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Map Group - Toowoomba Oct 2019

  • 4 Jan 2020 2:56 PM
    Message # 8470177
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    by Ian Frances

    Warwick resident and Map Group member - Stuart Watt planned, organised and led the Map Group 2019 Major Event held in Toowoomba.

    Stuart’s intention was to showcase Toowoomba and environs but not in the normal touristic manner. Using mapping as the thread, Stuart wove geography, regional history, the environment and technology into an exhilarating event. We were taken on a journey from first settlement and concluded with the mammoth capital projects still in design. All this was achieved via a succession of expertly chosen venues and presentations. Stuart even planned a gentle easing down from the cracking pace by including museums on the last day.

    No matter where our members’ interests lay, enough material was presented to challenge and satisfy the most curious minds. The enthusiasm of our venue hosts was exceptional. We attended professional, in depth, well researched presentations with content level perfectly pitched to our members. The openness to questions was refreshing.

    Tour Overview: The following organisations were visited, and activities undertaken during the trip.

    • Toowoomba Local History Library
    • Drone Mapping by AirBorn Insight Pty. Ltd
    • Toowoomba Regional Council, Introduction to GIS, use of mapping in regional/urban planning
    • Bolton Reading Room at the Toowoomba Art Gallery
    • Heritage walking trail of Toowoomba CBD
    • Engineering design and mapping of Wellcamp Airport by Kehoe Myers consulting engineers
    • Guided tour of Wellcamp Airport
    • Second Range Crossing explanatory drive tour
    • Overview of the InterLinkSQ transport hub
    • Mapping and design of the Inland Rail Project – Gowrie to Helidon section
    • Transport history at the Cobb & Co. Museum
    • History of the Queensland Main Roads Museum
    • Downs Steam Museum Drayton rail history tour and dinner

    Don’t forget the food! Everyone was well catered for. We ate delicious meals and many venues provided refreshments.

    Stuart Watt: A master organiser at work! Every participant received a comprehensive 22-page program handbook. Local journey directions were well mapped (what else would you expect from Map Group) and Stuart ensured that when travelling in convey we remained connected through UHF radio.

    The Events: Providing a blow by blow report on the week’s events would be impossible in the available space. What is offered is a brief recapping of the week. Hopefully this will offer the impetus for readers to visit Toowoomba, seeking to explore for themselves some of the treasures Stuart has highlighted.

    Toowoomba Local History Library: Special Collections Librarian Jane Royal: The Local History Library houses an archival collection of regional and state significance. The collection material contains rare artefacts safely housed in climatically controlled storage. Storage mediums include microfiche, digital records, text, maps, indexes and display areas. Multiple workstations and resources cater for researchers.

    Map Group was treated to a range of rare original and reproduction maps. Jane brought map stories to life with expert commentary. For those interested in seeking further information follow this link:

    AirBorn Insight: Nat Parker from AirBorn Insight instantly caught our attention. When drones and mapping are mentioned our group becomes alert. Services offered by AirBorn Insight and their drones include:

    • Terrain mapping of large areas with high accuracy ground control points
    • Contour mapping
    • Power-line mapping
    • Feature mapping (roads, transmission lines, creek inverts, top of embankments, culverts etc)
    • Solar panel thermal mapping for defect detection
    • Tree location mapping
    • Visibility Analysis and Line-of-Site mapping
    • Watershed modelling
    • Hydrology study and flood level modelling
    • Erosion Management

    With Nat’s visual aids and technically focused presentation we soon understood what AirBorn Insight achieves through drone technology. Many of Map Group have an interest in LiDAR technology and were pleased to hear of the technology integration into drones.

    Further information on AirBorn Insight

    Introduction into GIS used by Toowoomba Regional Council: The Toowoomba Regional Council pulled out all stops for our visit. We had full use of the Council’s boardroom and were provided with afternoon tea. Sandra Sherriff, the Principal of Information Management and GIS (Geographical Information System), opened the seminar with an explanation of how GIS has been implemented by the Toowoomba Regional Council. Her information covered data collection, processing and analysis and enabled us to appreciate the many ways the Regional Council uses GIS data and applications.

    Usage examples were: Cartography, Trends, Public Maps, Customer Service Mapping, Site Plans, Mobile Applications such as Pest Surveys, Weed Treatment, Wild Dog fence planning, Local Law, Flood Studies and Project Support.

    A discussion about the Local Area Plan for Drayton followed. It was noteworthy to see the steps required to shape a Local Area Plan and how the Regional Council attempts to satisfy different interest groups when formulating a plan. Finally, a well-received session on mapping applications especially for mobile devices was given by Peter Berkerley.

    Bolton Reading Room, Toowoomba Art Gallery: We were alerted by Stuart that the Bolton Reading Room would be special. He was spot-on and the visit was a highlight. Apart from the remarkable and rare reading room content, it was the skill of our guide and curator Jason Althofer which made the visit so memorable. He enthusiastically retold the stories behind the maps, making each subject come alive. Describing all the items seen is beyond the scope of this report, however, Stuart has a fully detailed catalogue of the day’s events and will forward that to members on request.  Following are a few examples of the treasures presented:

    ➢ A Chart of the Discoveries made by the late Capt. Cook, & other European Navigators, in the great Pacific Ocean between Asia & America 1780

    By T. KITCHIN Sen.
    London Mag: July 1780
    Printed for R. Baldwin at the Rose Pater Noster Row

    ➢ Willem Janszoon BLAEU 1571-1638

    India quae Orientalis dicitur, et Insulae Adiacentes 1634 (1635)
    Printed map, 3rd state, hand coloured (415 mm x 505 mm)
    Amsterdam G … Bleau Nobmo Fortmoq Viro et Heroi D. Laurentio Real. [Tabulam hanc D.D.], 1634 (1635)
    Verso has text India 2 [e.g. p. 2]
    Lionel Lindsay Gallery and Library Collection MS 7.4

    ➢ Charts in Alexander DALRYMPLE 1737-1808

    An historical collection of the several voyages and discoveries in the Pacific Ocean. Vol. I. Being chiefly a literal translation from the Spanish writers. London: Printed for the author, 1770.

    Twenty-five rare and historical books, maps and documents were presented. Our time at the Bolton Reading Room left us spellbound. You can get a sense of why we loved it from this short video

    Heritage walking trail of Toowoomba CBD: Lunches need walking off; so, after a hearty lunch at Jillys Cafe we traced one of Toowoomba’s heritage walks. Along the trail Stuart provided expert commentary.

    Kehoe Myers Consulting Engineers: Kehoe Myers was founded in 1977. The firm built its reputation as consulting engineers in the industrial, commercial, residential and institutional building sectors, as well as industrial and residential subdivisions and infrastructure. The focus of the Map Group’s visit was to gain an understanding of the civil works associated with the Wellcamp Airport project and its surrounding business park.

    An expert presentation was delivered by staff representative Samuel Lindsay. Our members were delighted with the depth of technical information Samuel provided. In addition, we were provided access to a vast array of technical drawings and mapping of the site. The information gained during our morning with Kehoe Myers was essential to appreciate the coming Wellcamp Airport site visit.

    Wellcamp Airport Tour: Our host at Wellcamp Airport was Meg Degit, an enthusiastic and committed guide. Meg augmented the information learned at Kehoe Myers with visual inspections and explanations. It was interesting to learn more about the Wagner Brothers, their future vision and how the airport will interact with the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing and the Inland Rail Project. A fine lunch was had in the airport cafe.

    Second Range Crossing guided and explanatory drive tour: Stuart Watt sought vantage points to view the engineering construction highlights of the Second Range Crossing. As Stuart has a comprehensive knowledge of the area’s geology and the problems encountered by the engineering teams, he was able to discuss these issues during the tour. A convoy of five vehicles equipped with UHF radio then drove the crossing with Stuart describing geological features and engineering feats.

    InterLinkSQ Freight and Logistics Hub: InterLinkSQ is an intermodal terminal of approximately 200 hectares in Toowoomba. It facilitates the linking of rail, road, air and sea services in South East Queensland. InterLinkSQ representative Ali Lawson gave the example of produce grown in Western Queensland travelling by road transport to the Toowoomba hub where it is transferred to the rail network for dispatch to Brisbane. Currently, the rail component is the existing narrow-gauge rail, but operations will transfer to the Inrail Rail line when it is completed.

    Mapping and design of the Inland Rail Project – Gowrie to Helidon section: Mike Gresham, senior GIS analyst with the Australia Rail Track Corporation also known as Inland Rail, related to us the importance of GIS (Geographic Information System) in modern projects and explained its application in the Gowrie to Helidon rail section. The section will consist of 155 km of new track and includes tunnels, road crossings and bridges. The current timeline is for the rail to become operational in 2026. The discussion then moved to the data acquisition methods, uploading data into GIS software and the production of construction drawings. Map Group members eagerly participated and kept Mike busy with many questions.

    Museums: Finally, it was time to wind down, our heads were spinning with technical information. Thursday was spent visiting the Cobb & Co Museum, the Main Roads Museum and the Downs Steam Museum. The Downs Steam Museum opened especially for us and provided a delicious evening meal in the setting of a 1960’s silver train carriage.

    Conclusion: All members had an inspirational week focused on the joys of mapping. Thanks again Stuart Watt!

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