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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.
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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.

    What's New

      As of 1 April 2018

      • 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 activities are now available in these and forthcoming documents :

        • Syd Kirkby's and Max Corry's National Mapping Technical Reports, numbers 5 and 7 respectively, may be found via this link.
        • The 1965-66 survey activities of Max Corry are described in the documents that may be found via this link.
        • January and February 1962 saw the first use of the electronic distance measuring system, the Tellurometer, in the Australian Antarctic Territory. David Carstens compiled this report on the Tellurometer's performance and measurements achieved. David has also kindly provided some further reports from his wintering expedition at Mawson from January 1962 to March 1963. Over recent years David has transcribed these reports from handwritten records. The reports are :
            . Report on Levelling Traverse Mawson to Masson Range 19 March 1962 to 3 May 1962
            . Church Mountain Report: Dog Sledge Journey September 1962 - Dog Sledge Journey Mawson to Church Mountain and Mount Rivett
            . David's Church Mountain Diary: Dog Sledge Journey September 1962 - Dog Sledge Journey from Mawson to Church Mountain and Mount Rivett
        • Queensland surveyor David Carstens undertook two separate periods of field survey duty as a Nat Map surveyor with Australian National Antarctic Research Expeditions in the early 1960s. In this article Laurie McLean provides a short biographic profile of David Carstens.
        • John Manning departed Melbourne in late December 1966 and returned in March 1968 spending all of 1967 in Antarctica. John has provided (1) his Surveyor's Report that outlines his survey work and related matters in Antarctica during 1967; (2) an article which provides a unique and detailed account of the 1967 Church Mountain Survey Tellurometer Traverse to extend the geodetic network from the Framnes Mountains to the Gustav Bull Mountains about 110 miles to the east; (3) the 1968 Anniversary Nunataks Survey; and (4) the November-December 1967 Mount Twintop to Depot Peak combined depot resupply and Tellurometer traverse to establish a link to the geodetic framework being constructed in the Framnes Mountains (forthcoming). Manning's 1967 Mount Twintop to Depot Peak survey work was a necessary repeat of a major project successfully completed by surveyor Max Corry in 1965 and was undertaken because of the geodetic importance of Corry's work and the nature of the moving intermediate ice stations that were used.
      • National Mapping's involvement with satellite positioning can be traced back to the late 1960s. It was 1975 however, before satellite positioning technology had developed sufficiently for it to be used in a national program. Subsequently, Australia moved to an earth centred datum with the adoption of GPS. This paper by Paul Wise, traces the development of satellite positioning leading to its use by National Mapping, and summarises relevant future world wide plans for this technology.
      • The technology of Electronic Distance Measuring (EDM) was a major factor in the successful completion of Australia's national survey and mapping programs. Terrestrial and later airborne EDM systems evolved from World War Two radar developments and were at the forefront of surveying technology until the advent of satellite-based surveying and navigation technology in the 1970s. This paper Airborne Electronic Distance Measuring : A Brief History seeks to catalogue the major airborne distance measuring systems that were developed during the twentieth century, with the focus on the history and use of airborne EDM used in, or associated with, the surveying and mapping of Australia.
      • 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. Laurie McLean has prepared this extensive article on Nat Map's Aerodist years in consultation with many of the Nat Mappers who were involved in the Aerodist program from up to over half a century ago. The article incorporates many of these Nat Mappers' recollections.
      • Previously in What's New

        Go to ...

      • Available National Mapping Technical Reports.

      • 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.

      • Related Sites

        | National Topographic Mapping | Geodesy | Satellite Imagery |
        | Antarctica |
        | The Surveying & Spatial Sciences Institute (SSSI) | The Mapping Sciences Institute |

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        This website may contain the images of deceased Aboriginal persons. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers should exercise care in viewing the content.

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