‘National Atlases present a synthesis of the spatial knowledge that
characterises a country’
(Kraak et al, 2009)
Currently, Australia does not have a single national atlas.
Australia has theme based national atlases and
comprehensive state atlases.
The purpose of the project: To propose the creation of a
single national atlas to act as a geographic portal of the
Type of Online Atlas versions:
▪ View only
▪ View only
Technological structure of a typical online Atlas:
Tile Server (tile Cache)
Potential design layout and characteristics of mapping
tools in an atlas:
Types of zooming applicable
▪ Pop-up Legends
▪ Static Legends
Arrangement of key mapping tools (e.g. Zooming
From the analysis of a dozen online atlases, potential
topics of the National Atlas of Australia are:
Dataset sources: Explore Australia, Geoscience Australia,
RMIT and data.gov.au
3 Stages of creating the prototype:
Stage 1: Creating the maps in ArcGIS
Stage 2: Identification of online platform, map transfer to
Stage 3: Creation of a non-hosted prototype website
In the process of creating the atlas, various technological
and cartographic limitations have been identified
The software utilized: ArcGIS 10.0 Desktop
Sample Topics to be covered:
Hydrology of Australia
Vegetation of Australia
Tourism of Australia
Population Characteristics of Australia
Potential Online Platforms to be chosen:
Open-source Map Servers
After much exploration and assessing the pros and cons,
it was decided ArcGIS Online was the way forward.
There is a problem: Maps in ArcGIS Desktop cannot be
transferred to ArcGIS Online due to versioning process.
Datasets were uploaded online and new maps were
created from scratch.
Example ArcGIS Online Map:
Tourism in Australia Map
The Prototype website design layout was based on the
analysis of the design layout of 12 researched atlases.
A main homepage was created with two menus: A Cascading
menu and a graphical menu. The website has links to other
Geography ‘Home Page’ for users to explore Australian
Text Labelling in ArcGIS Desktop
Limitations of datasets
Data Symbolization in ArcGIS Online
Choosing a Suitable Online Platform
Map Transfer from ArcGIS Desktop to ArcGIS
Web Browser Compatibility
Atlas Homepage in Internet Explorer 8
Australia should consider the benefits of producing
a national atlas.
Universities, the government and the private sector
should be urged to collaborate on the project.
A well produced Atlas of Australia could encourage
implementation of a similar Atlas in other nations.
Would like to thank the support given by:
Gita Pupedis (Supervisor) - for the supervision, encouragement and
points of improvement throughout the project
Bruce McGurty (Explore Australia) – for giving the permission of using
datasets, references to other free datasets
Damien Demaj & Other ESRI Staff (ESRI) – for giving guidance for