A&M International Offers Training For Mapping Software to Public

All Laredoans have free access to some of the most up-to-date research software at Texas A&M International University's Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library. Joshua Been, reference and government documents librarian, will be helping people learn to use it at 6 p.m., Thursday November 15, in Killam Library, room 206.

Called ArcView, the software is a professional-grade map-making program. Using ArcView in combination with government data, or even one's own data, one can chart information in full color, up to three feet by three feet.

"If you have the statistics, we can map it. Any data that you can place in a spreadsheet with a geographical aspect, whether it be international or a local community, can be mapped using this software," explained Been.

The software will be useful for many in the community, said Been.

"For example, you can chart U.S. export information and graphically show which countries receive the highest number of U.S. goods or use genealogical information and chart the migration of one's ancestors. Public administrators can use the software to see where their constituents are and even map their socio-economic composition. Businesses can chart their sales in Laredo and visualize where their strengths are and which sectors need some additional attention," he said.

During the session, Been will explain how to collect the data necessary to create the maps and teach participants how to use the powerful software.

"Once the map has been created, one can print it out in black and white, color or use the map plotter to make a large, color map. The map can also be saved as a JPEG and printed out elsewhere. Since the person who made the map owns the copyright, it can be used in publications," he said.

Been emphasized that this software is not available to the public anywhere else in the community, and urged students and residents to utilize this resource.

"The software is on the most powerful computer in the library. It has everything one needs to make these maps: spreadsheet software, photo editor to add fonts and other necessary objects to the map, access to hundreds of CDs with government data, not to mention the data available on the web. No matter what format you bring your data in, we can probably read it."

For more information, please contact Joshua Been at 326.2119, visit offices in Killam Library, room 109, or email jbeen@tamiu.edu.

Killam Library hours are Monday -Thursday 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., and Sunday 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at pais@tamiu.edu