Digital Mapping falls short

Submitted: Thursday, Feb 05, 2009 at 21:44
ThreadID: 65730 Views:2193 Replies:7 FollowUps:8
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Busy doing some serious research on tracks and seismic and shot lines and if it wasn't for Google Earth I would be lost, pun intended.

Admittedly I only have the early version of Hema Great Desert Treks but I have Natmap Raster 2008 and it is still way behind in proper mapping details especially in remote areas.

For instance the maps would show some of the seismic tracks but not show others. I have been able to find a number of new seismic tracks by painstakingly going along the Google earth image on the screen. This may make travel to remote areas a lot easier or more difficult depending on the terrain

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Reply By: Crackles - Thursday, Feb 05, 2009 at 22:00

Thursday, Feb 05, 2009 at 22:00
Much of the digital mapping would be edited so siesmic lines are not shown. Even current printed maps don't show the old lines I have on my early topo's. Google certainly opens up plenty of options for following faint routes but is impossible to tell if they are clear or if there are rows of trees growing in the wheel tracks as they so often do over time.
No doubt some mapping guru would be able to transpose the coordinates of the seismic lines off Google accross to the digital maps.
Cheers Craig..........
AnswerID: 347741

Reply By: Member - Phil B (WA) - Thursday, Feb 05, 2009 at 22:05

Thursday, Feb 05, 2009 at 22:05
Hi Willem,
Have you looked at the 250K Geology maps? They at times have tracks not shown on other maps. Although they can be hard to follow at times because of the colours of geological areas.


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Follow Up By: Willem - Thursday, Feb 05, 2009 at 22:25

Thursday, Feb 05, 2009 at 22:25
Hi Phil

No. Where is the best place for this? Have looked around Geoscience website but still have to find the right map area.

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Follow Up By: Willem - Thursday, Feb 05, 2009 at 22:34

Thursday, Feb 05, 2009 at 22:34
Its OK. I have found them. Will have a look

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Reply By: Member - John and Val W (ACT) - Friday, Feb 06, 2009 at 08:54

Friday, Feb 06, 2009 at 08:54

It can be pretty tedious tracing tracks on Google Earth, but are you aware that you can create a .kml track file using GE that can be imported into OziExplorer? I've done it some time back and a bit rusty on just how I did it, but I think I used the GE PATH command, under the ADD button, then saved (open the left hand side panel, click the track entry in the PLACES panel) and save onto your drive as a .kml file. Ozi can read these.


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Follow Up By: Willem - Friday, Feb 06, 2009 at 09:08

Friday, Feb 06, 2009 at 09:08
Thanks John

I have Ozi running on my PDA which is too small for anything like that. Will be putting Ozi on my new Acer Netbook soon but only really for referencing as I am not going to bother with hooking that up to the GPS.

Basically what I am busy doing is collecting waypoints to show where to follow which seismic track. This, in the long run depends on the terrain and how overgrown these tracks might be. I am trying to minimise dune crossings as I have a Trailer in tow across this country.

As usual there are lots of variables :-)

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Reply By: Member - MUZBRY(Vic) - Friday, Feb 06, 2009 at 09:18

Friday, Feb 06, 2009 at 09:18
Gday old son
Do you want to talk to little Wes, he does that type of thing for a living..I should rent him out. I tried to sell him for many years , but no takers.
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Follow Up By: Willem - Friday, Feb 06, 2009 at 09:29

Friday, Feb 06, 2009 at 09:29
G'day Young Muzz

Yerrr...better find a wife for him or he won't leave home.

Email his email addy to me pls and I will see what he knows.

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Reply By: x - Friday, Feb 06, 2009 at 11:26

Friday, Feb 06, 2009 at 11:26
G'day Willem,

I agree that Google Earth is revolutionising mapping.

I am finding that I am spending many nights combing over GE and dropping markers on tracks, shot lines etc in preparation for trips.

By the time I actually drive there I feel I have spent many days there already!

Roll on high resolution imaging of the whole country. It makes such a difference to track visibilty.

I have also imported GE downloads into Ozi. I find the terrain view maps thus created to make the Natmap rasters look very ordinary. It would be good to have mobile internet access in remote areas to allow live mapping. Satellite connection is too pricey for me.

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Reply By: Member - Toolman (VIC) - Friday, Feb 06, 2009 at 17:35

Friday, Feb 06, 2009 at 17:35
The reason the NATMAP products do not show all "shot Lines" as you refer to them(known as Seismic lines in NATMAP) is for what they consider to be a very sound reason. They are not just overlooked.

I can't recall the exact details so don't quote me but the story goes something like this, in the 1970's as I recall a lad drove down a seismic line that was shown on the map, for whatever reason. He got lost, his vehicle broke down, and he perished. Seismic lines are not always very well defined and many soon became overgrown unless they were used as tracks. It doesn't take much to leave a mark on the earth that an aerial photograph would pick up. Maps have a fair lag from the time of aerial photography to the final publication of the map and also the time between publication and revision can be many years.

Following a fair bit of questioning from parliamentarians, the coroner and others, a fair amount of introspective reflection and after a fair bit of s@#t hit the fan, the decision was made to only show those lines that were clearly visible and were likely to be visible for a fair amount of time. There are thousands of these seismic lines out there and many just fade away over time. Some remain as they may have been driven over periodically.
Again if I recall correctly the post 1997 edition of the 250K NATMAP maps had new specifications written and this specification revision revisited the issue of seismic lines and even more of them were removed.

I love Google Earth and wished we had it when I was making maps but a word of caution using it. You need to be aware of the age of the satellite image and allow for the age of the image when gathering information. I've found images that are 8 years old. The reason we get to view them for free is because they are dated images. Also be aware that the geo-coding of the Google Earth images also can be a bit inaccurate. Be especially careful where there is no road network to compare the image to because then you'll not know just how good the geo-coding really is.


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Follow Up By: Willem - Friday, Feb 06, 2009 at 18:02

Friday, Feb 06, 2009 at 18:02
Thanks for the explanation Toolman.

It might have been the Annetts incident northwest of the CSR in the 1970's when those two young fellas perisihed out there.

I have taken some waypoints for using seismic tracks. I know that the referencing may not be all that accurate but it will show where approximately a point of reference is.

I discovered some buildings in a very remote area which may be left overs from exploration days as the tracks in the vicinity look very overgrown.

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Follow Up By: equinox - Friday, Feb 06, 2009 at 20:57

Friday, Feb 06, 2009 at 20:57

The James Anetts and Simon Amos incident took place in 1986-87.

Remember it well. Sad story, they were only a couple of years younger than me.

Anetts Amos Story


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Follow Up By: Willem - Friday, Feb 06, 2009 at 21:10

Friday, Feb 06, 2009 at 21:10
Just goes to show that the older you get the more confused you get....LOL

Yeah, one cannot be too careful out there in the never~never

Thanks for the correction

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Follow Up By: Member - Toolman (VIC) - Saturday, Feb 07, 2009 at 07:18

Saturday, Feb 07, 2009 at 07:18
Thanks for the correction, That sounds like the sad incident I was referring to. The 70's and 80's just seem roll up together in the memory banks for me these days.

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Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Saturday, Feb 14, 2009 at 00:05

Saturday, Feb 14, 2009 at 00:05
Gday Willem,
Lately, its been hard to keep up with the number of new seismic lines. Great Vic Desert has about 1000km of new lines put in over the past 2 years, on the SA side. Petroleum exploration. We followed a bunch on Google Earth after getting home from a trip last year.
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