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Welcome to XNATMAP

A site for preserving NATMAP's (The Division of National Mapping) history and maintaining contact with the people who were part of that history.
As the Australian Landsat Station (ALS), later the Australian Centre for Remote Sensing (ACRES) was part of the Division its history also forms part of this site.

    What's New as of 1 February 2023
    Hover over a title for a synopsis or click associated Item tag for its manuscript

      • Item
        Kenneth Owen Johnson (1921-2001)
        Ken Johnson was one of the first draftsmen to join the then National Mapping Section in Melbourne in early 1948. Previously Ken had given over 6 years of Army service during World War II (from 1941 to 1947); including some 874 days of active service overseas in the Middle East, Papua New Guinea, and the South West Pacific. Ken Johnson moved to Nat Map's Canberra office around 1956 and served there until retiring in 1982. In this article Laurie McLean has prepared a tribute to KO Johnson in consultation with some of Ken's former work colleagues.

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        Ozcan Ertok (1929-2022)
        Turkish-born Oz Ertok immigrated to Australia with his wife and teenage children in November 1970 and a few months later joined the Division of National Mapping's Melbourne office as a Technical Officer (Engineering). Oz worked with Nat Map until retiring in January 1991 and during his career there worked in the field for extended periods with the Aerodist Measuring Program, Laser Terrain Profiling, Coastal Aerial Photography, and the Bathymetric Mapping Program. Oz also worked in Antarctica with Nat Map for 2 summer seasons and with the Australian Antarctic Division for 2 winters (Mawson 1984 and Macquarie Island 1986). After retiring from Nat Map, Oz spent another winter in Antarctica with Greenpeace (Cape Evans 1991). In this article Laurie McLean provides a tribute for Oz Ertok.

      • Item (Updated)
        The Australian National Levelling Network Survey and Australian Height Datum updated 2023 to include the Australian Vertical Working Surface
        The Intergovernmental Committee on Surveying and Mapping (ICSM) introduced the Australian Vertical Working Surface (AVWS), in 2020, as the AHD was known to have a number of biases and distortions.

      • Item
        WILD Heerbrugg Model T4 Universal Theodolite : their known Australian history
        Wild produced a total of 439 model T4 theodolites between 1941 and 1981, of which it appears that four were used operationally in Australia. All four T4's still exist and as little was documented, this article attempts to summarise the use of the T4 by the respective agencies.

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        Australian Primary Data Acquisition Progress Maps for Topographic Mapping 1827-1988
        While there were various maps showing a south land from antiquity and the later navigator/explorers, these maps were mostly of coastline. Some forty years after the First Fleet arrived, in 1827 then Major (later Sir) Thomas Livingstone Mitchell (1792-1855) as Surveyor General saw the first systematic surveying and mapping of Australia. After that, settlement drove the need for mapping. As the XNATMAP website enters it fifteenth year an accumulation of information on Australian primary data acquisition for topographic mapping, gathered and standardised during those years, is presented by Paul Wise.


      • Previously in What's New
      • Major Programs & Related : enables direct access to the information on the listed topics.
      • Information on map reading and interpretation, specifically for Natmap medium scale topographic maps, can be found in
        Natmapís Topographic Maps : a guide to map reading and Notes on Map Reading by Reg Ford and Bob Goldsworthy.
      • Available National Mapping Technical Reports and Special Publications.
      • Resources page.

      • The XNATMAP website is archived in perpetuity under the PANDORA initiative of the National Library of Australia and associated State Libraries. Commenced in 1996, Pandora (Preserving and Accessing Networked Documentary Resources of Australia) is Australia's web archive; a growing collection of Australian online publications.
        Cultural Advice : This website contains the images of deceased Aboriginal persons. Please exercise care when viewing the content.

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Registration xnatmap.org : Hosting October 2025, Domain October 2030