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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 16 September 2019
- Recipient of the Phillip Law Medal 2019 - Dr John Manning PSM
Citation and photograph.
- The Unmarked Graves of Billiluna Station in the Kimberley Region of Western Australia
This paper is a desktop review of events that now happened nearly 100 years ago after two whitemen were killed on a remote pastoral lease in Western Australia, in 1922. The men were then buried by their aboriginal workers, and reinterred after a police onsite examination, but since that time their graves have rarely been located as far as it is known. This extensive review by Paul Wise takes original material along with spatial information of the era and today to try to relate it all in a modern framework in an attempt to acurately locate these unmarked graves. Along the way apparently disparate facts are reconciled and other information corrected.
- The National Mapping Track Making Scraper for Sandy Going
In an effort to remove some of the strain on the majority of its survey vehicles when accessing pristine desert country, National Mapping devised a track scraper. The National Mapping Track Making Scraper for Sandy Going was first used in 1962, for about half of the distance of the some 400 kilometres from Callawa east to Well 35 of the Canning Stock Route; and again in 1964 from Well 45 south to Well 41 of the Canning Stock Route.
South of Well 41 in 1964 the scraper was abandoned and its whereabouts remained uncertain let alone photographed. This article by Paul Wise gives the history of the scraper and includes the recently discovered and last known 1980 photograph of the scraper in the region it was left in 1964.
- Nat Map's Name on a Postage Stamp
On 20 August 2019, Australia Post released a four stamp set Mapping the Australian Antarctic Territory, in which the $2 stamp has part of a 1971 Nat Map map and is described as such.
†(Click here to view full stamp.)
Due to copright restrictions the full stamp set cannot be shown but the set may be viewed via this link. Further details are also available on page 18 of the Stamp Bulletin, Issue 360 of July-August 2019 at this link.†
- 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.
- 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.
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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