Friday, August 21, 2015

Hurricane Katrina Maps at Ball State University Libraries

Ten Years after Katrina:  Hurricane Maps Available from Ball State University Libraries

Next week marks the tenth anniversary of the landfall of Hurricane Katrina, one of the deadliest and costliest hurricanes in the history of the United States.  President Obama will be visiting New Orleans to commemorate the event, and the Weather Channel will be hosting “Hurricane Week” with special programming. 

The Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) on the second floor of Bracken Library includes maps, atlases, and other cartographic resources depicting the impact of hurricanes in the United States.  The U.S. Geological Survey published a map (above, click to enlarge) in 2005 showing the relative water depth for the New Orleans area after Hurricane Katrina.  Red on the map represents areas of the city with more than eleven feet of floodwaters. 

New Orleans from Space (above) is a map that shows how the configuration of the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain and their flooding impact on the city.  The GRMC also includes a collection of maps showing the most intense tropical storms over time.  Topographic maps from the U.S.G.S. (above) note elevation levels and reveal the locations of canals and levees between the rivers and the lake.  These maps have been useful in studying the history of the development of the city.

The AccuWeather Web page has an Interactive Hurricane Tracker where users can view historical storm tracks.  Users can choose the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Ocean; then select a year (2005 for Hurricane Katrina); then select a named storm.  The page shows the track of the storm with the levels of the hurricane’s strength marked (see Hurricane Katrina above).

For more information about using the cartographic resources from Ball State University Libraries, please contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097 from 8:00 to 5:00 Monday through Friday.

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