Europeans on the other hand, saw the land very differently to the indigenous population and used very different navigation techniques. The Europeans too used maps, however they drew their maps on paper, measured distance, calculated elevations and aligned everything according to compass bearings. And they way they travelled was vastly different too. Whilst many still walked, others rode horses and drove bullock drays and it wasn't long before the paths of the songlines became the bullock tracks of the squatters. They in turn were followed by the surveyors with their chains and newfangled theodolites who marked out the roads of the selectors and villagers.
The settlers were also quick to start applying their own mapping techniques to their new surroundings. The squatter's runs were plotted out and the bullock tracks which linked them with the towns which began to pop up, were marked as vague wavy lines.
|Section of Surveyor Alexander Skene's 1845 map of the Geelong District|
showing early tracks and the names of squatters and early landholders
across the catchment. Original image held by the State Library of Victoria
In order to better administer the vast areas of the new colony, the land was formally divided for the purpose of administering the sale and distribution of land. From the late 1840s until the 1890s, the government progressively undertook a comprehensive survey of the Colony of Victoria, reclaiming the squatters' leaseholds and breaking up the thousands of acres into village allotments and farm-sized blocks. To aid administration, county boundaries were established and within each county the land was subdivided into civil parishes.
|Portion of the Victorian Counties Atlas, 1874, showing those counties which fall|
within the Barwon Catchment. Image taken from the State Library of Victoria
The Coast Line from the mouth of the Werriby(sic), Port Phillip, round to a point bearing south of the sources of the Barwon [Barwon Heads]. An imaginary line from that point to the sources of the Barwon [the Otways]. the Barwon from its sources to its junction with the Native Hut Creek. The Native Hut Creek from that junction to the Buninyong and Melbourne road(sic). The line of that road to the Werriby, and The Werriby River to its mouth.By 1871, the 37 Victorian counties as we know them today were in place. Counties and their accompanying civil parishes were - and still are - used entirely for real estate purposes, enabling the physical description of a piece of land.
|Section of 1881 Victorian civil parishes map. Original image held by the|
State Library of Victoria
|Electoral districts of the original Victorian Legislative Council, 1851.|
Original image from Wikipedia
State electoral districts for both the upper and lower houses of the Victorian parliament have continued to change in response to the growing population. Today there are 88 electoral districts, each corresponding to a seat in the Legislative Assembly. These are combined into eight districts from which five Legislative Council members are elected, giving a total of 40 members in the upper house.
|Current boundaries of the state electoral districts (lower house) which|
cover the Barwon catchment. Original image from Wikipedia
|Federal seats within the Barwon catchment. Original image from Wikipedia|
|Country Roads Board map, 1961 showing parish boundaries. Original image held by the|
State Library of Victoria
The outbreak of the Victorian gold rush in August, 1851 also saw a flurry of map making. Every digger wanted to know the best route to get to the diggings. As I have written before, there were claims, counter claims, insults and outright lies hurled back and forth between parties with vested interests in promoting their route to the diggings. Maps could not only be used to inform the general public (as below), but also to deceive as Geelong discovered when interests in Melbourne published a "false map".
|The relevant section of a reasonably accurate "Digger's road guide to the gold mines of|
Victoria and the country extending 210 miles around Melbourne", 1853. Image taken from
the National Library of Australia
|Adaption of the 1909 Geological Survey Map of Victoria. Image held by the|
State Library of Victoria
Meteorological recording began in Melbourne as early as 1840 and regular, coordinated data collection began in 1854 with the establishment of the Victorian Meteorological Office. The first official report of rainfall data (I could locate) for Geelong appeared in the Victorian Government Gazette dated 21st August, 1857 for the April-June quarter of that year, although references were made elsewhere to earlier data.
Today, rainfall measurements are taken at various points across the Barwon catchment, including Weeaproinah in the Otways, near the headwaters of the Barwon River which has the highest average rainfall in the state. By contrast, the lowlands along the lower reaches of the Barwon, Leigh and Moorabool Rivers lie in the rain shadow cast by the Otway Ranges and receive a significantly lower annual rainfall.
|Overview of long term rainfall averages for the Barwon catchment. Graph taken|
from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology