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 archived in perpetuity as part of the National Library of Australia and related State Libraries PANDORA initiative.
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As of 1 September 2021
- 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. The first part is available this month with the complete work to be available next month, as such some links will be unavailable this month.
A set of specifications for Geodetic Triangulation in the United States : Gossett, Franklin Rice (1959), Manual of Geodetic Triangulation, Coast and Geodetic Survey, Special Publication No.247.
- Wilfred Hercy Dominick (Jerry) Whitlock (1898-1978)
Jerry Whitlock was a Driver (Survey) with Dave Hocking's 1949 field survey party that carried out astrofixes for mapping control for the then 4 Miles to an inch scale planimetric map series. The 1949 field party worked in the Northern Territory. Jerry Whitlock brought a wealth of experience to the field party that he had gained through an interesting life of varied pursuits. Born in Sydney, he served in the Canadian Army in World War I, worked on the survey for the Stuart Highway in the Northern Territory, established 2 war-time tracks across the Tanami Desert for defence purposes, and with his wife Ena established the Frewena roadhouse on the Barkly Highway. In this article Laurie McLean provides a biographical sketch of Jerry Whitlock.
- 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.