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What's New Previously


  • Robert Lewis John Ellery and the Geodetic Survey of Victoria from the Print Media
    Ellery is mainly recognised for his astronomical work; his crucial survey work is either glossed over or seen as part of his role as a public servant. It is the aim of this paper by Paul Wise, to highlight Ellery's significant role in the Geodetic Survey of Victoria as evidenced by reports in the print media of the time.
  • Control Survey for 1:100 000 Scale Mapping, Archipelago of the Recherche, Western Australia, March 1984
    The Survey Operations Branch, National Mapping Canberra, undertook a major mapping control survey in the Archipelago of the Recherche, off Esperance Western Australia, in March 1984. The survey was to provide photogrammetric mapping control throughout three offshore, 1: 100 000 scale map sheet areas. Brian Murphy, Survey Party Leader during the March 1984 field survey, recently extracted and condensed his daily diary entries to provide a day-to-day report of the 1984, helicopter supported, field work including his own and other photographs.
  • Shadwell's Manual for the Accurate Determination of Meridian Distances by Chronometer
    It is easy for us today to think that once an accurate timekeeper/chronometer had been invented, and was readily available, that the age old problem of position fixing at sea had been solved at last. Charles Frederick Alexander Shadwell (1814-1886, later Admiral Sir) showed that the use of the new timekeepers or chronometers for finding longitude was, for the most part, unreliable. Notes on the Management of Chronometers and the Measurement of Meridian Distances, produced by Shadwell, was first published in 1855 and revised in 1861. This article provides some history and details on Shadwell's Manual and his methodology to standardise position fixing.
  • Historical Locations connected with Lasseter's Grave, Petermann Ranges, Central Australia
    Lewis Hubert Lasseter (1880-1931) later and more commonly Lewis Harold Bell Lasseter died a lonely death in the bush searching for a fortune in gold. This article by Paul Wise, does not repeat the Lasseter story or the search for his reef of gold, but is about reconciling various locations, from the literature, connected with the region and the Lasseter story. In doing so maps of the time from explorers and others are examined as many of the place or feature names relevant to the region and Lasseter, are spelt differently by different people and other place names are not depicted on modern maps or listed in gazetteers. WARNING : This article contains the names and images of deceased aboriginal persons.
  • The Division of National Mapping - 1983
    A Review of Operations in the Division of National Mapping was undertaken in 1983. Part of the report documenting the review contained a brief history of National Mapping and its functions at that time. This history has been extracted and may be read via this link.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.