Thursday, December 31, 2015


Happy New Year from the GIS Research and Map Collection!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Miss Universe Map Available from Ball State University Libraries

The Cartography of Beauty:  Miss Universe Winners Map

The Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) created this map of the Miss Universe pageant winners in 2014.  The map (click to enlarge) is based on the related map featured in The Penguin Atlas of Women in the World (published in 2009) available in the GRMC and the Atlas Collection on the second floor of Bracken Library.

The map identifies countries that have had one winner of the Miss Universe pageant, which began in 1952.  The map also teaches a lesson in the culture considerations of beauty.  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 winner of the pageant in 1952 was from Finland, and the first five winners of the pageant were from Western European countries or the United States.  A contestant from the United States has won the pageant eight times; Venezuela has won seven; Puerto Rico has won five; and the Philippines has won three crowns, including the 2015 pageant.

Most Middle Eastern and African countries do not participate in the pageant.  A contestant from Lebanon was the first from a Middle Eastern country to win the pageant in 1971.  And the first African winner was from South Africa in 1978.  And many communist-bloc countries did not participate in the pageant until recently.  Russia sent its first contestant in 1991 and won the pageant for the first time in 2002, although the winner was later dethroned.  China’s first contestant participated in the pageant in 1994.

This map is an excellent example of how cartographic resources can be used as visual aids to teach topical issues.  Topical maps from atlases can be easily scanned and inserted into papers and presentations for the classroom.  Using maps in this way can add visual interest and add impact for conveying messages.

The map is available for download from the Libraries’ Cardinal Scholar repository.

For more information about using maps and other cartographic resources for research and learning, please contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097. 

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Holiday Hours at Ball State University Libraries

Holiday Break Hours in the GIS Research and Map Collection

The Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) will be open from 8:00 to 5:00 on Monday and Tuesday, December 21 and 22.  The GRMC will be open from 8:00 to 3:00 on December 23 and closed on December 24 and 25.

The GRMC will reopen from 8:00 to 5:00 on Monday, December 28 through Wednesday, December 30, and open from 8:00 to 3:00 on New Year’s Eve, Thursday, December 31.  The GRMC will be closed on New Year’s Day and reopen from 8:00 to 5:00 on Monday, January 4.

Bracken Library holiday hours are here.

Santa Claus Maps Available from Ball State University Libraries

The Geography of Santa Claus

The Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) is displaying a special map in its front windows on the second floor of Bracken Library.  The display features a map called The Santa Map: A Cultural Geography of the World’s Most Beloved Man.  The map shows the various incarnations of Santa Claus around the world, features a map of the Roman Empire and key cities during the time of St. Nicholas, a map of “Santa’s Europe,” and a map of early polar expeditions.  The map was published by the Hedberg Company in 2001.

ESRI, the world’s leading GIS software publisher, is also featuring a story map showing Santa around the world created by Matt Artz.  This interactive map shows the history of Santa Claus dating back hundreds of years to Nikolaos of Myra, Turkey.

Maps from the GRMC circulate for two weeks or longer and may be used for classroom displays and other research and learning projects.  Bracken Library offers GIS software on most of the computers in the building, and the GRMC offers access to GIS software, data, and one-on-one assistance from the GIS Specialist.

The GRMC is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 to 5:00.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Indiana History Maps Available from Ball State University Libraries

Happy Birthday, Indiana:  Indiana History Maps Available from Ball State University Libraries

Today marks the 199th anniversary of Indiana’s admission to the Union on December 11, 1816.  The Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) is creating custom maps about 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. 

Indiana’s political history is depicted on the map Whigs, Willkie, and the White House: Indiana Political History.  This map features prominent figures in the state’s rich political history, including the five U.S. Vice-presidents from Indiana.  The map also includes lesser-known politicians like Eugene Debs from Terre Haute, who in 1920 became the only person to run for President while in prison, and George Dale, a Muncie mayor who became an early proponent of civil rights.

The Mapping the Crossroads: Indiana Automobile History map describes some of the people and car companies that called Indiana home.  In its history, more than 50 communities in Indiana produced over 200 makes of cars, including Studebaker, Auburn, and Westcott.  The Cole Motor Car Company in Indianapolis, for example, produced the first automobile for a U.S. President, William Taft in 1910.  And Elwood Haynes built the first successful spark-ignition automobile in Kokomo in 1893.

Indiana’s history in the field of sports is also significant and is described on the map, Horsepower to Hysteria: Indiana Sports History.  Indiana’s love of the game of basketball is depicted with hometown heroes like Larry Byrd of French Lick and John Wooden of Martinsville.  But the state is also the home of David Boudia of Noblesville, an Olympic gold medal diver; Marshall “Major” Taylor of Indianapolis, the first Black world champion in any sport—bicycling; and Dan Patch of Oxford—a world record-breaking harness racehorse in the early 1900’s.

Other maps in the series include a map of Indiana’s music history, Indiana women’s history, Indiana firsts, 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 (before class basketball), and a map of Indiana points of interest.

The maps include photographs from the Libraries’ Digital Media Repository and from the Indiana Historical Society.  The Indiana history maps are all available in the Libraries’ Cardinal Scholar repository.  The maps may be printed and used in the elementary classroom or for research and learning projects.

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

Monday, December 07, 2015

Maps of Pearl Harbor Available from Ball State University Libraries

This Day in History:  Pearl Harbor Maps from Ball State University Libraries

In 2001 the National Geographic Society published a 60th anniversary map commemorating the attack on Pearl Harbor that took place on December 7, 1941.  The map, Theater of War in the Pacific Ocean, includes an aerial view of Battleship Row and the Navy Yard (above, click to enlarge) three days after the Japanese raid.  Inset maps include the first and second waves of Japanese aircraft and a map of the harbor’s damaged ships (above).  The map is available for circulation from the Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC).

The Atlas Collection in Bracken Library also includes cartographic resources depicting events in history.  The Historical Atlas of Weaponry by Brenda Ralph Lewis includes over 180 maps and illustrations chronicling the development of weaponry through the ages.  The map above from the atlas shows the locations of ships in the harbor, and the atlas describes the Kate bombers used by the Japanese in the attack.

For more information about using cartographic resources for historical research and learning projects, please contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097.

Friday, December 04, 2015

Mapping Art Project on Display at Ball State University Libraries

Student-Created Art of Cartography Exhibit in Bracken Library

Cartography is the science of drawing maps, and it should be noted that the word “art” is included in the word and the process of cartography.  So the Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) teamed up with faculty in the Department of Art to introduce the science of cartography to art students. 

Students in the Art 217 Watercolor class visited the GRMC in October to become acquainted with the thousands of types of maps available in the Collection.  The students learned about some of the history of cartography and key components of maps.  Hannah Barnes, Associate Professor in the Department of Art, then directed her students to create maps of places or subjects in a completely new, unique, and imaginative way.  The students’ task was to create an original map in a way that had never before been created.  And all of the maps would be hand-drawn.

The students created large maps, raised-relief maps, books, and even maps made as fall leaves for the project.  The Libraries’ Cataloging and Metadata Services staff then scanned the students’ original artwork to be incorporated into a new Digital Media Repository collection.  The maps will also be cataloged and included in the GRMC as circulating items.

Copies of the students’ maps are now exhibited in the front windows of the GRMC on the second floor of Bracken Library.  The exhibit, The Art of Cartography, will be featured through January.  The maps include A Map of Ransom’s Journey in Perelandra (Mars), Mapping Intuition, Map of Caffeine Addiction, Mapping the Space Between (which was inspired by planetary maps in the GRMC), and Pangaea Map of World War I, which was based on maps of Pangaea from atlases in the GRMC, and many others.

For more information about incorporating maps into research and learning projects, please contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097.