Friday, October 09, 2015

GIS Mapping of New York City

Before Times Square and Rockefeller Center:  Interactive GIS Mapping of New York City

The Welikia Project (formerly the Mannahatta Project) is an interactive mapping project by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) to reconstruct and map how the island of Manhattan looked in 1609 when Henry Hudson discovered the island.  The project details how development has altered the natural ecosystems of Manhattan, including showing where water flowed and species of trees.

By cross-referencing data from soil samples, historical maps, and field studies and using GIS mapping, scientists/cartographers from the WCS created an interactive map of the heart of New York City.  Users can zoom in on any block or input a specific address to see what was happening at that location in 1609. 

The map uses data and layers from Oasis NYC (Open Accessible Space Information System) to show wildlife, landscapes, and modern day aerial photography.  Users can see how the Lenape Native Americans used the specific block—for example, in the modern location of Central Park for fishing and hunting.  A list of wildlife and plants living at the site is populated.  Topographic elements like elevation, bedrock geology, and hydrology are detailed.

The Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) on the second floor of Bracken Library offers access to ESRI GIS software and online GIS tutorials, datasets, online mapping applications, in-house GIS data, and one-on-one assistance from the GIS Specialist.  The GIS Research Area is equipped with 28 high-end Lenovo ThinkCentre N58 computers, and faculty may reserve the area for instructional or working lab sessions. 

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

Using Maps as Visual Aids in the Classroom

Picture This:  Using Maps as Visual Aids in the Classroom

Using visual aids and graphics is one of the essential ingredients for developing an effective paper or presentation.  Visual aids and graphics illustrate and emphasize your ideas more effectively than words alone.  They also add credibility and clarity to point of discussion.  Unique visual aids like maps can create excitement and interest and add impact to your message.

Maps are an excellent visual aid because they are a basic visual representation of geography and a unique method for conveying a great deal of information.  Maps can easily display information about an issue in a succinct way.

Atlases are also excellent resources because many include charts and other graphics in addition to maps that can add visual impact to papers and presentations.  Atlases usually offer a smaller size than maps, which allows for convenient scanning.

The Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) on the second floor of Bracken Library includes thousands of maps and atlases that may related to a relevant research project.  The Atlas Collection includes over 3,000 volumes with maps depicting a variety of social topics and current issues.

For example, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  Students writing research papers about these two topics could use maps and charts available from just one atlas in the GRMC and Atlas Collection, The Penguin State of the World Atlas by Dan Smith published in 2012.

The map above from the atlas shows countries with incidences of breast cancer greater than 50 per 100,000 women and includes statistics about the disease.  The chart from the same atlas shows the percentage of physically abused women in selected countries who never reported domestic abuse.  The atlas includes other topics ranging from women’s issues, war, religion, education, and economic development.

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

Monday, October 05, 2015

Baseball Maps Available from Ball State University Libraries

Mapping America’s Pastime:  Baseball Maps Available from Ball State University Libraries

The Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) on the second floor of Bracken Library includes over 140,000 maps of various destinations and topics.  The Major League Baseball playoffs begin this week, and the GRMC offers baseball fans a glimpse at some baseball-related maps in the Collection. 

The GRMC includes a travel map locating all of the Major League Baseball stadiums.  The Atlas of Sport available in the Atlas Collection features maps on the “American game,” including the map shown above (click to enlarge) depicting the number of high-school boys playing baseball in school leagues, with Iowa leading the nation.

The GRMC also created custom maps related to the history of baseball.  Black Diamonds: Negro League Baseball Teams, 1920-1949, (above) was created in association with the documentary Black Baseball in Indiana, a film created as a Ball State University immersive learning project.  The map shows the location of the Negro League teams in the United States.  Photographs featured on the map are from the book Playing America’s Game by Michael L. Cooper.  The map is available in the Libraries’ Cardinal Scholar digital repository or via interlibrary loan.

Another map, The Girls of Summer: All-American Girls Professional Baseball League Teams, 1943-1954, (above) commemorates the women who played professionally beginning during World War II.  The map features photographs from A Whole New Ballgame: The Story of All-American Girls Professional Baseball League by Sue Macy available from the Educational Technology and Resources Collections.  This map is also available in Cardinal Scholar.

Users can also find maps of historic stadiums in the collection of U.S. Geological Survey topographic maps and Sanborn Fire Insurance maps in the GRMC.  The map above shows the iconic Fenway Park in Boston on a Sanborn Fire Insurance map from 1975.

Maps from the GRMC circulate for two weeks or longer.  Atlases from the Atlas Collection circulate for 28 days or longer.

Monday, September 28, 2015

What Middletown Read Event in Muncie

Stephanie Mathis, Honors 409
(Click to enlarge)

What Middletown Read Event in Muncie
 Carnegie Library News: 

Dr. Frank Felsenstein and Dr. James J. Connolly will provide an insider’s look at the “What Middletown Read” project on Tuesday, September 29 at 6:30 p.m. at the Carnegie Library at 301 East Jackson in downtown Muncie.  The two have recently released a book What Middletown Read: Print Culture in an American Small City.

A large cache of circulation records circa 1891-1902 from the Muncie Public Library were discovered in 2003 and offer unprecedented detail about American reading behavior at the turn of the twentieth century.  The circulation records were mined for information and additional research was conducted to create the “What Middletown Read” database.  Muncie became known as “Middletown” from the Robert and Helen Lynd sociological studies beginning in 1929.

“What Middletown Read” is much more than a statistical study.  Felsenstein and Connolly researched diaries, meeting minutes, newspaper reports, and local histories to trace the development of the Muncie Public Library in relation to Muncie’s cosmopolitan aspirations.  The authors profiled individual readers and explored children’s reading in relation to schooling and books discussed by local women’s clubs.

Books will be available for purchase, and Dr. Felsenstein and Dr. Connolly will offer book-signings following the program.  Light refreshments will also be served.

The “What Middletown Read” program is sponsored by the Muncie Public Library, the Center for Middletown Studies, the Delaware County Historical Society, Ball State University Libraries and the Friends of the Alexander M. Bracken Library.  The event is free and open to the public, and free parking is available downtown.

For more information, please contact the Ball State University Center for Middletown Studies at 765-285-8037.

(More information about the "Where Middletown Readers Were" map is available in Cardinal Scholar).

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Maps of Mecca, Saudi Arabia Available from Ball State University Libraries

Historical Atlas of Saudi Arabia

Historical Atlas of Saudi Arabia

Atlas of Religion
(Crescent stars denote countries where Islam is the state religion).

Maps in the News:  Mecca, Saudi Arabia and the Hajj

The Ball State University Libraries’ Atlas Collection on the second floor of Bracken Library includes over 3,000 atlases covering cities, counties, states, and countries around the world, including many in native languages.  Atlases about social topics are also included in the collection.  (Click above images to enlarge).

Maps and other images from atlases can be easily scanned for use in research and learning projects or as visual aids.  Atlases in the collection circulate for 28 days or longer.

For more information, please contact the GIS Research and Map Collection at 765-285-1097.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Maps of Washington, New York, and Philadelphia Available from Ball State University Libraries

Maps in the News:  Pope Francis Visits Cities in the United States

President Barack Obama will greet Pope Francis at Andrews Air Force Base when the pontiff arrives from Cuba later today.  The pope will meet with President Obama at the White House, address Congress, speak at the United Nations in New York on global warming, and conduct a mass in Philadelphia during his six-day visit.

The Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) creates unique collections of historic maps available from the Digital Media Repository (DMR).  American Cities Historic Maps features maps of American cities dating from 1855 through 1921 depicting a unique urban view at the turn of the century.  The collection features street maps, topographic maps, park maps, city planning maps, and maps of coastal city harbors.  (The original maps are available in the GRMC on the second floor of Bracken Library).

This collection includes historic maps of cities visited by Pope Francis.  A map of the National Mall (above, click to enlarge) in Washington, D.C., was published by the Park Commission in 1915.  The map includes existing and planned development on the mall.

Maps of New York included in the digital collection include an 1888 map showing the south part of the city to Brooklyn toward Hoboken, New Jersey.  An 1896 map of New York (above) includes the location of steam and elevated railroads.  The collection also includes a 1907 map of Bronx and a 1914 map of Manhattan that shows the location of post offices and postal districts.

An 1888 map of Philadelphia in the collection was published in the Pioneer Press Standard Atlas.  This map includes radial distances from city hall and Delaware River frontage.

Other map collections in the DMR include historic maps of the Ball State University campus, Indiana historic county atlases, natural resources maps of Indiana, and Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps of Muncie.  United States soil and topographic maps are also available as digital collections, as well as a collection of historic maps showing changes in the course of the Mississippi River.  New York Times World War I maps and international historic maps are other digital collections from the GRMC.

Users can download maps directly from the DMR in various file sizes.  The maps may be used for research and learning.

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

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

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 were 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 a question and answer session.  The presentations are held every Wednesday from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm in the Phyllis Yuhas Room in the Student Center (Room 102).

The Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) provides maps and charts and photographs from atlases as visual aids for the culture presentations.  The map posters from previous culture exchanges are available from the Libraries’ Cardinal Scholar.  Simply type in the name of a country in the search box or choose keywords “map poster” to see the list of posters available for exhibits or use in the classroom or research. 

The Culture Exchange begins next week on September 23 with a presentation about Quebec, Canada.  The program for the rest of the semester:

September 30:  Burkina Faso
October 7:  Afghanistan
October 14:  Israel
October 21:  Trinidad and Tobago
October 28:  South Africa
November 4:  West Bank
November 11:  France
November 18:  Ethiopia
December 2:  Italy

On December 9, a panel discussion of different cultures will take place as the semester finale.

For more information about the Culture Exchange program, please 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.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Mapping the Minimum Wage

Using GIS to Map the Minimum Wage

Yesterday Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York formally approved the increase of the state’s minimum wage for fast-food workers to $15 an hour.  This is the first time any state has set the minimum wage that high.

To see what wage level American workers need to support their families, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) created an ESRI story map tool called Living Wage CalculatorThe tool maps the difference between minimum wage and the basic cost of living across America. 

Users can choose three types of households: a parent with a spouse and two children, a single parent with one child, or a single adult.  The calculator maps the difference between the cost of living to get by and the minimum wage.  The darker red the county or city on the map, the greater the gap in need. 

For information about using ESRI GIS software to create story maps or other cartographic resources, please contact the Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection at 765-285-1097.