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  • GRL Rimington's paper Latitude and Longitude Determinations originally published in the 1944 Australian Surveyor, Vol.10, No.2, pp.53-62, describing the astronomical position fix observation that became known as Rim's Method.
  • Star Tracking for Mapping - An account of astrofix surveys by the Division of National Mapping during 1948-52 by David Roy Hocking, F.A.I.C., M.I.S. Aust. A paper presented at the Institution of Surveyors, Australia, 27th Australian Survey Congress, Reducing Remoteness, held at Alice Springs during 23-29 March 1985, Paper 3, pages 13-26. Permission to reproduce Dave's paper was kindly provided by his estate and the Institution of Surveyors, Australia. Digital reproduction of all the photos used were provided by Peter Hocking and are greatly appreciated.

    These Astro surveys made the newspapers of the time:

  • http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/49990150?searchTerm=Dave
  • http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/35776165?searchTerm=Dave
  • https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/49990150?searchTerm=NEWCASTLE%20WATERS%20MAP%20MAKING see paragraph MAP MAKING

    Australian Geodetic Survey and Geodesy

  • 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 Division of National Mapping's part in the Geodetic Survey of Australia, Activities based on the Melbourne Office, 1951-1969, by RA (Reg) Ford.
    In the New Year's day honours list of 1 January 1968 Reg was recognized with the award of the Medal of the Order of the British Empire - BEM (Civil)- for meritorious service to Australia's national mapping effort particularly to the national geodetic survey.
  • The Geodetic Survey of Australia is one of the outstanding scientific achievements of the post Second World War period. It was made possible by the foresight, technical competence and physical effort of many government and private surveyors and the use of modern precise theodolites, electromagnetic distance measurement equipment, automatic levels, electronic computers and helicopters, stated then Reader, Brian Thomas Murphy (1927-1983), of the University of Melbourne, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Surveying, in 1973.
    Mr Murphy went on to say that Klaus Leppert’s 1973 paper, Geodesy in Australia, 1956-72, discussed implications of the actual surface of the earth, the geoid, and the spheroid; it describes the Australian Geodetic Datum, the Australian Map Grid and the Australian Height Datum; it outlines contemporary work on she definition of the geoid in Australia and the application of satellite geodesy to the measurement of two long base lines between Perth and Narrabri and between Thursday Island and Narrabri for the worldwide Pageos Satellite Triangulation. Klaus Leppert’s paper and Brian Murphy’s review are available via this link.

  • Fifty years ago an insignificant rocky outcrop in the Northern Territory became the first calculated origin and centre of Australia. This location was then marked by a specially constructed rock cairn in which was set a bronze plaque indicating that this point was the Johnston Geodetic Station, also sometimes called the Johnston Origin. This article explains the importance of this point in Australia's survey and mapping history.
  • On 21 April 1966, the National Mapping Council adopted the Australian Geodetic Datum 1966 (AGD66). This datum was later proclaimed in the Commonwealth Gazette No. 84 on 6 October 1966. AGD66 was the first Australian datum and now fifty years later preparations are well underway for the new 2020 datum. Whether we say Happy Birthday or RIP AGD66, its determination was a necessary and significant event in Australia's mapping history and its significance is briefly reviewed in this article Australian Geodetic Datum 1966 : Fifty Years On.
  • The Geodetic Survey of Australia by Albert Francis Hurren in 1959, from Cartography 3:38-48.
  • With the launch on 24 June 1966 of PAGEOS (Passive Geodetic Earth Orbiting Satellite), a global geodetic network was established to observe this satellite and establish a uniform geodetic datum. Commencing in 1967, Australia's contribution to the success of this project was not insignificant and can be viewed via this link.
  • Adjustment of Horizontal Control Surveys - a 1967 paper in Proceedings and Technical Papers, United Nations Regional Cartographic Conference for Asia and the Far East (5th : 1967 : Canberra, E/CONF.52/L.1) on the VARYCORD program by Australia about the use of the program for geodetic network adjustment.
  • The stellar observation programs of Astronomical fixes (Astrofixes) for mapping control, the Ney Method for survey control used periodically in Antarctica and Laplace observations for azimuth control, spheroid determination and geoidal profiling are discussed in this 2022 paper by Paul Wise.
  • Papers about Geodesy and other topics by BP Lambert can be read via this link.
  • A 2006 paper The Geodetic Survey of Australia and a 2011 paper History of Geodesy in Australia both by John Manning.
  • Over small areas the Earth may be considered a plane and the angles of a triangle in that plane add to 180 degrees. Over larger areas the Earth's curvature cannot be ignored and the angles of a triangle on such a curved surface add to more than 180 degrees. Also the Sine rule relating the sides and angles of a plane triangle is no longer valid on a curved surface. This paper Formulae for Geodetic Computations on a Spheroid : Some History by Paul Wise provides a brief history of moving from plane to spheroidal computations and the formulae that were developed to achieve the positional accuracy required.
  • The GEOID - papers about the Geoid can be read via this link.
  • The AGA NASM GEODIMETER - papers about the Geodimeter in Natmap are available in the references to this article.
  • Geodetic Observatory - Orroral

  • National Mapping's Astro-Geodetic Observatory at Orroral, 1974-1998, details the history of the activities undertaken at or by the observatory and its staff. Included are Lunar Laser Ranging and later Satellite Laser Ranging, the National Time Service, initially at Mount Stromlo before being administratively moved to National Mapping on 27 September 1971 and physically to Orroral in 1974, and operation of the Photographic Zenith Tube (PZT) at Mount Stromlo from 1971 to 1985. The shell of the Observatory was subsequently Heritage Listed on 2 June 2016.
  • National Mapping's National Time Service.
  • Construction and comparison of Atomic Time Scale Algorithms: with a brief review of time and its dissemination, by John Luck. John's thesis was published as National Mapping Technical Report 32.
  • History of Satellite Laser Ranging in Australia.
  • In parallel with Nat Map's operations at Orroral, Nat Map staff were also involved with Photographic Zenith Tube (PZT) observations at Mount Stromlo. The PZT work was described in National Mapping Technical Report 15.
  • Satellite Positioning

  • This paper by Paul Wise, traces the development of satellite positioning leading to its use by National Mapping, and summarises relevant future world wide plans for this technology.
  • Wild Heerbrugg BC-4 Ballistic Camera and Doppler/GPS TRANET Site, Smithfield, South Australia : The town of Smithfield is around 30 kilometres to the north of the Adelaide CBD. In this article, read how for over 30 years, a trivial section of what was once a vast wartime ammunition works and storage, near Smithfield, was set up and operated as part of a co-operative international program.
  • Aerial Photography

  • This 1964 paper by Quick, Eye in the Sky, presented at the 10th Congress of the International Society of Photogrammetry, in Lisbon, covers man's various methods of seeing his world from above including early ballooning, kite, aeroplane and rocket photography.
  • Lieutenant Colonel Donald MacDonald, Royal Australian Survey Corps, traces, for the period 1924-1949 in his 1953 paper, the history of aerial photography in Australia before discussing photogrammetry. Attached are available photographs and some details of the aerial cameras mentioned.
  • Aerial photography was the primary data source for Natmap's Photomaps, R502 and NTMS map series. 'From Aerial Photography to Remote Sensing - A History of Aerial Photography and Space Imagery Acquisition in Australia' by John Manning provides the story of aerial photography acquisition for these mapping programs.
  • In this 1964 paper New Airborne Instrumentation for Photogrammetry, presented at the 10th Congress of the International Society of Photogrammetry in Lisbon, Wild Heerbrugg introduced their navigation telescope, the NF1 Navigation Sight, PAV2 Universal Aerial Camera Mount, HC1 Horizon Camera and RST2 Statoscope which recorded the differences in flying height at the instant of each camera exposure.
  • The New Wild RC10 Film Camera (Borman, Gert E (1969), The New Wild RC10 Film Camera, Photogrammetric Engineering, October 1969, pp.1033-1038) accessed at : https://www.asprs.org/wp-content/uploads/pers/1969journal/oct/1969_oct_1033-1038.pdf .
  • Mapping Control and Compilation (Photogrammetry)

  • Australian mapping was largely based on photogrammetry where ground survey information was integrated with aerial photography to produce a contoured line map of selected scale. This selection of personal, historical material accumulated during the Natmap era covers photogrammetric, mapping and map printing topics as listed here.
    Mugnier's 1972 paper Photogrammetric Instruments for the US Army (IRE Transactions on Military Electronics, No.64. pp.39-43) is here.
  • Five hundred years on, Mercator's legacy in the Australian Map Grid (AMG), the basis for Australian topographic mapping, is recognised.
  • The National Geodetic and Topographic Survey, by Bruce Phillip Lambert, presented at the Conference of the Institution of Engineers (Australia), Canberra, April 1956. This paper was given just before the National Mapping Office in the Department of the Interior was transferred to the Department of National Development on 2 July 1956 as the Division of National Mapping.
  • Topographic Map Drawing by William Sear the then Chief Cartographer, National Mapping, 1958.
  • One in a Million by William Sear former Chief Drafting Officer, National Mapping, 1964.
  • The Projection Story by William Sear the then Chief Cartographer, National Mapping, 1967.
  • This 1998 paper by David Roy Hocking titled NATMAP Early Days, Map Compilation from Aerial Photographs 1948-1970s (The Globe, No.47, pp.16-33) described the methods used to compile maps from aerial photographs by National Mapping from its earliest days to the 1980s; from aerial photo indexes, mosaics, radial line plots, to slotted template assemblies and shift & trace or Zeiss Sketchmaster to stereoplotting of map detail and contouring from stereoscopic models formed from overlapping aerial photos using Kern PG2 and Wild B8 instruments is covered.
  • In 1965 the Commonwealth Government embarked on a programme of re-mapping continental Australia over a period of 10 years at a scale of 1:100,000. This program required an innovative approach which is described in this 1967 paper 'Control Surveys for 1:100,000 Mapping'. In 1969 this "brochure" article was published by the department.
  • While map compilation was one of the main roles of the National Mapping Melbourne office, in this article Brian Murphy recalls that almost all of the 1: 100,000 scale map components of a 1: 250,000 sale map sheet in the region north of Albany, Western Australia, in Natmap's area of responsibility were compiled by the Canberra office.
  • The Wild, model IV, B8 Stereomat was the first photogrammetric machine to automate much of the stereoplotting process. Along with Zeiss Jena's Topocart and Zeiss Oberkochen's SEG V rectifier, these instruments were the basis of National Mapping's orthophotomapping program. This article describes this program and contains papers on the development of the Stereomat.
  • Related papers :
    Developments in Orthophoto Mapping - Australian paper in Proceedings and Technical Papers, United Nations Regional Cartographic Conference for Asia and the Far East (6th : 1970 : Tehran, E/CONF.57.3.pdf).
    Automated Cartography in the Division of National Mapping- Bomford, Anthony Gerald (1971), Cartography, Vol.7, No.3, pp.119-125.

  • In the late 1960s Nat Map began storing some mapping data digitally. As processes variously known as Computer Aided Drawing, Computer Assisted Cartography, Automated Plotting, Automated Cartography and Automated Photogrammetry evolved the traditional manual map generation stages also evolved into the complete capture and storage of map data digitally. In 1987, the Hermannsburg (5450) 1: 100,000 scale map sheet, was the first sheet to be completely produced by digital methods in Nat Map, and also the last map required to complete its NTMS program. Described in this article The Division of National Mapping's Adoption of Digital Mapping Techniques is the path taken by Nat Map to fulfil the objective of digital mapping capture once and use many.
  • Map Revision & Accuracy

  • From the early 1970s Natmap actively undertook field surveys to check its maps for completeness and accuracy. In later years a revision program was introduced. The following papers cover these aspects.

    1962 - Spot Photography for Map Revision - Lines
    1978 - The 1:100,000 Mapping Program and Ground Truth - Thomson and Madden
    1978 - Revision of Topographic Maps - Bomford & Thomson
    1980 - Maintenance of the Australian 1:100,000 National Topographic Map Series - Thomson
    1983 - Accuracy checks on Topographic Maps - Manning
    1983 - Map Accuracy Surveys by the Division of National Mapping - National Mapping
    1984 - Map Completion Techniques for Small Scale Mapping - Kalen Sargeant
    1986 - Map revision in Australia - Crane
    1986 - Obsolescence - The ongoing problem for Cartographic Information Systems - A two part paper with Part 1 by John Manning and Part 2 by Kevin Crane
    1988 - Revision of medium scale Topographic Maps using space imagery - Manning & Evans

    Coastline Delineation by Aerial Photography

  • National Mapping's program of coastline delineation by aerial photography was undertaken to delineate the Australian coastline at mean low water and mean high water. These coastlines were required to be depicted by the relevant map specifications on the requisite 1: 250 000 and 1: 100 000 scale map sheets of the National Topographic Map Series (NTMS). As well as defining the blue line on a coastal map sheet, the coastal delineation by aerial photography program was a precursor to the declaration of Australia's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) on 1 August 1994.
  • Bathymetric Mapping

  • Bathymetric Mapping - Natmap's Unfinished Program draws on the recollections of a number of Nat Map personnel from the bathymetric program to compile a history of that program. The bathymetric mapping program was never completely documented previously as the Bathymetric Mapping function was transferred from National Mapping to the Royal Australian Navy's Hydrographic Service as of 1 July 1988, with the then planned program incomplete.
  • The following papers describe the Bathymetric program and its progress.

    Mapping Australia's Continental Shelf, by Len Turner, 1974.
    Satellite Imagery and its Applications to Offshore Mapping in Australia, by Len Turner and Harvey Mitchell, 1977.
    Bathymetry – The Decade Ahead, by Peter O'Donnell, 1982.
    Mapping the Australian Continental Shelf, by Con Veenstra, 1984.

  • Permanent Committee on Tides and Mean Sea Level
    At its 37th Meeting in Perth during 18-20 September 1979, the National Mapping Council established a Permanent Committee on Tides and Mean Sea Level. Initially, the Committee consisted of a representative of the Flinders Institute for Atmospheric and Marine Sciences together with nominees of the Director of National Mapping and the Hydrographer, RAN as well as co-opted members from National Mapping Council member organisations and the Australian Association of Port and Marine Authorities.
    The Committee's Circulars 1, 2 and 3 may be viewed via this link and a 1983 paper, by Gordon Homes, on the Committee's aims and activities is available here.
    The Permanent Committee on Tides & Mean Sea Level (PCTMSL) is today a technical sub-committee of The Intergovernmental Committee on Surveying and Mapping (ICSM), with representation from national, state, port and scientific agencies engaged in the determination of tides and sea level.
  • This 1967 paper 'Hydrographic Service, Royal Australian Navy' not only covers the Service but provides detail on two ships, HMAS Warrego and HMAS Paluma, which transported Natmappers during off-shore surveys.