e-map of Australia one step away

22 September 2003

A seamless digital map of Australia's topography is one step closer, following completion of the latest series of topographic maps by Geoscience Australia.

"Complete revision of the latest 1:250 000 scale topographic maps of Australia known as NATMAP 250K, is a significant mapping milestone for Australia. For the first time since 1968, we have mapped all 7,660,000 square kilometres of the entire continent with information that has been collected over the past ten years," said Member for Eden-Monaro, Mr Gary Nairn, who added the final map to the series of 513 at Parliament House today.

Production of the new map series has involved collaboration between Geoscience Australia and private sector mapping companies.

"This is a momentous occasion, given that the first national topographic map coverage at this scale commenced in the late 1940s and full coverage was not completed until 1968.

"The completion of this stage of the project is a crucial stepping stone towards the production of a seamless electronic map of Australia which we will be able to update with the latest information as it becomes available.

"Mapping is an ongoing activity. Our landscape is constantly changing as cities grow and new towns develop, so we need to keep updating our maps to reflect these changes", Mr Nairn said.

Geoscience Australia CEO, Dr Neil Williams agreed, saying: "Technology is improving all the time, enabling greater accuracy and detail in mapping.

"In the not too distant future, map users won't be limited by the extent of each map sheet, and will be able to customise the maps to include all the information they are interested in.

"Many people in the community rely on topographic maps. Whether you're a four wheel drive enthusiast navigating through the Australian outback or a member of the emergency services, accurate and up-to-date maps are crucial", Dr Williams said.

The seamless topographic database of Australia will be available on the internet in early 2004.

Topic contact: media@ga.gov.au Last updated: October 4, 2013