Thursday, August 17, 2017

Map of the Life of Margaret Hamilton Available from Ball State University Libraries

Excerpt from GRMC map of the life of Margaret Hamilton

Moonshot: Celebrating an (Overlooked) Apollo Legend on a Map

On this day in 1936, Margaret Heafield was born in Paoli, Indiana.  By 1963, Margaret Heafield Hamilton worked as the Director of the Software Engineering Division at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).  She led a team credited with developing the onboard guidance and navigation software for the Apollo space program.  In fact, Hamilton actually coined the term “software engineering.” 

Hamilton’s achievement was essentially overlooked by the history books.  However, in 2016 President Barack Obama awarded Hamilton the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the United States. Also in 2016, the Lego Group announced the creation of a set of toy figures called “The Women of NASA” that features Margaret Hamilton.

The Ball State University Libraries GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) created a set of custom maps celebrating various topics in Indiana history for the state’s bicentennial anniversary in 2016.  The set includes maps about the lives of Indiana heroes like Hamilton, Gus Grissom, and Marshall “Major” Taylor.  The map featuring events in Hamilton’s life is called Moonshot: The Margaret Hamilton Story.  The maps are available for use in classroom teaching or educational exhibits.


For more information about using maps for research, visual aids, or exhibits, please contact the GRMC at765-285-1097. 

Monday, August 14, 2017

Maps of Confederate Monuments around the United States

Slate map of Civil War memorials


Mapping Confederate Monuments in the United States

Protests related to Confederate statues and monuments dominated the news over the weekend.  Two Web pages are excellent resources for learning about the locations of these monuments around the country.

In 2015, Slate created an animated map that identifies memorials to the Civil War.  This map uses the Historical Marker Database, which identifies more than 13,000 locations related to the Civil War—both the Union and Confederate sides.  Users can view the animated map to watch how and where Union and Confederate markers were built over time.  Then users can zoom in to explore individual markers on the map and read the inscriptions of the monuments.

The Southern Poverty Law Center launched a campaign to catalog and map Confederate place names and other symbols across the nation.  An interactive OpenStreetMap identifies monuments, schools, parks, mountains, roads and other public places named for Confederate figures. 

The Center has identified 1,503 symbols:  718 monuments and statues; 109 public schools; 80 counties and cities; nine official Confederate holidays celebrated in six states; and 10 military bases.  Virginia, North Carolina, and Georgia are the states with the most places, but Confederate place names are found in 31 states and the District of Columbia.


For more information about using current events maps for research and learning projects, please contact the Ball State University Libraries GIS Research and Map Collection.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Maps of Lion Habitats Available from Ball State University Libraries

2009 Lion Habitats and Historic Range


2012 Lion Statistics


#WorldLionDay Mapping Where Lion Is King

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is celebrating “World Lion Day” today.  According to the WWF, “lions play a crucial role in keeping a healthy balance of numbers among other animals and have no natural predators."  Unfortunately, the lion habitats are shrinking. 

These maps from conservation groups show the historic scope of lion habitats stretching across southern Europe over to parts of southern Asia and most of the non-desert areas of Africa.  Now lions live only in parts of central and southern Africa and a very small area of India.


For more information about using maps for environmental research or learning projects, please contact the Ball State University Libraries GIS Research and Map Collection at 765-285-1097.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Maps of Guam Available from Ball State University Libraries

Central Intelligence Agency, Guam

1943 Army Map Service, northern Guam

1943 Army Map Service, Apra Harbor, Guam

1975 USGS northwest Guam

1975 USGS northeast Guam

1975 USGS Apra Harbor

2006 nautical chart of northern Guam

2006 nautical chart of Apra Harbor, Guam

Google Earth current satellite image of northern Guam

Google Earth current satellite image of Andersen Air Force Base

Google Earth current satellite image of Apra Harbor

 Maps in the News: Guam

Guam is an island in the Pacific Ocean that is a United States territory—about the size of Chicago.  The population is just over 160,000 people, who are American citizens by birth.  The main industry for the island is tourism, with the U.S. military in a close second place.

Guam was captured by the Japanese just after the attack on Pearl Harbor during World War II.  It has been a critical location for the U.S. Armed Forces ever since: Andersen Air Force Base on the island played a major role during the Vietnam War, and the U.S. keeps a Naval base and Coast Guard station on the island.  In fact, the American military takes up 30% of Guam’s land (See CIA map).

According to the Pacific Air Forces report, two U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancers flew from Andersen Air Force Base for a 10-hour training mission with Japanese and Republic of Korea planes over the East China Sea, Kyushu, Japan, and the Korean peninsula on Monday.  On Tuesday, the North Korean army announced that it is examining operational plans for attacking the island of Guam.

The Ball State University Libraries GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) includes a set of maps of the island of Guam.  The Army Map Service published a map of Guam in 1943 (above, click to enlarge) in preparation of recapturing the island during World War II.  Palm trees mark the beaches along the northern part of the island where the Andersen Air Force Base is now located.  And the area around Apra Harbor is completely undeveloped with just a few streets near the historic Spanish fort.  An unmarked airfield is shown on the map, just below “Botadero,” and seaplane landing sites are identified.

The GRMC also includes a complete set of U.S. Geological Survey topographic maps of Guam that were published in 1975.  These maps detail the development of Andersen Air Force Base.  And the map of Apra Harbor—now marked “Apra Harbor Naval Reservation”—shows the development of power plants, a sewage disposal plant, and a fire station.  The airfield is identified as abandoned, and the map marks the location of a Japanese cemetery and caves from World War II.

The topographic maps of the Andersen Air Force Base provide details about the military buildup near the end of the Vietnam War.  Airfields had been built on the northwest and northeast areas of Guam.  The green on the map denotes wooded areas.

A 2006 nautical chart from the GRMC provides information about water depths around the island.  The street patterns have remained largely unchanged.  Nautical charts also identify the locations of wreckage, as seen near Apra Harbor.

For more information about using historic maps and charts to study development and urban planning, please contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097.


Thursday, July 20, 2017

Map of Shark Attacks Available from Ball State University Libraries

Shark map t-shirt from Threadless




Map Attack: Shark Week Begins on Sunday

This Sunday, July 23, marks the beginning of the 29th annual Shark Week on Discovery Television.  The network devotes a week of special programming devoted to sharks.  On Sunday the network will air “Phelps Versus Shark: Great Gold Versus Great White,” where Olympic Gold Medalist swimmer Michael Phelps will “race” a shark.

The Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) on the second floor of Bracken Library includes numerous maps about the world’s oceans and their habitat, including sharks.  A popular map available in the GRMC is Shark Attacks of the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico (above, click to enlarge). 

The map was published by Sealake Products in 2006.  It includes descriptive and historical notes about shark attacks of the last century along the eastern coast of the United States and in the Gulf of Mexico.  The types of sharks are shown for each incident with a date, and the map includes photographs of the sharks and actual-size examples of shark teeth.

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

Map of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing

How Far Did Armstrong Moon Walk? Mapping the Lunar Landing

On July 20, 1969, Commander Neil Armstrong and pilot Buzz Aldrin landed on the Moon.  Six hours later on July 21, Armstrong stepped out of the lunar module Eagle and became the first human to walk on the moon.  Aldrin joined him on the surface, but the two astronauts did not walk far during the span of more than two hours.

This map (click to enlarge) shows the paths Armstrong and Aldrin walked on the surface of the Moon in comparison to the size of a baseball diamond.  The map was created by historian Eric Jones and is featured in the book Strange Maps: An Atlas of Cartographic Curiosities by Frank Jacobs.  The book is available from the Ball State University Libraries GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC).

“LM” on the map marks the location of the lunar module.  Armstrong placed a television camera to the left of the module (between third base and home plate).  And the yellow circles mark the location of surface cameras.  The larger circles on the map identify craters of various depths.


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

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Maps of Warsaw and Hamburg Available from Ball State University Libraries



Maps in the News: Warsaw and Hamburg

Warsaw, Poland is in the news today as the first stop for the President as he travels to Europe for the 2017 G20 Summit.  The Group of Twenty will meet in Hamburg, Germany beginning on July 7.

The Ball State University Libraries GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) has a large collection of maps of Poland and Germany.  The GRMC includes a collection of maps of Warsaw, many of which are published in Polish.  Some of the maps are published in Polish, English, Russian, and German.  The maps include street maps, tourist maps, and maps of the city center.  A replica of a bird’s-eye view map of Warsaw from 1780 is also available in the collection.  Most of the maps were published by the communist state-owned cartographic company, Państwowe Przedsiębiorstwo Wydawnictw Kartograficznych. 

The Atlas Collection on the second floor of Bracken Library adjacent to the GRMC also includes a number of Communist-era atlases of Poland.  Poland: A Historical Atlas provides maps about the history of the country.  Environmental conditions and the conservation of natural resources are the focus of Atlas Zasobów, Walorów I Zagroźeń Środowiska Geograficznego Polski (Atlas of Resources, Values, and Degradation of Geographical Environment of Poland).

The city of Hamburg, Germany is incuded on the map, A Traveler’s Map of Germany, published by the National Geographic Society and available from the GRMC.  The GRMC also includes street and tourist maps of Hamburg, Army Map Service city plans from World War II, and a set of topographic maps of Hamburg.  And the Atlas Collection includes road atlases of Hamburg and Germany.

Custom digital maps and map posters of Poland and Germany are also available for download from the GRMC.  The maps may be used for educational research, reports and papers, or exhibits.

The maps from the GRMC circulate for two weeks or longer.  Atlases may be borrowed from the Library for 28 days or longer.


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

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Holiday hours for the Map Collection


The GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) will be closed on the Fourth of July and reopen at 7:30 am on Wednesday, July 5.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Civil Rights Cartographic Resources Available from Ball State University Libraries








This Day in History:  Mississippi Murders of Civil Rights Heroes

On this day, June 21, in 1964, three civil rights workers were murdered near Philadelphia, Mississippi.  The top map above was published in the Atlas of African-American History by James Ciment.  It details the locations of where the civil rights workers were arrested and murdered.

The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) organized young people to employ voter registration drives in the South.  The SNCC decided to intensify their registration efforts in Mississippi in 1964.  Barely six percent of eligible African Americans were registered to vote.  (See map above from Atlas of African-American History—click to enlarge).  The plan for the voter registration drive was called “Freedom Summer.”

Hundreds of young African Americans were taught to register voters locally, and the SNCC organized white college students from the North to assist.  According to Ciment, “The presence of whites would draw national press attention and provide a modicum of protection to the black organizers.” 

The national press did cover the efforts during Freedom Summer, but the violence continued.  During the drives, there were “more than one thousand arrests, 80 beatings by white mobs, and 67 bombings of black homes and churches.”

Then…
One June 21, three SNCC volunteers—two whites from the North named Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwermer, along with James Chaney, a local African American—were sent out to investigate the bombing of a black church near Philadelphia, Mississippi.  Arrested and held for several hours for alleged traffic violations, the three were released that evening, only to disappear.  For six weeks, state and federal authorities conducted a massive search for the three, which ended in the discovery of their bodies buried in a nearby earthen dam.  Autopsies revealed Goodman and Schwermer were killed by a single bullet; Chaney had been beaten to death.

The murders of the young men caused national outrage, and the FBI conducted an investigation.  The federal government arrested 18 people involved in the murders, but only seven were convicted with minor sentences.  However, in 2005, former KKK leader Edgar Ray Killen was convicted of three counts of manslaughter for the murders and sentenced to the maximum of 60 years in prison.

The murders were depicted in the Oscar-winning film “Mississippi Burning” starring Gene Hackman.  Most importantly, more than 80,000 black Mississippians registered to vote and joined the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party led by Fannie Lou Hamer.  Note the map above showing the number of registered voters in 1970 compared to the map from 1964.

Atlas of African-American History is available for circulation from the Atlas Collection on the second floor of Bracken Library.  The GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) also includes maps and other cartographic resources detailing important events in the civil rights movement, including a custom map about the life of Martin Luther King, Jr., Fannie Lou Hamer, and race riots. Maps from the GRMC may be circulated for use in education, research, and exhibits.

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

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

#JawsTaughtUs Shark Maps at Ball State University Libraries



This Day in History:  Jaws

The Ball State University Libraries GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) “Map of the Month” for June 2017 is a map called “June-things.”  The map features important events in world history that took place in June.  The map includes historical events like the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, the Battle of Little Bighorn, and Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo.  But the map also includes entertainment events like the debut of Superman in a comic book, Secretariat winning the Triple Crown, and movie releases like “Grease” and “Jaws.”

From the map:  “Steven Spielberg’s movie ‘Jaws’ was released on June 20, 1975—a classic summer blockbuster.  The movie became the highest-grossing film of all time until ‘Star Wars’ in 1977.”

The GRMC also includes a map of shark attacks along the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic coast of the United States.  “Shark Attacks” was published by Sealake Products in 2006.  The map identifies the locations of hundreds of shark attacks and includes descriptive and historical notes about the most tragic attacks of the last century.  Photographs and diagrams of sharks are also included on the map.  (The book, “Jaws,” takes place in Amity on Long Island in New York, but the movie was filmed in Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts).

The “Map of the Month” can be viewed in the front windows of the GRMC on the second floor of Bracken Library.  For more information, please contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097.


Monday, June 19, 2017

June 20 is World Refugee Day












#WithRefugees Maps for World Refugee Day

According to the United Nations, every minute 20 people leave everything behind to escape war, persecution, and terror.  Nearly 66 million people were forcibly displaced from their homes last year as refugees. 

A refugee is someone who fled his or her home country to escape a natural or man-made disaster, and June 20 is commemorated as “World Refugee Day” by the United Nations.

“Every year on June 20th, we commemorate the strength, courage, and perseverance of millions of refugees.  This year, World Refugee Day also marks a key moment for the public to show support for families forced to flee.”  People can sign the #WithRefugees petition to express solidarity.

The Ball State University Libraries GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) provides access to the latest cartographic resources depicting a number of current events and social topics that may be used for research and learning.  Maps and atlases provide visual representations of global issues like refugees.  The GRMC collects the latest cartographic resources in the news and provides digital access to these cartographic visual aids for students and others writing research papers or researching social topics.

Business Insider published “mesmerizing maps” (above click to enlarge) created by Earth TimeLapse that show where refugees are leaving and arriving.  The data for the maps was provided by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.  Each red dot represents 17 refugees arriving in a country, while yellow dots identify the home countries refugees are leaving.  The maps highlight the war-torn areas of the world from 2000 with the flow of refugees from Afghanistan, Congo, and Sudan to 2015 and the height of the Syrian crisis.

The New York Times regularly publishes maps covering current events.  A satellite map of Syria in 2012 (above) with the lights of major cities is compared to the same area in 2014 where many cities have been destroyed from the civil war.  The Times also created maps showing the European countries accepting refugees and a map of the United States showing where Syrian refugees were located from 2012 to 2015.

Some of the maps offer editorial views of the refugee crisis.  Forbes published a map identifying majority-Muslim countries with business ties to Trump businesses alongside majority-Muslim countries affected by the Trump “travel ban.”

The GRMC scours news sites to provide research assistance and access to the latest cartographic resources.  For more information about using maps as visual aids in research and creative writing, please contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097.



Civil Rights Maps in the News






Today in History:  Civil Rights on the Map

On June 19, 1964, the Civil Rights Act was approved by the Senate by a vote of 73-27, following a long filibuster by Senators Russell of Georgia and Byrd of West Virginia.  The bill passed in the House of Representatives and was signed into law by President Johnson on July 2, 1964.

The map above (click to enlarge) identifies the votes in the House of Representatives—green denotes a vote in favor of the Civil Rights Act, and red identifies the nay votes.  This map was published in the atlas Mapping America’s Past by Henry Holt available from Ball State University Libraries GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC).  A description of the vote from the atlas details a little-known amendment added to the bill by the opposition:

Howard W. Smith, a Virginia Democrat, led the opposition.  When it became evident that the bill would pass, he slyly proposed an amendment that, in addition to barring discrimination in employment on account of race or religious beliefs, would also prohibit it on account of gender.  Smith hoped that the amendment, which threatened to transform almost every workplace in the nation, would cause moderate and conservative Republicans to vote against the entire bill.  As the bill’s managers scrambled to squash the Smith amendment, a bipartisan group of women representatives declared their support for what they called ‘this little crumb of equality.’  The bill’s supporters, after hastily rethinking the political consequences of opposing women’s rights, meekly endorsed the amendment.

To Smith’s chagrin, the Civil Rights bill—including his women’s rights plank—passed by a vote of 290 to 138….152 Democrats voted for the bill, only a handful of them from the South.  But almost as many Republicans (138) supported the bill….The bill also received strong bipartisan support in the Senate, which for the first time ever terminated a filibuster on civil rights legislation.

Both Republicans and Democrats from Indiana voted in unanimous support for the bill, as did representatives from Illinois, Maine, Vermont, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Kansas, Idaho, Colorado, New Mexico, Alaska, Hawaii, Utah, Oregon, and Washington.

With the passage of Civil Rights legislation, the publication of the famous “Green Books” ended.  The Negro Travelers’ Green Book was published by Victor Green beginning in 1936 and ending in 1964 with the passage of the Civil Rights Act.  These guide books listed restaurants, hotels, and other services that were available for Blacks when traveling across the country during the era of Jim Crow laws.

The New York Public Library has a collection of the books available from their Digital Collections.  And the University of South Carolina has an interactive online map based on the establishments listed in the 1956 book.  The GRMC used this edition of the book to create a map marking the locations of the cities in Indiana that had at least one restaurant, hotel, or other business listed in the Green Book, a little known part of American history.  (Photographs from the Libraries’ Digital Media Repository were included on the map).

The map is available in digital format from the Ball State University Libraries’ Cardinal Scholar and the GRMC teacher resources files under “Indiana history maps for displays.”  A Missouri version of the map is also available for download, and a map about the civil rights movement in Indiana is also included. 

Maps and atlases from the GRMC circulate for two weeks or longer.  Large-format plotter printing of maps and other resources is also available to members of the BSU community.

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

ESRI Story Map Celebrates the Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright



Celebrating Classic American Architecture with Maps

June 8 marked the 150th anniversary of the birth of acclaimed architect Frank Lloyd Wright.  The National Trust for Historic Preservation is honoring Wright’s designs with a commemorative ESRI Story Map.

The Story Map was created using the popular ESRI GIS software.  The map allows users to explore buildings designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.  The buildings are categorized by date—1910 and before, 1911 to 1942, after 1945, and buildings that are lost or never built (which included a doghouse). 

Users can click on the locations on the map to see a description of the buildings, which includes Samara House in West Lafayette, Indiana (above).  Wright built the home between 1954 and 1956.  Wright noticed samara plants on a site visit and included the winged, chevron shape of the fruit into the design of the house.  The home is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places and the National Historic Landmarks in Indiana.

Users can also tour the Pope-Leighey House in Alexandria, Virginia.  The home was built in 1939 and is operated by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  This home includes the unique, simple designs made popular by Wright including clerestory windows for unobstructed views, built-in shelves, and cantilevered roof.

The Ball State University Libraries GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) on the second floor of Bracken Library provides access to the latest GIS software from ESRI and assistance from the GIS Specialist.  Computers throughout Bracken Library and the Architecture Library also offer access to GIS software.


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

Friday, June 16, 2017

Maps of Salem, Massachusetts Available from Ball State University Libraries




Maps in the News: Historic Salem, Massachusetts

The Ball State University Libraries GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) houses over 140,000 maps, atlases, and other cartographic resources on the second floor of Bracken Library.  The collection includes historic and modern maps of places around the world and may be used for research and learning.

The GRMC includes a variety of maps depicting the historic town of Salem, Massachusetts.  Best of Salem, Massachusetts map (top, click to enlarge) includes a visitor map with the Heritage Walking Trail depicted in shading.  The verso includes an inset map of the general area near Salem and a business directory.

Historic Salem Massachusetts was published by the Salem Chamber of Commerce. The map identifies points of interest and information about the Salem Witch Museum.  The verso of the map includes photographs of the important places during the Salem witch trials like The Burying Point, the home of Judge Jonathan Corwin, and the Salem Witch Museum.

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

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

London Maps Available from Ball State University Libraries






Maps in the News: London

The Ball State University Libraries GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) includes a large collection of maps and other cartographic resources of London, England.  The collection features original historic maps published by the Ordnance Survey (Britain’s mapping agency) and the U.S. Army Map Service as well as modern maps and travel guides.

The GRMC also has reproductions of historic maps of London.  London in the Time of King Henry V, 1413-1422 (above, click to enlarge) includes the principal streets and buildings in the city with the major streets, bridges, and buildings of today shown with shading.

Londinvm Redivivvm: Presented by Me to His Majesty, a Week After the Conflagration is a reproduction of a set of maps created by Sir Christopher Wren and John Evelyn after the 1666 fire in London.  The map was presented as a plan to rebuild the city for King Charles II upon his return to the throne in 1661.

A Prospect of London from the West was published in 1989 by Jamshid Kooros.  The map was created in the style of the maps of Christopher Wren.     

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

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

D-Day Maps Available from Ball State University Libraries










Mapping History:  The Cartography of D-Day

Allied Forces invaded the beaches of Normandy, France, on June 6, 1944.  The Ball State University Libraries GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) includes several original maps and historical reproductions that depict the D-Day invasion.

The top map is an inset map from a Michelin map published in 1947 available from the GRMC that details the military actions of that day.  The map is printed in English and French. 

The GRMC also includes several maps produced by the Office of Strategic Services (intelligence agency) and the Army Map Service in preparation for the invasion.  This set of maps shows the locations of roads, railroads, ports, and other important sites.  The map of Northwest Normandy (above, click to enlarge) identifies the roads in the area of the invasion.  Even the creation of these maps was top secret as to not give the enemy any clues to where the invasion by Allied Forces of mainland Europe would occur.

The Army Information Branch in New York also published newspaper-type maps during World War II, and the GRMC includes several of these “Newsmaps.”  The photographs above from these maps show American and Canadian troops landing on the beaches of Normandy—Canadians with bicycles.  These photographs were included in the “Newsmap” published for the week of June 8, 1944.

The GRMC also includes a reproduction map of a reconnaissance aerial photograph of troops landing on Omaha Beach on D-Day.  Landing craft can be seen along the beach, and reinforced German lines are shown at the top of the map.

The D-Day Atlas: Anatomy of the Normandy Campaign is also available from the Atlas Collection on the second floor of Bracken Library.  The atlas was written by Charles Messenger in 2004 and includes maps and images from the D-Day invasion.  The Atlas Collection also includes Atlas of Special Operations of World War II, Military Atlas of World War II, U.S. Army Atlas of the European Theater in World War II, and Penguin Historical Atlas of the Third Reich.

The bottom image is a map featured in The Good Fight: How World War II Was Won by Stephen Ambrose.  This book is available from Educational Technology and Resources in the lower level of Bracken Library.

These historical maps and resources may be borrowed for classroom research or exhibits.  All maps from the GRMC circulate for two weeks or longer.  For more information, please visit or contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097 from 7:30 to 4:30 pm on the second floor of Bracken Library.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Spelling Skills on the Map



Spelling Makes the Map

The Scripps National Spelling Bee begins tonight in Washington, D.C.  The top 291 spellers advance to these finals out of the 11 million students who participated in local spelling bees.  But not all Americans count spelling as a strong suit.

Google Trends posted this map (above, click to enlarge) of the most misspelled words in each state.  Google created the map based on the most popular word followed “how to spell” in a search. 

The map is broken down by the length of the words.  So Georgia, Idaho, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Tennessee share the lowly distinction of searching for the smallest words.  Rhode Island’s most popular word is “liar,” and the hard-to-spell state of Mississippi searched for “nanny.”

Most of the United States searches for words that are from six to 10 letters long.  Some of these words are tricky, like “sauerkraut” in Pennsylvania and “Chihuahua” for Arkansas.  But New Jersey searched for “twelve;” South Dakota searched “college;” and Wisconsin actually searched the name of their state the most.

Texas and Missouri searched for a longer word—“maintenance.”  And West Virginia and Connecticut searched for a phrase from the musical “Mary Poppins,” which is “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.”  (And Microsoft Spell Check acknowledges that word).


For more information about using maps to study culture and current events, please contact the Ball State University Libraries GIS Research and Map Collection.