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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.

    What's New as of 2 October 2021
    Hover over a title for a synopsis or click associated Item tag for its manuscript


      • This month marks the historic fifteenth year of XNATMAP
        In the last five years we have documented the extensive Aerodist, Laser Profiling and Bathymetric programs as well as the Levelling for, and adoption of, the Australian Height Datum and the Astro-Geodetic operations at Nat Map's Orroral Observatory. As more information emerged, numerous biographical accounts in addition to articles, papers and photos were added and updated and Nat Map's role in the survey and mapping of Antartica enhanced. Access to our collection of images and documents was sought by Australian and European writers/researchers for lesser known equipment like the Photographic Zenith Tube and Geodimeter. Our thanks to all our contributors and correspondents.

      • Item
        Baselines for Geodetic Triangulation Surveys in Australia
        From the mid 1820s until the adoption of electronic distance measuring in the 1950s, geodetic triangulation had been the main method of undertaking colonial, state, federal and defence surveys for Australian mapping. Implicit in any triangulation was the measurement of at least two baselines, unless only a couple of triangles were involved. One baseline near the start of the triangulation and the other near the end. Two baselines then provided an overall check on the accuracy of the completed triangulation. This work by Paul Wise gives an account of 63 triangulation baselines, plus a mention of a number of other baselines on islands and Tasmania. In doing so the history of geodetic triangulation surveys in Australia, is reviewed.

      • Item
        Dominic Peter Yau (1943-2021)
        Dominic Yau was a Senior Technical Officer at Nat Map's Rialto and Ellery House offices in Melbourne from 1974 until 1982 where he mainly worked on model control for analytical aerotriangulation. Dominic was a highly valued and greatly respected work colleague who was very diligent in his duties. Dominic came to Nat Map after some 9 years with the Royal Australian Survey Corps as a topographic surveyor, he also served in Vietnam for an extended period as an Army linguist. After Nat Map, Dominic became a migration officer with the Department of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs; serving in Hong Kong and Beijing. After academic studies, Dominic became a legal practitioner with the Carlton-based FCG Legal Pty Ltd for some 25 years. He was also an author of legal texts on migration law and became an Associate Professor of Law at Melbourne's Victoria University. In this article Laurie McLean provides a brief biographical sketch of Dominic Yau.

      • Item
        Australian Primary Data Acquisition Progress Maps for Topographic Mapping 1827-1988
        While there were various maps showing a south land from antiquity and the later navigator/explorers, these maps were mostly of coastline. Some forty years after the First Fleet arrived, in 1827 then Major (later Sir) Thomas Livingstone Mitchell (1792-1855) as Surveyor General saw the first systematic surveying and mapping of Australia. After that, settlement drove the need for mapping. As the XNATMAP website enters it fifteenth year an accumulation of information on Australian primary data acquisition for topographic mapping, gathered and standardised during those years, is presented by Paul Wise.


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