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.