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Kathleen Weessies Thursday, October 12, 2017 - 9:09am Categories: Uncategorized

Michigan's 83 counties are divided into villages, townships, charter townships, and cities.  Collectively these units are known as Minor Civil Divisions.  The differences between them relate to the degree of power they have over their administrative structure, their taxing powers, territorial integrity, and authority over services (Verberg, 1990).  When it comes to matters of property taxes and voting, all state residents look to either their city or township.  A city may annex land from a general law township, but a township may not annex land from a city. The U.S. Bureau of Census...

Continue reading "What are Michigan's Minor Civil Divisions?"...
Amanda Tickner Monday, September 11, 2017 - 1:45pm Categories: Events
The Visualization Community Seminar Series is a place for anyone interested in visualization/data visualization to learn about emerging ideas, research and methods. Faculty, students, and community members are invited to attend sessions where an invited visualization practitioner(s) will share their research and methods. The goal of this seminar series is to build a community of practice around visualization that crosses disciplinary boundaries and techniques. Anyone with an interest in the topic of visualization is welcome and encouraged to attend! Feel free to bring your lunch. Seminars... Continue reading "Visualization Community Seminar Series"...
Kathleen Weessies Thursday, August 31, 2017 - 11:49am Categories:

During Fall Semester 2017, MSU students, faculty and staff have access to a new map database MapVault.  MapVault provides access to  maps of countries around the world.  Most maps are topographic, but it also contains some Geological, Aeronautical, Nautical, Tourist and Thematic maps. Maps are delivered as a streaming tile service either through the MapVault web application or through ArcGIS or QGIS. 

We welcome your feedback about this product, particularly concerning your anticipated use of this product, shoudl we acquire it.  Please email your feedback to Kathleen Weessies, Head...

Continue reading "Fall 2017 Trial Access to MapVault (link fixed)"...
Amanda Tickner Wednesday, August 9, 2017 - 9:25am Categories: Events

We have some new and some repeated workshops for Fall 2017! All workshops are free and open to the public. Registration is encouraged but not required.

Introduction to QGIS Make a Simple Map with Vector Data: Friday September 15th Beaumont West 3:00-4:00

Learn the basics of QGIS, the free open source geospatial software - this workshop will demonstrate how to make a choropleth (color shaded) map and place graduated symbols on it, load shapefiles and .csv table files into QGIS, join data to spatial information and edit features.
Register here.

Compass Navigation:...

Continue reading "Fall 2017 Workshops"...
Kathleen Weessies Friday, June 9, 2017 - 2:47pm Categories: Uncategorized

An interactive map has been created which displays the land parcels selected by the State of Michigan under the Morrill Land Grant College Act. 

In 1863 Michigan participated in the program established by the Morrill Land Grant College Act of 1862 to establish an agricultural college using funds gained from a grant of federal lands. This map displays the 240,000 acres selected.

The legal land description of each parcel is listed in the book, The State of Michigan and the Morrill Land Grant College Act of 1862. Author Herbert Berg had obtained photocopies of the list from the...

Continue reading "Land Selected under the Morrill Land Grant Act of 1862"...
Kathleen Weessies Thursday, April 27, 2017 - 8:52am Categories: Uncategorized

In 1951 the State Library of Michigan, then in the Cass Building, was set on fire.  State workers rushed to save as many water logged items as possible.  In the picture above Michigan Department of Transportation workers are using irons to flatten maps.  The recovery efforts were featured in Life Magazine.

Actually, freezing waterlogged books & papers is about the best thing you can do to stop mold and disintegration until someone can deal with the items.  The fire happened during sub-freezing temperatures.  Nowadays when library items are soaked from sprinkler systems, we rent...

Continue reading "Other Duties as Assigned: MDOT Workers iron maps in 1951"...
Kasey Wilson Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - 3:08pm Categories: Collections

In 1790, The newly formed US Congress passed the Residence Act allowing for the creation of a new city ‘not more than 10 miles square’ as the seat of the Federal government.  The site chosen by George Washington sat between the Potomac and Anacostia rivers making the city accessible for commerce but also defensible against naval attack.  Conveniently, it was also just up the road from Washington’s home at Mount Vernon. 

Fig. 1: Miniature Portrait of Andrew Ellicott, 1799. Source: Wikipedia

The surveyor Andrew Ellicott (Fig. 1), who would later serve as the US boundary...

Continue reading "L'Enfant's Legacy"...
Amanda Tickner Tuesday, December 6, 2016 - 5:17pm Categories:

We have five GIS and map related workshops coming up for Spring Semester 2017! They are free and all are welcome to attend (including community members).

Introduction to QGIS: Make a Simple Map with Vector Data - January 30 (Beaumont West)

Learn the basics of QGIS, the free open source geospatial software - this workshop will demonstrate how to make a choropleth (color shaded) map and place graduated symbols on it, load shapefiles and .csv table files into QGIS, join data to spatial information and edit features. Register here.

QGIS 2: Georeferencing - February 6th (...

Continue reading "Spring 2017 Workshops"...
Amanda Tickner Wednesday, November 16, 2016 - 2:02pm Categories: Events

Celebrate GIS Day on Nov. 16th by participating in a humanitarian mapping project, no GIS experience needed! Bring your laptop to the Map library CTL and join us in developing map data to aid a humanitarian project. We will be helping the Humanitarian Open Street Mapping Project – their past projects have included working on mapping earthquake stricken areas in Nepal and recently Haiti in the aftermath of hurricane Matthew. The exact project we will work on is to be determined, but likely will involve improving our knowledge of road networks in an African country by looking at satellite...

Continue reading "GIS Day 2016 Nov. 16th 2:00-4:00 - Humanitarian Open Street Map-athon in the Map Library"...
Tuesday, October 4, 2016 - 1:29pm Categories:

Ionia, Ionia County, Michigan Terr’y. Published by Pendletons Lithography in Boston in 1835, probably for Nathaniel Brown.

 

This map shows a thriving town site.  The only problem was that it was a complete fiction.  The real Ionia, Michigan, Seat of Ionia County, had been placed two miles west of this site in 1833.

At the time the map was made in 1835, half of the square-mile section had been purchased by Chicago-based land speculator Nathaniel Brown.  The other half was still owned by the Federal Government.  Brown had the idea of a sawmill anchoring a community that...

Continue reading "Fictitious Ionia"...

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