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What's New Previously

We wish to thank all those who have contributed to the site so far and our current stock of articles, documents and photos will only last a couple more months thereafter What's New will stagnate.

To keep the site fresh your input is continually required. If you enjoy the site please consider contributing to its content.

Thanking you in advance.

The Editors


    ....previous months or so

  • 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.
  • Gordon Bertram Lauf is perhaps best remembered for his development of the Lauf Method for the conformal transformation of coordinates from any orthomorphic map projection to any other map projection. Following a 1967 meeting at National Mapping in Canberra with Tony Bomford, who was then in charge of the Division's geodetic section, Natmap and the National Mapping Council formally adopted and publicised the Lauf Method. With the generous assistance of Lauf's daughter Vanessa, this brief profile compiled by Paul Wise, it able to reveal that Lauf had a role in other significant developments. A South African by birth, Lauf and his then family migrated to Australia in 1976. Over the following three years Lauf occupied an Emeritus position, with Visiting Fellow status, at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) before spending his final years in Sydney.
  • Frank Johnston's outstanding career as a professional surveyor extended over more than 40 years and involved undertaking major engineering and mapping projects as well as teaching new geospatial professionals. Frank's surveying and mapping work with National Mapping commenced in 1958 and ended in 1974. However, it was only between 1971 and 1974 that Frank was employed as a Nat Map staff member, in that period he was an Aerodist field party leader. In this article Laurie McLean provides a biographical sketch of Frank Johnston and also gives brief glimpses of some of the major professional figures with whom Frank interacted.
  • Deal Island is the largest of the Kent Group of islands in Bass Straight. In the early summer of 1952 and later in early 1953, Deal Island was occupied by National Mapping's Reg Ford and an assistant to undertake the Bass Strait Triangulation which linked the geodetic surveys on the mainland with those on Tasmania. On both occasions, the Deal Island party was transported by the mailman on his regular run from Port Albert, Victoria. After being landed at the jetty at East Cove, the climb to the Deal Island Lighthouse took some 5 to 6 hours, the summit being almost 1,000 feet above sea level. While the Deal Island Lighthouse made a fine observing target it could not be used as an observing platform. The station mark for observing on the peak was thus some 680 feet from the lighthouse which was on a slightly lower peak. It was then necessary to measure down through a steep gully and up the other side to the centre of the lighthouse, and also read the required angles so that the calculation of the correction for the eccentric light could be made. During this survey, the line Deal Island back to Mount Fatigue, Victoria, was the longest observed at almost 84 miles (130 kilometres approximately). Now living outside of Yarram, Victoria, ex-Natmapper Laurie Edebohls became interested in this bit of history and arranged a flight over Deal Island in July 2017. This short (about 3 minutes) video (no audio) was acquired by him during the flight.
  • An album of photographs, taken during his days of field work with Natmap, courtesy Laurie Edebohls may be viewed this link.
  • Guy Rosenberg joined National Mapping in 1960 and spent that year in the Tellurometer field party of OJ Bobroff. This party measured a continuous series of lines of the Geodetic Survey from the Carrieton base line in South Australia north to Powell Creek in the Northern Territory. When HA Bill Johnson asked Guy to transfer to Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, to support David Cook, then Natmap's PNG Resident Surveyor for the Geodetic Survey, Guy accepted. Guy then spent until 1964 in PNG on the geodetic survey. On Christmas Day 1963 Guy along with Ed Burke and Ron Scott enjoyed a white Christmas on the summit (approximately 15000ft) of Mt Wilhelm. This rare event made the front page of PNG's newspaper of the time the South Pacific Post. Guy, who is now living back in his native France, has generously provided photographs of his time in PNG which may be viewed via this link.
  • The little known Relief Model of Australia is a 64 square metre representation of Australia at approximately 1: 500,000 scale. Conceived, and built under his supervision by Edwin Sherbon Hills (1906-1986) of the University of Melbourne, it was initially financed by the Army but finally completed with funding from National Mapping in 1954. The Commonwealth's copy of the 26 parts of the model is housed by Museums Victoria in its Moreland Storage Annex in Melbourne.