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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 12 August 2018
- The Aerodist airborne distance measuring system was used by Nat Map between 1963 and 1974 to obtain horizontal ground control for the 1:100,000 scale national topographic map series. An updated version of Laurie McLean's The Aerodist Years, which has been reformatted and had various typographical errors removed, is now available at this link. At that link as well as a web version, an Epub version is available, provided by Karen McLean who prepared this update.
- During October 1962-January 1963, an ANARE traverse party of eight men led by surveyor David Carstens travelled overland by tractor train from Mawson to the Amery Ice Shelf. The expedition sought to prove an overland route for future use, carry out glaciological studies, meteorology observations, barometric heighting, mapping survey observations, and collect geology and lichen samples. In this report David Carstens provides a summary of this significant primary journey. In a separate report glaciologist Ian Landon-Smith outlined the work done by his small dog party in conjunction with the Amery Ice Shelf traverse.
- Sadly Claude William Bernard King (6 May 1920 - 13 July 2018) passed away last month. Dr King worked in both Natmap's Melbourne and Canberra offices. In Melbourne he developed the numerical photogrammetric MODel BLOCK (MODBLOCK) adjustment software which was used for some 17 adjustments consisting in size of between one and sixteen 1:250,000 scale map sheets. After moving to Canberra, Dr King was involved with the development of aspects of Natmap's digital mapping. A very quiet and contemplative man, as smoking was allowed back then, Dr King was renowned for the trail of pipe smoke he left as he walked the second floor corridor of the Rialto building. A Vale is being prepared.
- Surveyors serving with Australian National Antarctic Research Expeditions (ANARE) from 1948 to 1958 were engaged by the Department of External Affairs. From 1959 the Division of National Mapping engaged surveyors for ANARE service. Laurie McLean has compiled a list of surveyors and survey technicians known to have served in Antarctica and sub-Antarctic locations with ANARE between 1948 and 1987. The list has been compiled from numerous sources but may not be complete. Further information will be welcomed.
- Natmap's Syd Kirkby, David Carstens, Max Corry and John Manning all contributed to the early geodetic surveying of the Australian Antarctic Territory. Reports of their previously listed activities are now available via this link.
- 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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