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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 21 September 2023
    Hover over a title for a synopsis or click associated Item tag for its manuscript

      • Carlos Victor Smitz (1936-2023)
        Belatedly we sadly report the passing of Carlos on 4 August 2023. His funeral was held on 7 August in Canberra. Our condolences to his family.
      • Item
        Busy Wires by Keith Clarke
        The 150th anniversary of the completion of the Overland Telegraph Line, connecting Darwin and Adelaide, was celebrated in 2022. The more than 3 000 kilometre line was made up of 36 000 telegraph poles with 11 repeater stations, needed to boost the signal, staggered 200 kilometres apart. The Overland Telegraph line is widely acknowledged as the greatest engineering feat of the 19th century in Australia. This 1991 publication provided a brief history of the telegraph in Australia.

      • Item (updated)
        Australia's National R502 Map Series : A Tribute to the Forgotten Mappers of the Ghastly Blank
        This article by Paul Wise, was originally presented titled Australia's First 1: 250 000 Scale, Uniform Topographic Map Coverage : The R502 Story. Since then additional information has been discovered that has enhanced the history of this era of mapping.

      • 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.

      • 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.


      • 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