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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 2 May 2018
- Colonel William Light's (1786-1839), initial trig formally monumeneted by a plaque in the Adelaide CBD as shown in this article from the Adelaide Advertiser of 28 April 2018 courtesy Bill Stuchbery.
- Every map of the world has lied to you is about thetruesize.com website which allows you to select a country, say Australia, and drag it to overlay any other country in the world. As Australia is dragged over the map its size and shape are altered according to Mercator's projection, so the comparison is true for the location selected. The effects of the Mercator Projection in projecting a shape from a sphere to a plane can be seen in real time.
- 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.
- 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. 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 and Antarctic Surveyor, John Manning, worked in Antarctica from 1966 and included field survey activities during 11 summers, and one winter season as well as several visits to sub-Antarctic islands. John also worked as a Nat Map field surveyor and survey field party leader in remote areas of Australia during the late 1960s and early 1970s. Later John undertook senior surveyor and senior manager roles in Nat Map and successor organisations. In this article Laurie McLean provides a biographic profile of John Manning.
- 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.
- 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 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.
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