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Showing posts from January, 2020

Featured Item: Railway terminal map of Chicago

By Cecilia Smith Railway terminal map of Chicago What is the item? A map of railways and depots in Chicago and surrounding areas from 1897 by Rand McNally and Company. What BTAA Library submitted the item? University of Michigan Interesting tidbits: Railways were an influential component to the incredible population growth in Chicago during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The map uses color to denote North, West, and South Chicago, whose boundaries are largely formed by branches of the Chicago River. The Chicago Park and Boulevard System is also highlighted in green. The system is a series of parks connected by wide streets with central medians containing planted dividers. 26 miles of the system are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Maps that reference the Indian Rebellion of 1857

By Karen Majewicz India was subjected to colonization by England between 1612-1947, first under private trading companies, and later the British government. A major turning point occurred in 1857, when Indian soldiers (known as Sepoys) serving the British East India Company revolted. Violent clashes broke out across northern India, and, although historians disagree on casualty numbers, at least hundreds of thousands of people were killed. This series of uprisings, known as the Indian Rebellion of 1957, prompted the British government to dissolve the Company and to assert their own direct control over India. Within the next few years, cartographers provided the government with many new or updated maps illustrating British encampments, transportation routes, and the locations and dates of the major Rebellion conflicts. Many of these 19th century Indian maps can be found via our geoportal and came from the Ames Library of South Asia, housed at the University of Minnesota. This collection

Featured Collection: Nichols Arboretum and Matthaei Botanical Gardens

By Caroline Kayko Visit our Featured Collection: Nichols Arboretum and Matthaei Botanical Gardens The Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum (MBGNA) is a University of Michigan organization that promotes environmental conservation and enjoyment of nature in two locations in Ann Arbor, MI: the Nichols Arboretum, and Matthaei Botanical Gardens. The MBGNA has an open data GIS hub where they host datasets about vegetation, trails, land cover, geology, and more. These can be used by anyone from botanists to nature trail enthusiasts. Aerial Imagery There are scanned aerial images from sporadic years, the oldest being from 1937 and the newest being from 2006. There is also digital orthoimagery of the botanical garden from 2010 from a SEMCOG orthoimagery project. Close-up of aerial imagery showing handwritten notes denoting farms on the botanical gardens grounds, 1949. Interactive Maps Some notable interactive maps on the open data hub include the Matthaei-Nichols Botanical Surveys.

Featured Collection: EarthStat

By Cecilia Smith What’s in this collection? The EarthStat collection consists of 1,099 raster datasets. The data layers are global in coverage and provide information regarding agricultural crops. What BTAA Library submitted the collection? EarthStat is a collaboration between the Global Landscapes Initiative at the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment and the Land Use and Global Environment Lab at the University of British Columbia. Stanford University improved access to the data by splitting it up into layers, converting it to web services, and creating metadata for each layer. The web services and layer level downloads are available in the BTAA Geoportal . The original GeoTiffs can be downloaded at the EarthStat website. Interesting tidbits: EarthStat data was created to support researchers developing ways to feed a growing world population while reducing the environmental impact of agriculture. The EarthStat project combines national, state, and county level cen