Week 2 assignment, GIS workshop
The Wisconsin's Past and Present atlas emphasizes peoples, both indigenous and immigrant, then traditional geographic categories like land forms, land uses, and commerce. Traditional narrative history is bypassed in favor of a variety of topics in the categories of boundaries and political movements. I don't see a map dedicated to the Civil War, for example, but there are a number of index references to it. The focus of the atlas reflects the fact that it is a cooperative effort with multiple authors, structured with general subject maps complemented by maps on a narrow topic, which are intended as examples to be expanded on by future mapmaking.
The most useful single map for librarians shows institutions of higher education in 2002 ("Public and Private Colleges and Universities, 2002," pp. 89, in the section, "Educational System"). While earlier maps dealing with population segments, voting behavior, et al., might be helpful, this map shows the locations of UW system 2- and 4-year campuses along with private colleges and technical schools. Besides points on the map indicating each institution, Technical College system districts are shown by shading around a headquarters indicated by a diamond. It's a current truism that educational institutions stimulate economic development, a truism which is mostly fact. A library planner can anticipate that educational institutions will bring students and faculty to a city, and that these people will demand services and cultural amenities that can be predicted. They will have an impact on local school systems; they will affect information use in the community. These effects can spill over into the public library. As institutional libraries grow, they will change the public library environment and thus alter services and collections over time. On a finer level, library planners can look at the type, relative size, and mission of institutions and have a sense of what kind of student and faculty population they are getting. The University of Wisconsin-Madison has a large international faculty which makes Madison one of the most cosmopolitan small metropolitan areas in the United States. It would not be out of place to have at least some "high-brow" literature in foreign languages in some of the city's branch libraries. On the other hand, in Mequon, the needs of faculty at the local Technical College will be somewhat different from those of professors at Concordia University Wisconsin of Mequon, a four-year private college run by the Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod.