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Trigonometric cairn - Mt. Fox

With the opening up of this country to European endeavour and industry in 1858, it became essential for the colonial government of the time to survey the land. Only then could the land be subdivided and sold, typically in the form of a crown lease.

Early survey methods involved a process called triangulation whereby the country was divided up into accurately measured triangles. Each point of each triangle was represented on the ground by a wooden or stone cairn built atop a prominent rise. Hopeful lessees could then plot the exact position of the land they sought relative to known points of reference (the trigonometric cairns).

Most of the Oodnadatta Track country was government surveyed in 1860 by G. W. Goyder. This photo shows an old mulga (Acacia aneura) log cairn built by Goyder in 1860 on the top of the Davenport Range, half way between William Creek and Oodnadatta.

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trigonometric cairn
Mulga log trigonometric cairn atop Mt Fox
Photo - Philip Gee (1990)

 

 

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