The survey mark infrastructure: is it doing the job?

McDougall, Kevin (2005) The survey mark infrastructure: is it doing the job? In: 2005 Spatial Sciences Institute Biennial Conference: Spatial Intelligence, Innovation and Praxis (SSC2005), 12-16 Sep 2005, Melbourne, Australia.


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[Abstract]: For many years the coordination of surveys in Australia has been encouraged through the placement and connection
to the growing network of survey marks (SMs) in each state. The connection of cadastral surveys to the survey
mark infrastructure has facilitated the improvement and maintenance of other spatial databases such as the Digital
Cadastral Data Bases (DCDB's). These networks of survey marks are usually managed and maintained by the state
surveying and mapping agencies on behalf of the spatial information community. With the downsizing of the
government agencies, their ability to coordinate and maintain these marks has come under increasing pressure.
Although advances have been made in the connection of the survey mark infrastructure to the cadastre, the actual
coordination of survey marks appears to have declined in some states.

This paper will investigate the current status of this survey mark infrastructure across Australia and its impact on the
spatial information industry. The changing role of the private sector in the placement, maintenance and coordination
of marks will also be examined. The results of a case study in Queensland that investigated the use, access and
maintenance of the permanent survey mark infrastructure by the surveying industry will be discussed.

The study found that the permanent survey mark infrastructure in the state is potentially valued in the hundreds of
millions of dollars, although this cost does not appear to be fully appreciated by the spatial information community
or government. In addition, the effectiveness of the infrastructure appears to be declining due to a range of reasons
including the quality of marks, lack of ongoing maintenance, poor access to information and funding. Some
possible solutions to these issues are put forward and some examples of recent initiatives across Australia to
improve the survey mark infrastructure are examined. The future need for this infrastructure in the context of new
positioning technologies will be discussed.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: No
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: No evidence of copyright restrictions on web site.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - Department of Surveying and Land Information
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2007 00:18
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 22:31
Uncontrolled Keywords: survey marks, infrastructure, SDI
Fields of Research : 09 Engineering > 0909 Geomatic Engineering > 090906 Surveying (incl. Hydrographic Surveying)

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