The Map & Data Centre, Weldon Library

In July, I attended a tour of the Map & Data Centre (M&DC) with the SLA student group. It was a delight to learn about the many resources available in a map library.

The M&DC had different kinds of globes, including ones about the solar system. The raised-relief ones appealed to me, which represented the elevation of the world by having its surface shaped to reflect the heights (i.e. it wasn’t flat or smooth). With my images, you can see how high the Himalayas are compared to India. It’s incredible to see how far the mountains go. Next, you can see the deserts and mountains in Saudi Arabia and Yemen.

IMG_20140825_144329         IMG_20140825_144008

There is a diverse range of atlases. If you search your library catalog with “Atlas of,” you will find that many topics are covered. Just as an example, in the photo below, the titles are about the historical atlases of Britain, a satellite atlas of Croatia and the surface temperatures of various European countries.

IMG_20140825_144233
This picture is just one row of shelves in the M&DC; the possibilities and wealth of information is endless. Atlases are not just about geography, but about visualizing information.
Fire insurance plans are essentially the historic maps of various cities from as far back as the late 1800s. The M&DC has digitized some of these maps and are free to view.
IMG_20140825_143703

A daylight map, showing where in the world it is daylight or nighttime in real time.

The M&DC offers so much more than what I’ve described above. Statistical data and consultation are offered. Various GIS software is available to use and visualize data. Every university should have a map library in some capacity, so definitely check out the resources available to you.
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