Yes, we are superheroes. And how do I know? TNT says so! Be on the lookout for the new TNT series called The Librarians. Noah Wyle, Bob Newhart and Jane Curtin starred in this series of movies, which we have in the Jones Media Center. In this new television series, " ... an ancient organization hidden beneath the Metropolitan Public Library dedicated to protecting an unknowing world from the secret, magical reality hidden all around. This group solves impossible mysteries, fights supernatural threats and recovers powerful artifacts, including the Ark of the Covenant, the Spear of Destiny and Excalibur." Someone is also killing off these skilled warrior librarians. Flynn Carsen (Noah Wyle) has to find out who the killer is and save the remaining librarians.
Wednesday is GIS Day. It's the one day of the year that GIS, geographic information systems, is front and center. But wait a minute. That really isn't true. Every time you look for an address, get directions, allow your current location to be used for an app or want to find the nearest store, you use GIS. It's all working behind the scenes in your favorite app, but it is there.
A geographic information system lets you store, organize, manipulate and analyze data that has a geographic component. Do you have a list of addresses you want to map? GIS software lets you do that. Do you have census data by block group and you want to see to which groups your addresses belong? You can do that in GIS software. It lets you ask questions about your data and store the answers. And best of all, you can make maps. That's my favorite part of the software!
These are maps I created using the ArcGIS software. The first 2 are just in time for Thanksgiving and Christmas. The third map answers a frequent question we get in the Evans Map Room. The last map I made just because I like combining television and maps together.
Here is a map of different GIS Day events.
If you would like to see the maps in a larger format, you can visit the Berry Library Brickway across from the Baker-Berry circulation desk.
On Sunday, Geography Awareness Week began. The National Geographic Society sponsors this week to make everyone aware how all of our decisions have a geographic or geo-spatial component. Each year's week has a specific theme. This year's theme is "The Future of Food." Parts of the world have an overabundance of food while in other parts people eke out a subsistence living. How do we feed a growing world population on less available land? Do you really know where your food comes from? Does food in movies interest you more than the plot? You can click here to see to different activities and writings which incorporate food.
Remember, geography is at work in your lives every day.
Next week is Halloween and my thoughts turn to ... winter (ugh!). I am not a fan of winter but I tolerate it because I look forward to spring, summer and longer daylight hours. For all of you who are like me, here are a couple of maps to warn you or inform you.
In case you want to hear more news about winter, here is a video of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) predictions for the upcoming winter. Have fun in the snow!Images courtesy of NOAA
In this week of football frenzy, check out a map of the reach of NFL teams in the country. The East Coast is congested with teams while those in the Midwest and West are spread out. Can anyone tell me why the Raiders have two locations in California?
I was a Raiders fan back in the day. Enjoy the map and enjoy the Big Game!
In November you get to celebrate all the ways geography impacts your life. The week of November 17th through the 23rd is Geography Awareness Week. The National Geographic Society sponsors the week. It's also the Society's 125th birthday.
Also during that week, on Wednesday, November 20th, is GIS Day. It gives everyone who works with anything geospatial a chance to talk about what they do. Did you ever wonder how a web site knows what store is closest to you or how your travel routes are created? That is GIS at work for you. Geographic information systems (GIS) is a way to store, analyze, manipulate, manage and show geographic data. Once you have the data within the system, you can ask questions about the data and see the results.
Stay tuned for more information about GIS and geography in your life every day.
Can you look at an image of a place and say where it's from? Do different places have such distinct characteristics that you can identify them? Look at the image below. It shows locations from 4 different spots on Earth. Can you name the areas? Give it a try!
To see a larger version of the images, visit the Evans Map Room.
Images courtesy of the U. S. Geological Survey. Poster courtesy of Peter Allen.
Cartography is the art and science of map making. And maps are 2-dimensional objects for a 3-dimensional world. How can a map accurately show height? It does it through color and contour lines that denote elevation and height. But there are other map objects that can show all of the dimensions of a site.
For instance, look at a map of Mount Fuji in Japan. You see the representation of a mountain. But you can't see how high the mountain really is.
A relief model is a 3-dimensional map. If you look at the 2 views of the relief model of the same area, you see Mount Fuji rising from sea level. You see the snow and ice on its peak. You see how it dominates the landscape. You see the shadows the relief model creates and can imagine the ones at the actual site.
Relief models can make maps come alive.
Photographs courtesy of Peter Allen.
Students who take Government 85.12, Military Statecraft in International Relations, are looking for ways to disrupt a country's infrastructure and they use maps to do it. There are places in the world students want to invade (hypothetically) and they use resources in the Evans Map Room to find out about those places. They look at the hot spots of the world and figure out what they can do to make matters better or sometimes worse.
Here are a few examples of the places they have looked:
For more information about hot spots in the world, see Trouble Spots: the World Atlas of Strategic Information by Andrew Duncan.
Map images are courtesy of the Perry-Castaneda Map Library at the University of Texas, Austin.