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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 1 June 2023
    Hover over a title for a synopsis or click associated Item tag for its manuscript

      • Item
        Landsat : Some of its history and its future
        Launched on 27 September 2021, Landsat 9 became the eighth satellite (Landsat 6 was lost on launch) of the series to provide continuity of world wide, earth observation data. In February 2022, Landsat 9 data became available to users. Since the earliest days of the Landsat program, Australia has had an intense interest in the program's data. This paper by Paul Wise, covers some of Landsat's history and describes the future of the Landsat program.

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        John Herbert Ely (1939-2023)
        John (or JE as he was affectionately known at Nat Map) was a highly respected and greatly admired Senior Technical Officer who made a significant personal contribution to Australia's national mapping activities between 1965 and 1992. John was an electronics expert who worked on and operated a wide range of survey equipment including airborne and terrestrial radar-based distance measuring systems; airborne laser-based terrain profiling systems; aerial survey cameras; and satellite-based precise positioning systems as well as digital computer systems, work stations and associated equipment. John's Nat Map field work took him to most of Australia's mainland states, to offshore areas from Queensland and Western Australia and to Antarctica where Ely Nunatak was named for John's contribution to the 1970-71 Prince Charles Mountains geodetic survey. Sadly, John Ely died at Casey Hospital, Berwick on 9 April 2023; he was 83 years of age. John is survived by Carol, his wife of over 51 years and by his daughter Susan (from a previous marriage) and her husband Brendan Lakic, by grandchildren Luke and Megan, and by great granddaughter Olivia. In this article Laurie McLean provides a tribute to John Ely.

      • Item
        WILD Heerbrugg Model T4 Universal Theodolite : their known Australian history
        Wild produced a total of 439 model T4 theodolites between 1941 and 1981, of which it appears that four were used operationally in Australia. All four T4's still exist and as little was documented, this article attempts to summarise the use of the T4 by the respective agencies.

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        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.


      • Previously in What's New
      • Major Programs & Related : enables direct access to the information on the listed topics.
      • 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.
      • Available National Mapping Technical Reports and Special Publications.
      • Resources page.

      • The XNATMAP website is archived in perpetuity under the PANDORA initiative of the National Library of Australia and associated State Libraries. Commenced in 1996, Pandora (Preserving and Accessing Networked Documentary Resources of Australia) is Australia's web archive; a growing collection of Australian online publications.
        Cultural Advice : This website contains the images of deceased Aboriginal persons. Please exercise care when viewing the content.

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Registration xnatmap.org : Hosting October 2025, Domain October 2030