Monster Map!

Hey all you folklorists, Bigfoot hunters, and people who just want to believe… we have the map for you! We recently purchased this amazing map of Monsters in America by Hog Island Press.

map of monsters in America

Image © Hog Island Press. Reproduced with permission. Map found here.

Have you ever heard of the Beast of Busco? I hadn’t, but apparently people claimed to have seen a 500 pound snapping turtle in a pond in Churubusco, Indiana (near Fort Wayne). For more information about strange creatures, myths, and oddities in Indiana come visit the Indiana Collection on the 2nd floor of the East Tower, where we have books like Oddball Indiana!

You are also welcome to stop by and view the map! If you’re interested in some of the other monsters pictured here, Frank Jacobs of Big Think’s map blog: Strange Maps, has compiled a great list of monster descriptions! Check it out at

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Google Earth Pro is now FREE!

Great news, map nerds! Google recently announced that they are making Google Earth Pro (previously costing about $400 a year) free. FREE!

The major benefits of Google Earth Pro over regular Google Earth are that it’s much easier to upload and analyze your own data, including shapefiles and GPS data. You can export and print at a higher resolution, and they’ve added the cool feature of measuring polygons (in case you want to figure out how large your neighbor’s pool is, etc).

Download Google Earth Pro to check it out!

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Free Access to New York Times

It’s the beginning of the month and you’ve already hit your 10 free article limit? Don’t panic! Now you can get free unlimited digital access to the New York Times with your IU email. Just go to to activate your account. If you need help, check out the FAQ.

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Today (Monday, December 1, 2014) is World AIDS Day

Post by Kimberly Horne

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates there are 1.2 million people in the United States living with HIV, and nearly 1 out of 7 of those people are not even aware they’re infected.  HIV is touching every region of the United States.  The rate of HIV diagnoses is highest in the South, followed by the Northeast, the West, and Midwest.  Those diagnosed with HIV tend to live in large cities: Atlanta, GA; Miami, FL; Augusta, GA; Baton Rouge, LA; New Orleans, LA; Memphis, TN; and Baltimore, MD.

Socioeconomic Factors Affecting HIV Risk:

  • Higher Rates of Male Incarceration
  • Homophobia
  • Immigration Status
  • Language Barriers
  • Poverty
  • Prevalence of HIV and other STDs in the Community
  • Stigma

Number of New HIV Infections per 100,000 Individuals:

  • Black Male               103.6
  • Hispanic Male          45.5
  • Black Female           38.1
  • White Male              15.8
  • Hispanic Female       8.0
  • White Female           1.9

24% of those initially diagnosed with HIV in 2012 also were diagnosed with AIDS.  This indicates they’d had HIV for years without knowing it.  Sadly, it also means they were diagnosed too late to benefit from life-extending prevention and treatment opportunities.

Out of the 1.2+ million people in the US with HIV:

  • 86% know they are infected
  • 40% are seeing a physician for HIV
  • 37% are receiving treatment
  • 30% have a very low amount of HIV in their bodies

Since 1985, nearly 650,000 people have died from AIDS in the U.S.  More than 13,000 people are dying every year.  Regrettably, only 30% of those infected with HIV in the US are keeping their virus under control.  When people who are infected receive the care, testing, and treatment they need, they can live healthier, longer lives, and reduce the risks of infecting others with HIV.

HIV Prevention Methods:

  • Abstinence
  • Antiretroviral medications
  • Don’t engage in risky sexual behavior
  • Don’t inject drugs, or at least use sterile syringes
  • Get tested regularly
  • Know your partner’s HIV status, and insist they get tested regularly
  • Monogamy
  • Prevention programs
  • See a doctor for care and treatment
  • STI screening and treatment
  • Substance abuse treatment
  • Use condoms – correctly







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Solar System, Comets, and Asteroid Maps

With the success of the recent European Space Agency (ESA) mission to land on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, we’ve started thinking more about the solar system and our place in it. Let’s take a look at interstellar maps!

Rosetta, Philae, and “Remarkable” Comets

The ESA launched a spacecraft with a lander—Rosetta and Philae, respectively—to Comet 67P/C-G more than 10 years before they actually made contact. In order to land on a 2-mile wide object approximately 317 million miles away, the mission needed exceptionally accurate math based on profoundly detailed maps. How advanced are our maps of the solar system? Which ones do we have access to through IU?

Broadly speaking, there are two types of maps for objects in space: ones of individual objects, and ones that show their position relative to other objects.

Maps that show relative position have been around for as long as people have drawn charts of constellations. In 1747, Emanuel Bowen mapped out “The Solar System, with the orbits of 5 remarkable comets.” His map shows the orbits of the planets out to Saturn (sorry Uranus, Neptune, and dwarf planet Pluto), plus the trajectories of 5 comets.

Central map of solar system, with three inset sphere maps

Is “remarkable” a scientific term?

Although not all the comets listed are named, Bowen includes the year of their appearance, as well as information about their distance from Earth and period if known.

Maps of individual bodies are much more recent, as the technology necessary is still advancing. In order to decide where Philae should land, ESA’s scientists started making a preliminary map of Comet 67P/C-G soon after Rosetta approached Comet 67P/C-G. This map outlines morphological regions, different portions of the object with distinct terrain such as cliffs, craters, and boulder-strewn fields.

If you’d like to see some of the process of determining this map, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has an excellent set of images with highly informative descriptions that reveals some of the modelling process as Rosetta neared Comet 67P/C-G.

To trace the circuitous route Rosetta took on its way to its interstellar rendezvous, Where is Rosetta? provides an excellent interactive map. You can rotate the view to see the comet’s orbit in three dimensions, as its flight isn’t exactly parallel to Earth’s. The map can also help you realize why Rosetta traveled 6,563,230,000 km in order to meet a comet 515,789,500 km away.

Asteroid Maps, Near and Far

Rosetta isn’t the only mission to investigate and map objects in our solar system. In 2011 and 2012, NASA’s Dawn spacecraft observed the asteroid Vesta, which lies in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. It took a team of 14 scientists about two and a half years to complete the mapping, which was based on observations made between June 2011 and September 2012. Dawn should reach Ceres, a dwarf planet in the same asteroid belt, in March 2015. Hopefully more maps will follow soon after that! Here’s a link to the article in the journal Icarus via ScienceDirect, if you want more scholarly detail than the news blurb provides.

Map outlining terrain and material of a portion of Asteroid Vesta

Geologic Map of the Av-15 Rhealsilvia Quadrangle of Asteroid Vest

Frighteningly, asteroids don’t always remain millions of miles away from Earth. Smaller bits often make contact with our planet, as this recent map of asteroids in Earth’s atmosphere between 1994 and 2013 shows A new near-Earth object enters our atmosphere about once every other week, the data show, although not all of the smallest ones are depicted on this map.

Many of these new maps will be published in the relevant journals, such as those available through ScienceDirect. You can always head to IUCAT if you’re interested in finding other types of material as well. Here’s a link to the results of a search for “solar system maps” if you want to explore more.

Post by Ryan Randall

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Countries Awaiting U.S. Ambassadors

This has been in the news a great deal lately, so I decided to make a map. The data comes from the American Foreign Service Association  and was last updated October 24, 2014. There was also a segment on NPR’s Morning Edition a while back: “Kerry Accuses Senate of Hobbling American Diplomacy”


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Indiana Statewide Elections: Tuesday, November 4th

Indiana’s next statewide elections will be held on Tuesday, November 4th. For information about polling places and to confirm your registration, visit Absentee voting is also available if you will be unable to reach the polls on Election Day. Visit this page for more information on absentee voting.

Remember to bring a valid photo ID with you to polls, as Indiana Public Law 109-2005 now requires Indiana residents to present a government-issue photo ID before casting a ballot at the polls on Election Day. This page contains information on what photo IDs are acceptable. This page discusses Public Law 109-2005, which requires the BMV to issue an Indiana State ID card for free, and links to a BMV branch locator.

For more information about the positions being decided in the upcoming election, here’s the slideshow we’ve been showing in our space in Herman B Wells:

Post by Ryan Randall

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Humanitarian Data

Welcome back, students! Today I want to share one of my favorite sources with you. It’s topical, easy to use, and of course… involves maps. The State Department’s Humanitarian Information Unit (HIU) is an inter-agency effort to provide geographic data and analysis to help organizations effectively respond to humanitarian crises around the world. The best part? They make this data free and available to the public.

The database is updated frequently, and provides data in may formats, including maps, spreadsheets, and shapefiles.


Published just 2 days ago



Make sure to explore all the different products and data they have available. Most of it is organized by region.

screenshot of HIU website

For all you GIS folks out there, HIU also has shapefiles on many areas and topics including border crossings in Syria, damaged villages in Darfur, and up to date international boundaries. It’s all available to download on their data website.

Finally, HIU supports MapGive, an open source, crowd-sourced humanitarian mapping project based on openstreetmap. Anyone can join and contribute to the map!


As always, email for more information or help finding maps and data!

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ArcGIS Available on IUanyWare

Breaking news! The wonderful people at UITS have made ArcGIS available through IUanyWare. This means that you can run ArcMap on your personal computer without having to download the software and obtain a license. Performance will vary based on internet speed and the complexity of your commands. This is a really awesome service that UITS is providing and it will allow you to use ArcMap from anywhere! Not sure if you’re ready to take the plunge into learning ArcGIS? No need to download! Just give it a whirl on IUanyWare. Are you a student with GIS assignments? Now you can do them at home!

As always, remember that ArcGIS is available on all STC computers across campus, including the public computers in GIMMS on the 2nd floor of the East Tower.

If you’re an IU affiliated person and need to request a full version of ArcGIS for your personal computer, email

For other GIS help, email me at

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Israel, Palestine, and Library Resources

Are you confused by the current events in Israel and Palestine? Want to learn more? Here are some resources related to Government Information and Maps that may help.


The Digital National Security Archive is a great database for declassified U.S. government documents. Many are related to the conflict. (IU Affiliated access only)

The Declassified Documents Reference System, or DDRS is another database for finding U.S. Documents. (IU Affiliated access only)

The CIA World Factbook entry on Israel has some maps and gives good background information, as well as demographics and economic information for Israel. They also have World Factbook entries for Gaza and The West Bank.


The Map Collection here at IU has many relevant maps, including…

The BBC has a pretty good collection of maps that attempt to explain the conflict.

The David Rumsey Collection is another of my favorite sources for historic maps.

San Francisco Examiner Map of Palestine

As always, email for more information.





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