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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 November 2018
- Congratulations to Natmapper Syd Kirkby AO MBE who was awarded the Australian Geographic Society's highest honour -the Lifetime of Adventure award- at an event in Sydney on 26 October 2018. Syd was one of several award recipients at the event that was held in the Shangri-La Hotel's grand ballroom. The event was attended by Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex KCVO ADC and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex. Syd was able to have a good conversation with Prince Harry who had trekked to the South Pole with two Australian soldiers in 2013. For more information on Syd's Lifetime of Adventure award please use this link to the Australian Geographic website.
- Jock Head, one of Natmap's former pilots, passed away last August. In accordance with his wishes a memorial service for Jock will be held on Shelly Beach at Port Macquarie NSW at 2.00PM on Sunday 25 November 2018. The service will include the unveiling of a seat set against the cliff on Shelly Beach. This seat will have a plaque in memory of Jock as this was the local beach where he walked most days. His ashes will then be scattered. Fellow Natmap pilot and colleague Harry Baker will be driving to the ceremony from Numurkah in country Victoria and is looking for company. Anyone interested can obtain further deatils by contacting the website.
- 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. The mapping surveys in and through the Prince Charles Mountains of Antarctica were a logical extension of this earlier survey work radiating out of Australia's Mawson base. Papers on these Prince Charles Mountains surveys have emerged and possibly other papers might emerge in the future. To provide a simple, consistent context for these more detailed documents and maps showing the extent of these surveys, the following overview Surveys for Mapping : Prince Charles Mountains : 1954-1974 has been compiled.
- During the Geodetic Survey of Australia a trigonometrical station was established on then Ayers Rock in 1958, as described by Ford (1979). To erect its standard cairn and beacon Natmap had received special permission from the Northern Territory Reserves Board. By the late 1960s the carefully constructed rock cairn and beacon had collapsed and a replacement monument was devised and installed in 1970. This article describes the events behind the 1970 remonumenting of the Ayers Rock Trigonmetrical Station.
- 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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