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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.
The XNATMAP site is being preserved as part of the PANDORA archive.
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.
As of 1 June 2019
- Harry William Granger (1928-1977)
Harry Granger (1928-1977) was a licensed surveyor who worked with Nat Map from November 1966 until his untimely death in 1977. All of Harry's Nat Map service was based from Canberra and was involved with the National Levelling Program and so to that extent he was the levelling man. From 1969 Harry was the senior surveyor in charge of Nat Map's Precision Levelling Section within the Geodetic Survey Branch. In 1971 this Section undertook the major adjustment of the national levelling network that provided an accurate and homogeneous levelling system for mapping and other purposes. It was one of the largest such systems of levelled heights in the world and in May 1971 it was adopted by the National Mapping Council as the Australian Height Datum. In this article Laurie McLean provides a glimpse of Harry Granger's life and his Nat Map service.
- National Mapping's Airborne Terrain Profiling Program, 1962-1982
To produce the contoured 1: 100,000 scale topographic maps from aerial photography, height or vertical control was required. National Mapping found that known ground based methods proved to be too slow or unsuitable for Australian conditions. An airborne solution was thus sought. The Laser Years : Recollecting Airborne Terrain Profiling for Photogrammetric Vertical Control in the Division of National Mapping, 1962-1982, by Paul Wise, provides the most detailed account of the Division of National Mapping's, airborne terrain profiling program. It was this program that generated profiles of the terrain from which the location and height of selected points were extracted, enabling Nat Map's vertical control requirements to be met. Part 1 of this extensive article is now available with the aim of having the complete article available next month.
- George Robert Lindsay Rimington (1908-1992)
In 1929, at the age of 21 years Lindsay Rimington was registered as a licensed surveyor in Victoria. Rim as he was often called within Nat Map became one of National Mapping's early leaders. He started Nat Map's Melbourne in 1948 and led it until moving to Canberra as assistant director in 1962. In this article Laurie McLean takes a detailed look at Lindsay Rimington's life and his significant contribution to the mapping of Australia.
- The Empire, a former Sydney newspaper, published on its page 3 of Wednesday 2 September 1857, a lecture on Land Surveying given by then Australia's first Governor General, Sir William Denison. Denison described Geodesy, Geometry, Geography and Trigonometry as used by the surveyor to map out or divide the surface of the earth into portions of different sizes to suit the wants of its inhabitants. He also talked about the evil of the system whereby the expedient allocation of land lasts way beyond the need for such a temporary measure and thus results in the likelihood that the same piece of land be allocated to two, or even more, people and the ultimate recourse to litigation to resolve the problem.
- Natmap's supervising surveyor Bill Johnson arrived at Billiluna Homestead in October 1962, having just completed the reconnaissance of the Canning Stock Route (CSR), from Wells 35 to 51, of the Well 35 to Halls Creek traverse section of the national geodetic survey. For the geodetic survey parties to later access the northern CSR to carry out the survey, Johnson arranged a contract for Mr Bill Moyle of Carranya Station to undertake the scraping of the new track to Well 51 and to then continue with further track work southwards to Well 45. The unofficially named Moyle's Track ran from the vicinity of Old Billiluna to Well 45, bypassing Wells 47 and 46 to the east. Topographic maps of the era also show a location named Old Billiluna (ruins). Historically Billiluna took its name from a large water hole recorded as Billiluna Pool by Alfred Wernam Canning around 1910 and which is some distance from the other locations named Billiluna. This article The Historical Locations of Billiluna Homestead in the Kimberley Region of Western Australia by Paul Wise, details the history, people and land tenure behind these sites of Billiluna Homestead, providing an approximate timeline and sequence of occupation.
Previously in What's New
Go to ...
- Available National Mapping Technical Reports and Special Publications.
- The National Mapping Council of Australia (NMC) and the Division of National Mapping (Natmap).
- Bibliography of the History of Australia's National Topographic Mapping Agencies by Dorothy Prescott, 2003.
- Training Notes for National Mapping Field Survey Staff were compiled by Reginald Arthur Ford, Senior Technical Officer, while he was the Training Officer for the Melbourne Office. After many years of field experience, Reg documented most of the Nat Map Melbourne's accepted field survey procedures and methodologies covered by these notes. As such this document represents the consistent standard provided to and expected from all involved in field survey work during the late 1960s and 1970s. These notes were never published but just photocopied as required. This web version was derived from the personal copies provided by a number of Natmappers and their cooperation is appreciated. While every effort has been made to ensure correct conversion, users may find minor inconsistencies in the text and tables.
- All editions of the NATMAP News.
- Collected articles and papers about the USAF Southwest Pacific Survey, Project AF60-13 and its use of HIRAN.
A 25 minute (75MB download, MP4 file) 1961 USAF film on geodesy by Hiran can be viewed via this link. The film also has some interesting glimpses of various supporting technologies.
- Editions of the Commonwealth of Australia Gazette or Government Gazette can now be searched via this link. For each year from 1901 to 1973 a comprehensive annual index was produced and is also accessible from the above link. However, after December 1973 the Public Service section of the Gazette was released as a separate volume. From 1974 onwards these Public Service Gazettes have not been digitised. Thus ready online access to staffing information for 1974 onwards is not available. Also from 1975 onwards comprehensive annual indexing of Gazette entries for all years ceased and for some years only quarterly indexing was provided.
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