Australia: Geoscience Australia released a collection of 28 digital maps and an online gallery featuring overlaid or ‘swipe comparison’ satellite images. The collection of maps will give oceanographers, scientific researchers, resource exploration companies, tourism operators and the public a greater understanding of Australia’s maritime jurisdiction. On the other hand, the online gallery depicts urban growth and landscape changes over the past 30 years.
The collection of digital maps is developed in consultation with the Attorney-General’s Department and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The new maps detail the jurisdictional zones around the Australian mainland and those of Australia’s remote offshore territories, including the Australian Antarctic Territory, Ashmore and Cartier Islands, Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Coral Sea Islands, Heard and McDonald Islands and Norfolk Island.
They cover relevant state and territory coastal waters, territorial seas, the economic exclusions zone, Australian fishing zones and the extended continental shelf, which was confirmed in April 2008 by the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf.
Minister for Resources and Energy, Martin Ferguson, AM MP said the new maps have a wide variety of applications and will benefit a range of industries, including tourism. “The maps show significant features such as bathymetry and reefs, a feature which will be particularly beneficial to tourism operators in areas such as Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef and Ningaloo Reef off Western Australia,” Minister Ferguson said.
The online gallery provides a snap-shot in time of 77 areas where the majority of Australians live and shows how Australian cities and towns are constantly evolving to suit the living requirements of an ever growing population and dynamism of the Australian landscape.
“Ongoing satellite image capture plays an important role in the assessment of land cover issues and assisting emergency management in times of natural disaster, as well as in other applications such as environmental monitoring and management,” Minister Ferguson said.
The new maps of Australia’s maritime jurisdiction can be downloaded from www.ga.gov.au and the Australian Urban Expansion Satellite Image Gallery can be viewed at: www.ga.gov.au/earth-observation/basics/gallery/australian-urban-expansion.