National Geographic : 1948 Mar
The Society Maps a New Australia WITH ship and plane loads of 20th century pioneers pouring into sparsely settled Australia, the National Geo graphic Society this month brings to its 1,700,000 members a 10-color supplement map of the island continent.* This full-length portrait shows a continent in transformation. The sheep-raising, cattle driving, wheat-growing country is going in dustrial. Early in World War II the Dominion's defense needs prompted amazing industrial progress. Now expanding factories seek workers; jobs far outnumber applicants. Australia wants people-millions of them. During the war some 2,000,000 Americans became acquainted with Australia and its sturdy, congenial people. Many married Aus tralian girls and stayed. Ten thousand in quiries representing 20.000 potential migrants have been received from Americans. Financial assistance is offered immigrating veterans by the Australian Government. "We want a million of these splendid GIs," said the Australian Minister for Immigration, "and could employ 200,000 right now if we could land them on our shores." He called for "men and women with the spirit of ad venture, the old pioneering spirit of your covered-wagon days." Given similar encouragement, more than 400,000 citizens of the United Kingdom have applied for admission since the war's end. Map Reflects Wartime Surveys The notable increase in world interest in the "land down under"-squarely "under" the North Atlantic Ocean-caused the National Geographic Society to choose Australia as the subject of its first 1948 supplement map. The geographic information which it contains is more detailed and accurate than was hereto fore possible, because in Australia, as in many other regions, extensive new surveys and map ping projects were carried out during the war. Trimetrogon aerial surveys made by the United States Army Air Forces completely mapped the continent's little-known north coast, resulting in much changed detail in that wild area. Valuable base material was provided by the Australian Government's 1:1,000,000 map sheets covering the continent. The new National Geographic map's scale of 1:6,000,000, or 94.7 miles to one inch, is large enough to show all cities and important towns and villages. The map, 312 x 25 inches, even locates homesteads in the conti nent's vast open spaces. It contains 4,418 place names. Scale variation is held to a minimum by use of the new Chamberlin Trimetric Map Projection, developed by the National Geo graphic Society and previously used in its map of Canada, Alaska, and Greenland in June, 1947. Highways and railroads are shown, and an unusual feature is the inclusion of a small, square black symbol to show the many rail road points where goods and passengers must be transferred because of changes in the width of tracks. In Australian colonial times, when most of the railways were developed, each colony built its own line on its own gauge, with no thought of a continental system. Even today each State manages its own lines, and the many different gauges have not yet been standard ized. This adds to the transportation handi cap imposed by the great central desert lands. To go from Cairns, in the northeast, to Perth, in the southwest, a shipment would travel from Cairns to Brisbane on a 3-foot 6-inch gauge; from Brisbane to Albury on a 4-foot 82 -inch gauge; from Albury to Port Pirie through Melbourne and Adelaide on a 5-foot 3-inch gauge; then to Kalgoorlie on a 4-foot 8 -inch, and on to Perth on a 3-foot 6-inch again. Each change in gauge requires unloading and reloading in different cars. Though supplemented by many feeder lines in the more thickly inhabited sections near the coasts, and by "dead end" lines south from Darwin and north from Adelaide, this roundabout transcontinental line avoids the continent's great "dead heart." Itisasif the United States were serviced by one trans continental railway running from Maine to California by way of Jacksonville, New Orleans, and El Paso. Inhabitants Cling to Coasts To picture Australia, with its 7,500,000 people clinging largely to coastal and urban areas, imagine the United States as unpopu lated except for the residents of New York City. Spread the bulk of these along the Atlantic seaboard, scattering a few handfuls inland; drop some around Key West and garnish the Gulf shore between southern Florida and New Orleans; then skip over to Los Angeles and deposit the rest. * Members may obtain additional copies of the new map of Australia (and of all standard maps published by The Society) by writing to the National Geo graphic Society, Washington 6, D. C. Prices, in United States and Possessions. 50' each on paper; $1 on linen; Index 25'. Outside United States and Posses sions, 75' on paper; $1.25 on linen; Index, 50'. All remittances payable in U. S. funds. Postage prepaid.