map: Indiana Firsts Map Available from Ball State University Libraries

The Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) is creating custom maps of Indiana’s rich history.  The maps are geared toward the fourth-grade Indiana history curriculum and feature numerous people and places often neglected in the elementary social studies textbook.

The newest map (above, click to enlarge) is appropriate for the first of the New Year—First Things First: Innovations, Inventions, and Incidents in Indiana History.  This map details some of the “firsts” things in Indiana history.  For example, the Muncie/Congerville Flyers were one of the founding teams of the league that would later become the National Football League.  And the Reno Gang perpetrated the first train robbery in the United States in Seymour.

Whigs, Willkie, and the White House is a map featuring prominent figures and events in the state’s rich political history.  A map of Indiana’s automobile history and another about the state’s sports history are also available from the GRMC.

Other maps in the series include a map of Indiana’s music history, a map showing movies that take place in Indiana, a map of prominent authors from the state, a map of Indiana high school boys’ basketball state champions, and a map of Indiana points of interest.

All of the maps are available for download from the Libraries’ Cardinal Scholar institutional repository.  And the maps feature photographs from the Digital Media Repository and the Indiana Historical Society.  The maps may be printed and used in the classroom or for research, learning projects, or personal interest.  (The GRMC also offers large-format color printing on two plotters for members of the Ball State University community).

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