Posted by Davina Jackson on 4 Feb 2014

  • Bourke
    Aerial view of Bourke before the 2012 floods. NSW Globe.
  • Bourke_flood_2012
    Aerial view of flooding in Bourke 2012, NSW Globe.
  • SCG-1943-1024×904
    Moore Park sports and entertainment area (Sydney Cricket Ground) 1943. Globe NSW.
  • SCG-1024×904
    Moore Park sports and entertainment precinct in 2013. Globe NSW.
  • Gore-Hill-St-Leonards-1943-1024×904
    Aerial view of Gore Hill and St Leonards in 1943. NSW Globe.
  • Gore-Hill-St-Leonards-1024×904
    Recent aerial view of Gore Hill and St Leonards. NSW Globe.
  • Chinatown-1943-1024×904
    Aerial view of Chinatown -Haymarket , Sydney, in 1943. NSW Globe.
  • Chinatown-1024×904
    Recent aerial view of Chinatown-Haymarket. NSW Globe.

During the Second World War, a camera-equipped plane flew over greater Sydney to create a montage of aerial photographs of the metropolitan area. Commissioned by the then NSW Department of Main Roads, these 1943 images are now being published, with contemporary aerial photos of exactly the same areas, as part of the NSW Government’s new system for public access to land information, visualised via the satellite imagery of Google Earth.

NSW Minister for Finance and Services, Andrew Constance, announced on 2 February 2014 the launch of NSW Globe – an online tool to display property, local government and electoral boundaries, and location data for road and rail networks. Included are ortho-rectified (distortion-corrected, uniform-scale) versions of the 1943 aerial photos of Sydney, more recent flood maps from regional areas like Wagga Wagga, Moree and Bourke and the latest high-resolution aerial photography from commercial providers SKM and AAM.

Minister Constance’s media statement is here.

NSW Globe has been organised by Lands and Property Information, a division of the NSW Department of Finance and Services, to update its SIX program for online public access to geo-mapped land information. SIX was launched in 2006, only one year after Google Earth, and used a static statewide map as its display platform. NSW Globe users now need Google Earth on their computers and must download the NSW Globe KML file, which can be used on smartphones and tablets.

Apart from the imagery, available data layers include:

—Terrain data (25m DTMS, 5m DTMS, LiDAR and SRTM for various locations)

— Places (eg population centres, suburbs)

—Boundaries (eg coastline, local government, localities, state and federal electoral)


—Land parcels (eg lot and deposited plan, surveying labels)