Issue 2
Monday, 06 April 2020
Charles Darwin University
Rohan Fisher with the 3D map of Yamatji country
Rohan Fisher with the 3D map of Yamatji country

Mapping technology features in historic WA land claim

By Monique Paschke

A 3D printed map created at CDU’s Casuarina campus has been used in the final stages of a long-running West Australian native title claim.

The 3D map, known as a projection augmented landscape model, displayed Yamatji country as a 3D model, with layers of information, such as land tenure, native title and significant sites across the more than 48,000 square kilometre area.

CDU Researcher Rohan Fisher said the 3D projection was a tactile and visual way of engaging Traditional Owners with the map, and the changes that had occurred over many years across the land claim area.

“The Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation was keen to use a number of ways to communicate the end stages of the Yamatji Nation land claim, which had been running for more than 25 years,” Mr Fisher said.

“The 3D printed projection was taken to communities to show Traditional Owners elements of the land claim, such as tenure and cultural sites, what had happened in the past and what people could expect in the future.”

3D projection augmented landscape modelling was the subject of a paper released by Mr Fisher late last year exploring the significant opportunities for wider use of the technology to support a broad range of participatory planning activities, education and cross-cultural knowledge exchange.

Mr Fisher, who is the only person creating 3D printed projections of this kind in Australia, said the technology had a variety of potential uses, such as water flow mapping and modelling, displaying traditional land use, as well as wildfire simulation and mitigation planning.

“We’ve found that 3D maps can be far more engaging and effective when communicating geospatial information, than traditional 2D maps,” he said.

“The technology is an example of Northern Territory innovation that is now being adopted nationally, as well as internationally in places such as Mexico and Africa.”