re:Atlas Grid Size

Subject: re:Atlas Grid Size
From: Barbara Stewart <>
Date: Wed, 08 Apr 1998 10:21:35 +1000
Gooday Atlasers

I notice that it appears people having a GPS unit will be thin on the
ground. For an Atlaser a GPS is almost as important as your binoculars. The
Magellan advertised in Birds Australia Wingspan is reasonably priced and
more than adequate for Atlasing.

Most of the discussion so far on birding-aus seems to relate to populated
areas and greater habitat diversity within a 1 degree grid. What about the
remote Outback areas!

Last year I did a four month trip around Australia. Every night we camped I
compiled a list for that location and took a GPS reading (nearly all my camp
sites were bush camps). The advantage of that is you know the actual habitat
and years later you can go back to that precise spot knowing the species
that were there previously. For the purposes of the Atlas I would see this
as very useful information.

In heavily populated areas such as the east coast where habitat is much more
diverse I can see smaller grid sizes being useful. For the vast area of
outback Australia 1 degree grids will be adequate simply because so many of
these areas are difficult to access and habitat is fairly uniform. Wherever
people camp in outback areas, do a camp list and take a GPS reading. Then we
will have spot points in each 1 degree grid that can be revisited.       

I gather for the purpose of the Atlas we will be using Lat. Long and not
AMG Easting/Northing. A GPS unit will of course give you either.

Another huge advantage of a GPS unit is you can have it turned on while you
are driving and know when you are moving from one degree grid to the next or

As Chris Dahlberg mentioned I will be very surprised if you can get 1:100000
maps for all areas of Outback Australia. 1.250000 are certainly available
throughout. The Readers Digest Atlas of Australia is a cheap way of having
good map coverage (co-ordinates are provided) for the whole of Australia
(Map scale 1.1000000). 

Surely the published information e.g. "The Atlas of Australian Birds" should
as a main thrust contain species distribution by 1 degree grids. If
information Atlased on a smaller grid size is available that can be obtained
on request from Birds Australia data base.

David Stewart

>>Stephen and other Aussie Atlasers:
>>      I realize that few atlasers will be using GPS units and point 
>>samples aren't for everyone, but for those who are willing to put in the 
>>extra effort, the results could be unprecedented in scale, and the all 
>>of the data would fit into the more traditional atlas scheme.
>>                              Bob Howe   

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