Friday, December 15, 2017

Holiday Hours at Ball State University Libraries

National Geographic Happiest Places, 2015
(Click to enlarge)

The World of Santa Claus, GRMC

Cable TV Your state's favorite holiday movie

Happy Holiday Hours in the Map Collection

The Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) will be open regular hours 8:00 to 5:00 on Monday, December 18 through Thursday, December 21.  On Friday, December 22 the GRMC will be open 8:00 to 3:00 pm.

The GRMC will be closed on Monday, December 25 and Tuesday, December 26.  The GRMC will have regular hours on Wednesday, December 27 and Thursday, December 28.  And on Friday, December 29 the GRMC will be open from 8:00 to 3:00 pm.  The GRMC will be closed on New Year’s Day and reopen for regular hours again on January 2, 2018.

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Maps in the News: Bears Ears and Ventura Wildfire


New York Times

Patagonia REI

Ventura County Fire Department

Places in the News:  Bears Ears and Ventura

The Ball State University Libraries GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) provides access to thousands of cartographic resources from the Collection that may be used for research and learning projects.  Staff of the GRMC also locate and provide access to online cartographic resources that may be used as visual aids for papers and presentations related to current events and social topics, and online maps are produced by a large variety of sources.

News sites such as The New York Times (above, click to enlarge), Washington Post, Vox, CNN, and Slate create useful maps that depict current issues.  And online mapping sites like ESRI and Metrocosm offer unique visual depictions of news events.  However, sometimes the research of cartographic resources leads to new sources—like outdoor sports clothing and gear designer Patagonia.

When President Trump announced the elimination of some of the protected land at the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments, Patagonia REI protested the cuts on their Web page.  The company published maps (above) to show the size of the monuments before and after the cuts.  And the Web page includes statistics related to oil and gas development on public lands.

Governmental social media accounts can also be a valuable resources for the latest maps related to natural disasters and other emergencies.  Local governments often employ the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for tracking and planning emergency response.  For example, the Ventura County Fire Department posts updated maps related to the Thomas Fire on December 5, 2017.

Other government agencies like the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) also publish useful maps on their Web pages and social media accounts.  These current events maps are downloaded and archived by the GRMC for use in classroom research and learning.

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

Monday, November 20, 2017

Ball State University Libraries Presents a White House Christmas

A White (House) Christmas Presentation Next Week in Downtown Muncie

Staff from the Ball State University Libraries Archives and Special Collections and GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) will be presenting a workshop about the history of decorating for Christmas at the White House.  The presentation, A White (House) Christmas, will be on Tuesday, November 28 from 6:30 to 7:30 pm in the Colonnade Room at the Cornerstone Center for the Arts (520 East Main Street).

The presentation will provide a history (including social history, renovations, and historic preservation) of the White House using maps, plans, and photographs.  Attendees will learn about the interesting decorating themes and the origins of the White House Christmas trees.  And Cody Sprunger, graduate assistant for the Archives and Special Collections, will provide behind-the-scenes details from his experiences decorating at the White House in 2016.

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

(Free parking is available at the Cornerstone Center for the Arts).

Friday, November 17, 2017

Thanksgiving Break Hours at Ball State University Libraries

Turkey Time:  Thanksgiving Break Hours for the GIS Research and Map Collection

The Ball State University Libraries GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) will be closed on Thursday, November 23 and Friday, November 24 for Thanksgiving break.  The GRMC will reopen at 8:00 on Monday, November 27.

Maps in the News: African Elephant Trophy Hunting

Fred Krakowiak drawing

World Wildlife Federation 

Maps in the News:  Hunting Elephants for Trophies

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that it has lifted a 2014 Obama administration ban on importing sport-hunted trophies of elephants from Zimbabwe and Zambia.  In a statement to National Public Radio, the Service “determined that the hunting and management programs for African elephants in Zimbabwe and Zambia will enhance the survival of the species in the wild.”

The Humane Society of the U.S. plans to fight the lifting of the ban, claiming that Zimbabwe’s unstable government will not support an elephant management plan.  From Wayne Pacelle, the organization’s president and CEO: “Elephants are on the list of threatened species; the global community has rallied to stem the ivory trade; and now, the U.S. government is giving American trophy hunters the green light to kill them.”

National Geographic published maps (above, click to enlarge) related to sport-hunted trophies in the decade leading up to the ban in 2014.  Canada was the biggest source of trophy imports due to its close proximity and popular species such as black bears, grizzly bears, moose, and wolves.  South Africa was the second largest source with nearly 400,000 imports.

According to the report from National Geographic, in the decade from 2005 to 2014, “American trophy hunters imported nearly 32,500 lions, elephants, rhinos, buffalo, and leopards.”  1,892 African elephants were imported to the U.S. from Zimbabwe during that time.

In 2007 National Geographic published maps depicting the range of the African elephants in 1979 versus 2007.  And the next map shows the range of the elephant in 2012 just prior to the ban.

For more information about cartographic resources for threatened and endangered species, please contact the Ball State University Libraries GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) at 765-285-1097.

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Ball State University Libraries Celebrates GIS Day November 15

Discover the World with GIS:  GIS Day Is Next Wednesday, November 15

Ball State University Libraries and the Digital Scholarship Lab is hosting GIS Day next Wednesday, November 15.  GIS Day is an international forum for users of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology.  GIS Day celebrates and showcases the real-world GIS applications that are improving society in numerous ways.

On Wednesday from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. in the Digital Scholarship Lab in Bracken Library, visitors can meet Patricia Carbajales-Dale for a coffee hour.  Carbajales-Dale established and managed the Stanford University Geospatial Center for four years and was a GIS lecturer in the School of Earth Sciences.  She created and taught the first “GIS for Good” class, a service-learning program where students from different disciplines partnered with the United Nations.  Carbajales-Dale is currently the Co-Director of the Center of Excellence and Center for Geospatial Technologies at Clemson University.

Faculty and graduate students are invited to join the GIS Day Digital Feed, “Geospatial Support Services: A Tale of Two Campuses,” from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m. in the Digital Scholarship Lab.  (Please RSVP or contact Angela Gibson, University Libraries GIS Specialist, by 9:00 a.m. on November 13 to request a box lunch).

The annual GIS Day poster session is from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. in the Schwartz Digital Complex.  Attendees can vote for the best poster and best Story Map, and prizes will be awarded.  (Poster and Story Map entries are due by Tuesday, November 14).

And Carbajales-Dale will present “GIS for Good: Serving Communities through Education” about her experience partnering with the United Nations.  This presentation is free and open to the public from 3:00 to 4:00 in Bracken Library room 104 across from the Schwartz Digital Complex.

For more information, please contact Angela Gibson in the GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) at 765-285-1097. 

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

This Day in History: Battle of Tippecanoe

Native American Heritage Month Map:  Tecumseh Was Here

On November 6, 1811, Governor William Henry Harrison of the Indiana Territory led American forces to the Native American village of Prophetstown, near what is now Battle Ground, Indiana.  On November 7, Shawnee warriors attacked Harrison’s army.  This “Battle of Tippecanoe” was won by the American forces after the warriors ran out of ammunition.  And Harrison’s men destroyed the abandoned village the next day.

Tenskwatawa, “the Prophet,” was the spiritual leader of the Shawnee.  His brother, Tecumseh, emerged as the military and political leader.  Tecumseh was recruiting warriors from other tribes to form a confederacy at the time of the battle.  He had urged his brother to wait for any military action. 

But when the U.S. declared war on Great Britain in the War of 1812, Tecumseh’s confederacy had finally been organized with the help of British allies.  Tecumseh’s warriors composed nearly half of the forces that captured Detroit from the U.S. during the war.  But when Tecumseh was killed at the Battle of the Thames in Canada, his confederacy weakened and finally disintegrated.

The Ball State University Libraries GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) is commemorating Native American Heritage Month by featuring a map about the life of Tecumseh as the “Map of the Month.”  The map, Tecumseh Was Here, includes important places in the life of the Shawnee leader, including his probable birthplace in Ohio.  Tetepachsit and Utenink were Native American villages near modern-day Muncie where Tecumseh was known to live (above, click to enlarge).

The map will be displayed in the front windows of the GRMC through the month of November.  The GRMC also provides a guide to other notable Native American cartographic resources for research and learning.

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

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Maps Exhibit This Thursday in Downtown Muncie

Carto-GRAPHICS: Maps or Modern Art?

The Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) is coordinating an exhibit, Carto-GRAPHICS: Maps as Art, for the Muncie Downtown First Thursday Arts Walk.  This Thursday, November 2, Twin Archer Brew Pub (117 West Charles Street) will be hosting the exhibit starting at 5:00 through 8:00 pm.

Dr. Jorn Seemann, Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography, has participated in the community arts project for two years.  This year Dr. Seemann’s cartography students created artistic maps of Indiana (above, click to enlarge).  The maps cover Indiana’s rich history depicted in interesting cartographic styles.

Dr. George Elvin, Associate Professor in the Department of Architecture, is an advocate of green design strategies and technology.  Students in Dr. Elvin’s class created large shelter structures that truly represent unique works of art.

Ball State University students in Heidi Jensen’s drawing class also created original maps for the exhibit.  Students visited the Map Collection in Bracken Library to explore the thousands of types of maps for inspiration; then they drew different kinds of artistic maps, including a garden and home neighborhood (above).  And student employees of the GRMC also created unique maps for the exhibit.

Maps from the exhibit last year can be viewed on the Libraries' Digital Media Repository.

TwinArcher Brew Pub serves all ages as a restaurant and a bar that serves craft beer.  The menu includes fresh ingredients every day.  The event is free and open to the public, and the map exhibit is in the western room next to the dining room.  (No purchase is required to attend the exhibit).

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

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Art of Cartography Presentation at Cornerstone Center for the Arts

Libby Vanderploeg

Burris Elementary School map of Muncie

Hannah Barnes 2015 art exhibit at University Libraries

First Thursday Arts Walk at Twin Archer, December 2016

Getting Carto-GRAPHIC: Art Maps Program in Downtown Muncie

The Ball State University Libraries GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) will provide a workshop featuring maps created as works of art.  The program will be in the Colonnade Room at the Cornerstone Center for the Arts (520 East Main Street) on Tuesday, October 17 from 6:30 to 7:30.

The program will include maps created by artists who specialize in creating cartographic works, including Martin Haake, Lucy Letherland, and Libby Vanderploeg (above).  And maps submitted to the Instagram “They Draw and Travel” account and books series will also be presented.  Books detailing the art of cartography from the Libraries’ collection will also be available.

Art students from Burris School created hand-drawn maps (above, click to enlarge) that will be presented in the program.  In December 2016, the GRMC coordinated a First Thursday Arts Walk maps exhibit called “Home.”  Students from Ball State University professors Hannah Barnes’ watercolor and Jorn Seemann’s cartography class created maps for the special show.  (The watercolor maps are included in a special collection in the Libraries’ DigitalMedia Repository).  These maps will be presented at the program, and attendees will get a sneak peek at some of the maps being created for another First Thursday exhibit on November 2.

The program will also include information about how to create maps using online resources and design software.  And attendees can learn about creating their own cartographic works that can be donated to the Libraries’ collection of maps or displayed as art.

Admission to the program is free and open to the public, and free parking is also available.  For more information, please contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

International Day of the Girl Celebrated with Maps

ESRI Map of Women with Debit Cards

Girl Power in Maps:  Celebrating International Day of the Girl 

The International Day of the Girl was created by the United Nations in 2011 to celebrate the potential of girls across the world in the face of discrimination and other threats to their well-being.  The mission is to empower girls worldwide and bring awareness to issues like education, healthcare, and protection from discrimination, child marriage, and sexual assault.

The theme for this year is “EmPOWER Girls: Before, during, and after Conflict.”  According to the United Nations, girls in conflict zones or humanitarian crises are 90% more likely to be out of school and more likely to be subjected to violence and exploitation.

The Ball State University Libraries GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) has a collection of maps and atlases that detail issues affecting girls around the world.  Cartographic resources like maps are an innovative format for depicting problems like access to contraception and healthcare, education, and clean water.  These maps can be used as informative visual aids for research and education projects, exhibits, and papers. 

The GRMC creates new maps related to international girls each year in celebration of Women’s History Month and other special events and exhibits.  Biographical maps about significant women in history are also included in the collection.

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

Monday, October 02, 2017

World Breast Cancer Rates Map from Ball State University Libraries

Mapping Breast Cancer around the World

The Ball State University Libraries GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) features one of the unique maps from the Collection as the “Map of the Month.”  The October “Map of the Month” is a map depicting the countries with the highest rates of breast cancer in the world.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and the map (above, click to enlarge) identifies the countries with the highest breast cancer incidence per 100,000 women—all the countries have 75 cases and over based on 2002-2007 world age standardized rates.  (The United States has the highest rate with 101 per 100,000).

All of the countries are industrialized.  Women in industrialized countries are more likely to get breast cancer.  One in eight women in industrialized countries will develop breast cancer over an 85-year lifespan. 

The map was created using data from the Penguin Atlas of Women in the World by Joni Seager.  The atlas was published in 2009 and includes maps related to social topics like disease, marriage, birthrights, environmental resources, employment, and power.  The atlas is an excellent cartographic resource for visual aids for creative writing projects or presentations and is available in the Atlas Collection or the GRMC.

The GRMC provides access to online cartographic resources for educational projects and learning.  Contact the GRMC for more information about using maps in education and learning.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Fall 2017 Ball State University Culture Exchange Program

Around the World with the Ball State University Culture Exchange Program

The Ball State University Rinker Center for International Programs will be presenting international speakers for the Culture Exchange program. Presenters from around the world (mostly students) will highlight the culture and lifestyles of their home countries every Wednesday at noon in the L.A. Pittenger Student Center Phyllis Yuhas Room (Student Center 102, unless otherwise noted).

The Ball State University Libraries GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) provides maps and photographs from atlases to create exhibits for the program. Some of the poster exhibits from past speakers are available for use in other displays or classroom exhibits.

This year the program begins with Kris Molloy discussing New Zealand on September 27.  The complete program schedule:

·        October 4: Martina Schiavo, Italy
·        October 11: Daniel Tuyisenge, Rwanda (Room 303)
·        October 18: Ekaterina Romanova, Russia
·        October 25: Ramona Whittaker, Bolivia
·        November 1: Max Blakeley, England
·        November 8: Svitlana Dorda, Ukraine
·        November 15, Esau Martinez, Mexico
·        November 29: TBA
·        December 6: TBA

Attendees are invited to bring their lunch to the program.

New York Times Country of the Week Builds Geography Skills

Building Geography Skills with The New York Times

Yesterday, September 18, The New York Times published its first “Country of the Week,” South Africa.  This new feature will make use of the paper’s 30 international news bureaus around the world with activities and quizzes to build students’ geography skills.

The quiz for South Africa first asks responders to find the country on a map of Africa. Then responders are asked about the country’s three capital cities, the two oceans along its coasts. IsiZulu is the most widely spoken home language in South Africa, and a video features the unique language.  Users can also watch a 360 video “to catch a glimpse of life in South Africa.” And The Times will publish a new “Country of the Week” quiz every Monday throughout the school year.

This new urgency to teach geography skills is the result of a New York Times Upshot article reporting about an experiment where researchers asked Americans to locate North Korea on the map. Only 36% of respondents could correctly identify the country, but the interesting part was the second question asking opinions regarding foreign policy: Those who could correctly identify North Korea favored diplomatic and nonmilitary strategies and were opposed to direct military engagement. Those who could not correctly identify North Korea on a map actually favored direct military engagement with the country.

The article continued: Harm de Blij in “Why Geography Matters” wrote that “geography is a superb antidote to isolationism and provincialism.”  Geographic literacy of a country’s citizens provides an excellent “check and balances” review for foreign policy actions of their government.

The Ball State University Libraries GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) provides access to online educational resources that can be used in the classroom—or at home—to promote geographic literacy.  The GRMC creates custom maps, tutorials, games, lessons, and exhibits for use in educational research and learning. Teachers and other users can download the files for use in the classroom or other learning.

For more information about using cartographic resources from the GRMC, please call 765-285-1097 Monday through Friday from 8:00 to 5:00 pm.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Program Provides Biographical Histories Via Maps

People and Their Places: Biography Maps Class from the Ball State University Libraries

The Ball State University Libraries GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) will provide a workshop featuring biographical maps on Wednesday, September 20 from 6:30 to 7:30 at the Cornerstone Center for the Arts in downtown Muncie. Geography Biographies: Mapping Historic Lives will include custom maps created by the GRMC that identify important places in the lives of historic figures from around the world.

The maps include well known subjects like President John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., Amelia Earhart, Princess Diana, and famed Indiana outlaw John Dillinger.  Compilation maps include Indiana Governors, Indiana Vice Presidents, and Indiana authors that feature interesting stories about some of the persons.

But many of the maps were created to commemorate lesser known heroes of history:  A map about Margaret Hamilton tells the story of the Indiana-born NASA Apollo space program software engineer. Ann Cole Lowe, the first African American haute couture fashion designer, is featured on a custom map. Gus Grissom, one of the pioneering Mercury astronauts, is also the subject of a special commemorative map. And many of the compilation maps include interesting figures from Negro League Baseball, Suffragettes, World War II correspondents, and activists from the civil rights movement. And maps about local Muncie figures will also be featured.

A new map about the life of Billie Jean King will be included in the program and is the “Map of the Month” for September on display in the front windows of the GRMC on the second floor of Bracken Library. This map identifies the locations of her hometown and university, the Grand Slam and Virginia Slims tennis tournaments won by King, and the locations of organizations honoring King. The map also includes the location of the epic “Battle of the Sexes” tennis match—the Houston Astrodome—that is depicted in the upcoming movie of the same name.

The program will be presented in the Colonnade Room at the Center (520 East Main Street), and free parking is available. The program is free of charge and open to the public.

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

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Commemorative Map of the Life of Princess Diana at Ball State University Libraries

Queen of Hearts: Princess Diana Map of London

Today marks the 20th anniversary since the death of Princess Diana.  Diana is remembered for her charity work and her beautiful fashions.  In fact, throughout her life, Princess Diana donated many of her popular gowns for auctions in support of her favorite charities.  Diana was able to link her stylish fashions with the causes for which she cared, so the GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) created a special map of London (excerpt above—click to enlarge) that also combines fashion and charity events. 

The map, Diana’s London: Important Places in the Life of a Princess, includes sketches of some of Diana’s most popular gowns matched with the locations and events where they were worn.  The commemorative map is on display as the “Map of the Month” in the front windows of the GRMC on the second floor balcony of Bracken Library through Labor Day.

For more information about creating custom cartographic resources, please contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097.

(View or download the complete map here).

Animated Map of Hurricane Harvey Rescue Calls

Animated Map of Hurricane Harvey Rescue Calls

The New York Times created an animated map showing rescue requests coming from residents around the city of Houston from Sunday to Wednesday during the Hurricane Harvey flooding.  The rescue requests were submitted to several online databases, and various local rescue groups dispatched boats.  “Though not every account could be confirmed, in aggregate, the animated map offers a glimpse into the geography of the disaster.”

Users can watch the requests begin circling the city of Houston.  Then on Wednesday the requests start to light up near Beaumont and Port Arthur as the hurricane moved to the east.

Energy Transportation Maps Available from Ball State University Libraries

Hurricane Harvey Aftermath: Where Are Oil Refineries?

The destructive force of Hurricane Harvey has shut down the largest oil refinery in the United States, the Motiva refinery in Port Arthur, Texas. And, as of August 30, 18 refineries have been closed or partially closed according to Business Insider.

Oil Change International publishes an online map showing the locations of oil refineries in the United States and Canada.  The site rates the refineries by color according to the amount of tar sands crude oil processed:  Red refineries receive significant quantities of tar sands crude (greater than 5,000 barrels per day); orange refineries receive smaller amounts of tar sands crude; yellow refineries process negligible amounts of tar sands crude; and gray refineries do not process tar sands crude.

The Ball State University Libraries GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) has a large collection of United States depository maps related to energy production and transportation.  Maps in the collection identify pipeline transportation systems, crude oil movement by pipeline, nuclear fuel materials movement by highways, and commodity movement maps.

The GRMC provided energy-related maps for a special collection available from the Libraries’ Digital Media Repository.  The collection, United States Commodities Maps, includes maps of waterways, energy resources and production, and the location of oil and gas pipelines (above—click to enlarge).  The maps are available for download for research and learning projects.

For more information about using cartographic resources related to energy, please contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097.   

Friday, August 25, 2017

Gulf of Mexico Offshore Oil Map Available from Ball State University Libraries

Mapping Offshore Oil in the Gulf of Mexico

With Hurricane Harvey headed toward the coast of Texas, local officials and residents are preparing for the emergency.  But another “waterborne city of oil rigs rises off the coasts of Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi” in the Gulf of Mexico is also bracing during the storm.

 National Geographic published a map of the Gulf of Mexico (excerpt above—click to enlarge) following the BP Deepwater Horizon explosion, fire, and oil spill.  The map, Gulf of Mexico: A Geography of Offshore Oil was published in 2010 following the disaster that year in April.  “The explosion and fire sank the 58,000-ton mobile rig, killing 11 workers.  An estimated 4.9 million barrels of oil flowed from the well, creating the worst accidental marine oil spill in history.” 

The map identifies the locations of the more than 50,000 wells and 43,000 miles of pipeline located in the Gulf of Mexico. The darker brown points identify oil or gas offshore platforms.  The lighter brown points are oil or gas wells.  The brown lines represent oil- or gas-related pipelines.  The darker the small squares, the deeper the water.  According to the map, the maximum depth of the Gulf of Mexico is unknown, but estimates range to 14,000 feet. 

The Perdido floating production platform, southeast of Padre Island, operates in 8,000 feet of water—a world record.  The Tiber well is the world’s deepest offshore well.  Petronius in the eastern part of the Gulf of Mexico is the world’s tallest fixed platform.  The Macondo well, just south of Biloxi, Mississippi, was the site of the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

The map is available for circulation for research and learning projects from the Ball State University Libraries GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) on the second floor of Bracken Library.  Digital copies of the map are available for educational or personal purposes upon request.

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