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Geologic Map Day

October 19 is National Geologic Map Day.  This is a recognition of the significance of this form of mapping, that seeks to map the earth beneath the surface.  These maps convey important information about the geology of regions.  They are also esthetically pleasing uses of color and shape.

In recognition, the United States Geological Survey releases a greatly revised resource, the National Geological Map Database, which provides access to a large database of geological maps through a Map Catalog, of over 90,000 maps from the USGS as well as more than 600 other publishers.  A new Map Viewer offers an additional discovery tool.  Another important resource at this site is Stratigraphy to identify geological names, charts and guidelines.

Miami University Libraries has geological maps in various forms, both digital and in print format.  The Geology subject guide includes the page Geological Mapping, that describes many of these publications, maps, and resources.  USGS maps, maps by the Ohio Geological Survey, and various recently published maps by other state geological surveys are descibed here.  Included are several recent maps, as well as classic maps that have retained importance through the years.  To find such resources in the catalog, a Subject search with the terms "Geology," regional name, and "Maps."  For example , the 2005 Geologic Map of North America is listed with the subject Geology - North America - Maps.  This will also retrieve the related Database of the Geologic Map of North America.  Both of these items are in the Libraries collections, as well as available as web pages at the USGS site.

Books about geologic mapping are available with the subject Geological mapping.  A book by Simon Winchester, The Map that Changed the World : William Smith and the Birth of Modern Geology, describes the creation of the world's first geological map, of Great Britain, in the early decades of the 1800s.  Reproductions of two versions of this map are on view in the Geology Department in Shideler Hall.  Other siginifcant geological maps are viewable there, as well as in the Libraries collections.

Remembering Katrina

                              

Hurricane season! Occasionally we get a taste in southwestern Ohio, such as tropical storm Isaac bringing rain a few weeks ago. Coastal areas of the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic and in the Caribbean know more fully the effects of these storms. One of the best-known is Katrina, which hit the Mississippi and Louisiana coasts on 27 August, 2005. The wind, the storm surge that it pushed inland, and the strains on the protection infrastructure in New Orleans devastated the region and the city. A month later, on 24 September, Rita came ashore near the Louisiana/Texas border, causing yet more damage, and impeding recovery and evacuation efforts of the earlier storm. Katrina remains the costliest storm in US history, with damages at about $108 billion. Rita’s damage was over $12 billion. Over 1200 deaths were attributed to Katrina, and more than 60 have been attributed to Rita.

Miami University Libraries have many materials in the collections. Search by subject: “Hurricane Katrina, 2005”. Here is a very small sampling, arrannged by library location.

The New Orleans Hurricane Protection System : What Went Wrong and Why : a Report, by the American Society of Civil Engineers Hurricane Katrina External Review Panel. BEST Library, Oversized, Basement | TH1096 .N49 2007

In Katrina's Wake : Portraits of Loss from an Unnatural Disaster, photographs by Chris Jordan ; essays by Bill McKibben and Susan Zakin ; poems by Victoria Sloan Jordan. BEST Library, Folio, Basement | QC945 .J63 2006

Just Seconds from the Ocean : Coastal Living in the Wake of Katrina. BEST Library, Basement | GB460.A2 S27 2007

Cooking Up a Storm : Recipes Lost and Found from The Times-Picayune of New Orleans. BEST Library, Basement | TX715.2.L68 C66 2008. From the summary:

“… After Hurricane Katrina devastated the city, tens of thousands of people lost their keepsakes and family treasures forever. As residents started to rebuild their lives, The Times-Picayune of New Orleans became a post-hurricane swapping place for old recipes that were washed away in the storm …”

Architecture in Times of Need : Make It Right Rebuilding New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward.  ArtArch | NA735.N5 A73 2009

 Katrina Personal Ojects; photographs by Jarret Schecter.  ArtArch | HV636 2005.G85 K28 2008

 Groove Interrupted : Loss, Renewal, and the Music of New Orleans.  Music Library | ML385 .S635 2011

 Devil Sent the Rain : Music and Writing in Desperate America.  Music Library | ML3477 .P49 2011

 Hurricane Katrina : the Storm that Changed America, with an introduction by Wynton Marsalis.  King Library (2nd floor) | HV636 2005 .U6 H87 2005

Clear as Mud : Planning for the Rebuilding of New Orleans.  King Library (2nd floor) | HT168 .N49 O47 2010

Old and New Media after Katrina. King Library (2nd floor) | HV636 2005.G85 O43 2010

 Racing the Storm : Racial Implications and Lessons Learned from Hurricane Katrina.  King Library (2nd floor) | HV636 2005 .N4 R33 2007

 The Children Hurricane Katrina Left Behind : Schooling Context, Professional Preparation, and Community Politics.  King Library (2nd floor) | LC2771 .C45 2007

 After the Flood, by Robert Polidori.  King Folio | F379.N543 P655 2006

 Race, Place, and Environmental Justice after Hurricane Katrina : Struggles to Reclaim, Rebuild, and Revitalize New Orleans and the Gulf Coast.  King Library (2nd floor) | HV551.4.N48 R34 2009

 Home Team : Coaching the Saints and New Orleans Back to Life, Sean Payton and Ellis Henican.  King Library (2nd floor) | GV939.P388 A3 2010

In addition to studies such as these, literary works of fiction, poetry and drama are available.

 City Without People : the Katrina Poems, by Niyi Osundare.  King Library (2nd floor) | PR9387.9.O866 C58 2011

 Katrina on Stage : Five Plays.  King Library (2nd floor) | PS627.H87 K38 2011

 The Tin Roof Blowdown : a Dave Robicheaux Novel, by James Lee Burke.  King Library (2nd floor) | PS3552.U723 T56 2007

 Ninth Ward, by Jewell Parker Rhodes.  King Library, Ground Floor, IMC, Juv | PZ7.R3476235 Ni 2010

There are also resources available online, especially from government agencies.

Terrestrial LIDAR Datasets of New Orleans, Louisiana, Levee Failures from Hurricane Katrina, August 29, 2005.  This is also available as a CD-ROM from BEST Library, maps collection | I 19.121:470

 Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf Coast Building Performance Observations, Recommendations, and Technical Guidance : Mitigation Assessment Team Report.  This is also available as a CD-ROM at King – Government & Law | HS 5.120:K 15/CD

 Lessons Learned EPA's Response to Hurricane Katrina-Evaluation Report.

Web resources of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) provide data and information.

Hurricane Katrina special report, includes PDF, images, and text.

Hurricane Katrina home page, includes satellite images, aftermath photos, maps, data and other resources.

NOAA’s National Weather Service includes the National Hurricane Center, providing current and historical information, forecasts, tracking maps, etc.

Japan's Earthquake and Tsunami, a Nuclear Power Plant, and Vegetation Maps

The earthquake and tsunami on Japan’s northeast coast had a profound effect upon the country’s infrastructure. The damage at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant was particularly disturbing. The damage to the reactors at this plant have continued to be the focus of attention, for obvious humanitarian and environmental concerns. While another plant in the area, the Dai-ni plant, did not suffer damage to its reactors, the vicinity of the plant was also affected by the earthquake and surge of water. The entire area was scoured of plant cover, even of trees.

The Libraries own a unique collection, with material that would be of interest to anyone wanting to study the landscape of this region of Japan. The Küchler Vegetation Maps Collection is a large specialized collection of maps of vegetation of many regions. It happens that one of several sets on vegetation of Japan covers the affected portion of Fukushima Prefecture. Fukushima-ken Hama-dōri (Futaba-chiku) no Shokusei = Vegetation des Hama-dôri (Bezirk-Futaba) in der Präfektur Fukushima is a set of maps with text of the vicinity of these power plants. Japanese ecologist, Akira Miyawaki, mapped the area in 1975, and published the results in 1976. At that time Plant number I (Dai-ichi) had been built, and Plant number II (Dai-ni) was under construction. Map I shows the entire study area, maps II-IV, and V-VII show the natural vegetation and actual vegetation surrounding each of the plants.

"The Vegetation Map of Fukushima Prefecture" is map 7 of Shokuseizu, Shuyōdō Shokubutsu Chizu. It shows the vegetation of Fukushima Prefecture as a whole. Published by the Ministry of Education, Agency for Cultural Affairs, the series shows natural areas of various prefectures, and the Tokyo metropolitan area.

Two maps also in this collection show the vegetation of the entire country. Nihon no Genzon Shokuseizu = Actual Vegetation Map of Japan, 1975, and Nihon no Senzai Shizen Shokuseizu = Potential Natural Vegetation Map of Japan, 197?, are small scale maps useful for comparison with the larger scale maps above. All of these will have high value for studying loss of vegetation and restoration of the landscape.

Maps of Tibet and the Himalaya Region

The visit this month of His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, raises interest in his homeland and current place of residence. I would like to feature some maps in our collections about Tibet and the Himalaya region.
* Himalaya is a folded map of the area, by a Munich publisher.
* Two large format maps by GiziMap, based in Budapest, Tibet and Xizang = Tibet focus on the entire Autonomous Region of Tibet.
* Xizang Zizhiqu lü you di tu is a tourist map produced in China.
* Tibet : Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan, Himalaya, the roof of the world, and Himalaya, Tibet, Bhutan, Ladakh, Nepal, Sikkim are excellent tourist maps published in English.
* Amnye Machen Institute, Dharamsala, India, is a center for Tibetan studies in the home in exile for the Dalai Lama. The Institute’s Tibet and adjacent areas under Communist China's occupation showsTibet and adjacent areas of China where Tibetan language and cultural practices are found.

The ancient Tibetan capital is featured on two maps. Lhasa City = Lha-Sa Groń Khyer, by the Amnye Machen Institute, is accompanied by a booklet with text in English and Tibetan describing the city and a detailed index to buildings and sites on the map. The Lhasa map : Traditional Tibetan architecture and townscape has a larger scale map focusing on the city center area. Additional maps on the reverse provide plans of significant sites, including the Potala Palace complex, as well as elevation drawings.

Other maps feature special places.

* Dharamsala, McLeod Ganj uses satellite imagery to portray the city in Himachal Pradesh, India, that has served as the home of the Dalai Lama. McLeod Ganj is the name of the portion of the city where the temples, monasteries, and study centers are located.
* The high route around Manaslu focuses on a mountain and surrounding region in northern Nepal. This is a conservation area, with villages of indigenous populations. It is the focus of a graduate study project by a Miami student.
* Kailās, Mānasarovar, and Kailash : trekking map focus on a sacred mountain in western Tibet and northwestern Himachal Pradesh. At the base of the mountain are monasteries. Nearby is a lake regarded as the source of the Indus River, one of several major rivers that have their source in the Tibetan Plateau and the northern Himalaya.

These maps convey some of the wonders of this region that fascinates the western world, providing useful information for study. They also reflect a diversity of cartographers, based as they are in Germany, Hungary, Canada, Nepal, and India at the home of the Dalai Lama.

Winter Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia


This month the world will turn to Vancouver, British Columbia, when the 2010 Winter Olympic Games take place. From February 12 through 28, skaters, skiers, sledders, snowboarders, and curlers will compete in and around this West Coast city.
  • Olympic.org

    Provides useful information about Olympics activities, links to related sites.

  • Vancouver2010.com

    The official site for the events. Find out about events, about venues, schedules, results, and more. Maps and images of the region are online, and in the maps collection, show the communities and the event locations. The Venues page tells what events are to be held there, and at the Transportation tab, gives directions to the venue with a street map of the arena location.
I created a Google Map to show the venues in Vancouver and vicinity, at Cypress Mountain, and in Whistler. Natural Resources Canada provides this satellite view with a guide to using imagery. Successive views focus on specific areas, and reveal that BC Place, site of the opening and closing ceremonies, and awards ceremonies each night, is visible from space.

New maps in the our collection cover this area, as well. Four of them are by International Travel Maps, based in the Vancouver area:
Finally, a blog, Beyond Binary, by Ina Friend at Cnet, has begun a series of articles on the science and technology of the Winter Games, beginning with one on the issue of preserving snow at Cypress Mountain, site of the freestyle skiing and snowboarding events.

Walk Score -- city rankings for pedestrians

This web site takes a new slant on city rankings.
http://www.walkscore.com/

It shows rankings for major cities based on the ease of use for pedestrians. One can also create a personal ranking based on a particular address. Results will show distances to amenities such as businesses and services. It will display a Google map based on the address with the businesses identified. The intention is to help citizens reduce dependency on automobiles to carry out daily activities.

For those to whom that is important, this an interesting, potentially a useful tool.
However, the nature of the criterion, walkability for a commuter or shopper, is possible more for urban dwellers than for any other group. Another caveat, although it may change, is that distances are calculated 'as the crow flies', that is in a straight line from starting point to destination. Of course, nobody in an urban, suburban, or rural setting, can walk in a straight line to a market, a bank, a library, or whatever. There is false information included in the database (it claims that in my suburban neighborhood, one of my neighbors is operating a Subway shop!). These factors may be minor to some users, may be crucial to others.

One can join a discussion, vote on criteria to improve the algorithm, and participate in other aspects of the site. It is an interesting site that offers urban dwellers, and potential urban dwellers, an additional method to evaluate or to choose a place to live. It also offers the student of urban life an additional tool for that area of study.

Afghanistan - Pakistan : new maps of this strategic region

The recently announced policy for the conflict in Afghanistan returns this region to the front of international news. Recent maps help make more comprehensible the complex physical and cultural geography of the region. Here are few items recently added to the Libraries map collections.

Afghanistan-Pakistan : central border area
Science Map Coll G7631.F2 2008 .U5
is a recent publication from the Central Intelligence Agency. It shows the provinces and districts on both sides of the border between these countries. This includes Pakistan's Northern Areas, the Northwest Frontier Province, and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. Regions frequently in the news include the agencies of Northern and Southern Waziristan, the province of Nangarhar, home of the Tora Bora Hills. The names resonate with old and modern history; they will continue to be in our news.

Afghanistan-Pakistan administrative divisions
Science Map Coll G7631.F7 2008 .U5
This another CIA map, showing all of Afghanistan and a wider area of Pakistan. Kandahar, Balochistan and other areas also in the news appear. Shaded relief on this and the map above show the terrain.

Natural-Color Image Mosaics of Afghanistan: Digital Databases and Maps
Philip A. Davis and Trent M. Hare

Science Map I 19.121:245/DISC.1-3/DVD is a data set of three DVDs of imagery of the terrain and other subjects

The Northern Area of Pakistan is a pair of maps, by a Pakistan-based publisher. They portray the provinces and agencies in larger scale. They include maps and texts describing history and cultural aspects of these isolated areas.
Map one (Science Map Cabinet G7643.N62 2004 .M2), covers the agencies of the Northern Areas. Map two (Science Map Cabinet G7643.N6 2004 .M2), covers the Northwest Frontier Province.

Finally, a set of maps from The Survey of Pakistan shows several of the major cities. Several of these appear in the news as well as the territories named above. All of these are in Science Map Coll.

Islamabad, G7644.I8 2002 .S93, Peshāwar, G7644.P45 2003 .S8, and Rawalpindi, G7644.R37 2003 .S9 are the major cities of the area. Others cover Karachi, Lahore, and Hyderābād.