Friday, October 28, 2016

Presidential Election Maps Available from Ball State University Libraries

Associated Press 2008 election map at NBC News headquarters


Red States and Blue States: History of Presidential Electoral Maps

The use of color on maps is a key component in cartographic design.  Perhaps the best known colors on a map are the “red states” and “blue states” on a presidential electoral map. 

According to GeoLounge, the practice of identifying a political party on a map by color dates back to 1883, when the first map of red and blue political affiliations was produced.  And since the 2000 election, the practice has been standardized with red representing Republicans and blue representing Democrats.

The complete historical timeline of all 57 presidential elections can be tracked on 270 to WinMetrocosm, a unique Web page for current maps and statistical analysis, has created maps showing all of the colors of the early presidential elections.

An exhibit depicting the results of the presidential elections since 1952 is currently displayed in the front windows of the GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) on the second floor of Bracken Library.  Sixty Years of Red States and Blue States will be on display through Election Day.  And maps of the electoral results are available for circulation from the GRMC.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Maps of Chicago Available from Ball State University Libraries

1929 U.S. Geological Survey map of Chicago
(Wrigley Field can be seen below the Graceland Cemetery).

1939 U.S. Geological Survey map of Chicago
(Note the changes to the lake shore).

Wrigleyville and surroundings
Chicago Neighborhoods map

Wrigley Field 
Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps

Maps in the News:  Chicago and Wrigley Field

The Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) on the second floor of Bracken Library includes a large collection of maps of Chicago.  The collection includes street maps, topographic maps, fire insurance maps, tourist guides, architecture plans, and aerial photographs.

Historic maps of Chicago include bird’s-eye view maps that were popular after the Civil War.  This set of illustrated maps includes views of the city from 1868, 1893, 1898, and 1916.  The views include the central business district and a map of the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893.

One of the oldest maps in the collection of the city dates from 1855, and the Blanchard’s Guide Map of Chicago in the GRMC dates from 1873.  Royal Blue Line Map and Guide to Chicago was published in 1924.  East and West Streets of Chicago was published in 1907.  Road maps of the state of Illinois include maps of Chicago and date back to the 1930’s.

Tourists traveling to Chicago will find a number of maps and guides in the GRMC.  The iMap of Chicago includes a 12-page guide with a compass attached to the map.  Chicago Unfolds is a pop-up map and guide, and The World on the Lake is also a unique tourist guide map.

The GRMC also has all of the U.S. Geological Survey topographic quadrangle maps for the Chicago area dating back to 1889 (later maps shown above).  Geography students and other researchers use these maps to track the growth of the city and changes to the shore of Lake Michigan.  (The footprint of Wrigley Field is shown on the maps above).

The collection of Chicago maps also includes transit maps, zip code maps, maps of Cook County and the suburbs, architecture guides, and maps focusing on the Loop.  The 2001 Chicago Neighborhoods map (above) identifies the traditional neighborhoods of the city, including Wrigleyville.

The Atlas Collection on the second floor of Bracken Library also includes several street atlases of Chicago.  A folio of Chicago maps and plat maps dating to 1876 can also be found in the Atlas Collection.

Maps from the GRMC circulate for two weeks or longer.  Atlases can be borrowed for 28 days or longer.

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

Monday, October 24, 2016

Maps of Mosul and Iraq Available from Ball State University Libraries

The Battle for Mosul in Maps

Iraqi and Kurdish forces (aided by American special forces and airstrikes) are pushing toward the city of Mosul, Iraq.  The forces are battling to retake Iraq’s second-largest city from the Islamic State (Isil).  Iraqi and Kurdish troops have captured several villages from the east, while attempting to avoid suicide car bombs, booby traps, mines, and improvised explosive devices left by the Isil fighters along the way.  The city of Mosul is also laced with car bombs and mines.

The New York Times offers a glimpse of the battle via satellite imagesAljazeera created a map (above, click to enlarge) showing the area surrounding Mosul and which forces are in control.  And The Washington Post provides maps that describe the history of the city dating back to the First Crusade.

The Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) includes hundreds of maps of Iraq and the Middle East—both historic and current.  The second map above (click to enlarge) is part of a guide map of Iraq that was published in English and Persian.  A map of the city of Mosul is shown (above), and the map also includes detailed maps of Erbil, Baghdad, and Karbala.

The last map is from a set of topographic maps of Iraq that were published by the War Office of Great Britain in 1931.  The map was later reissued by the U.S. Army Map Service during World War II.  The map depicts relief shown by contours and identifies locations of telegraph and telephone lines, water towers, pumping stations, hospitals, ancient tombs, and other important sites.

Maps from the GRMC may be circulated for two weeks or longer.  For more information, please contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097.

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Cartographic Resources for the Classroom from Ball State University Libraries

Teaching Geography from the Sky

The Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) conducts instructional sessions for education students to promote geographic literacy and to introduce future teachers to useful cartographic resources for their classrooms.  Students are exposed to maps and atlases in the Libraries’ collection, the Libraries’ digital cartographic resources, and interesting Web pages that offer unique perspectives of the geography of the world.

One intriguing Web resource is the Flight Radar 24 page.  The site is a live flight tracker that shows air traffic around the world in real time.  Radar data and flight schedules and status data from airlines and airports combine to offer a unique way of looking at a world map.

Users can zoom in to a region or zoom out to see the common world flight paths (top above, click to enlarge).  Teachers using the site for learning more about geography can discuss with students the “great circle routes,” where aircraft, for example, flying from London to New York travel north then south in an arc because further north is a smaller distance to fly.  Teachers can discuss the lack of flights over the Sahara Desert and the Amazon Rain Forest.  And older students can learn about why so few aircraft are flying over places like Syria and Iraq.

Click on one of the aircraft and the flight information (if available) will be shown on the left.  The origin city and the destination are shown.  The airline and flight number, departure time, length of the flight, and great circle distance are revealed.  The type of aircraft and the altitude are also identified.  And once an aircraft is selected, the flight path is shown on the screen.

Today offers an interesting lesson on the site.  As Hurricane Matthew makes its way toward Florida, aircraft are avoiding the southeastern coast of the United States.  A flight from Miami to Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic actually traveled west and then southeast to avoid the hurricane (above).  And early this morning a “hurricane hunter” plane (Lockheed WP-3D Orion) deployed from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) could be seen flying back and forth through the hurricane (above).

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

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Haiti Maps Available from Ball State University Libraries

Haiti Maps Available from Ball State University Libraries

Hurricane Matthew made landfall on the coast of Haiti this morning as a Category 4 storm and is on track to affect the Carolinas this weekend as a Category 2 or 3 storm.   The top image was taken from the International Space Station.

The Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) includes a variety of maps of Haiti and the Caribbean Islands.  The Collection includes travel, physical, and topographic maps of Haiti, the island of Hispaniola, and the Caribbean Islands.

A reproduction map of the island of Hispaniola from 1722 was published by Historic Urban Plans and is available from the GRMC.  This colorful map features relief shown pictorially on the island.  A map dating back to 1956, Hispaniola: Urban and Rural Population Map, presents the population of Haiti and the Dominican Republic from 1950 statistics.  Mapa de la Isla de Santo Domingo y Haiti por el General Cashmiro n de Moya (photograph above) is a map of Haiti and the Dominican Republic published in 1905.  This original map corresponds with U.S. control of Dominican customs during Theodore Roosevelt’s presidential administration.

The GRMC also includes a tourist map of Haiti and the Dominican Republic that includes inset maps of large cities, including Port-au-Prince.  The map was published in 2000.  The map shown above (click to enlarge) of Port-au-Prince and Petion-Ville is a guide map published in 1978.  The map was created by the Nader Art Gallery in Port-au-Prince and marks points of interest like the U.S. Embassy, cathedrals, museums, theaters, and hotels.

Nautical charts in the GRMC depict the coastline of Haiti.  The last map shown above is a custom map of Haiti created by the GRMC for use in exhibits or presentations.  These updated maps of countries around the world are available for download for research and learning.  Map posters from the GRMC are also available from Cardinal Scholar.  The large maps may be printed by members of the Ball State University community using the plotters in the GRMC on the second floor of Bracken Library.

Maps from the GRMC circulate for two weeks or longer.  Please contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097 for more information about these cartographic resources.

Monday, October 03, 2016

Culture Programs at Ball State University

Travel the World Every Wednesday at Lunch: Ball State University Hosts Weekly International Culture Exchange

The Ball State University Rinker Center for International Programs hosts a Culture Exchange each week where an international student presents information about a country.  Every week a different country is highlighted.  The majority of exchanges provide an overview of the country and its culture with time set aside for questions and answers. 

The presentations are held every Wednesday from 12:00 to 1:00 pm in the Phyllis Yuhas Room in the Student Center (Room 102), and often the food court next door provides a featured dish from the country.

This week’s presentation features Libya from Kheiria Benkato.  Ball State University Dining Services is sponsoring a FREE dish inspired by Libya from 11:00 am to 1:30 pm in the Student Center Tally on Wednesday.

Next week is a presentation about China, and the following Wednesday, October 19, offers a unique view of the Isle of Man.  Iraq will be the feature on October 26; Papua New Guinea is November 2; Pakistan is November 9; Tajikistan is November 16.  India will be the first presentation after the Thanksgiving break on November 30, and Kuwait will be presented on December 7.

The Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) provides maps and photographs from atlases as visual aids for the culture presentations.  The map posters from previous Culture Exchange presentations are available from the Libraries’ Cardinal Scholar.  Simply type the name of a country in the search box or choose keywords “map poster” to see the list of available posters for use in exhibits, classroom bulletin boards, speeches, or research.  Large copies may be printed in the GRMC on the plotter printers and charged to the Bursar account for anyone in the Ball State University community.

For more information about the Culture Exchange program, p lease contact the Rinker Center for International Programs at 765-285-5422.  For more information about using cartographic resources from Cardinal Scholar, please contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097.