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Topographic maps of Victoria

Topographic map of Sorrento, Victoria, prepared by Australian Section, Imperial General Staff, 1931

Topographic maps describe the surface of an area. They include contour lines to show how the elevation of an area changes (hills or valleys, for example), and also indicate major features such as buildings, roads, orchards, waterways and forests. They do not include details about the ownership, geology or history of an area.

We hold a number of different topographic series – collections of maps that patchwork together to cover a large area. Most of the these cover Victoria, but we also have series covering other states and even the whole of Australia.

The oldest Victorian topographic series we hold is the Victorian Army Survey, which was begun in 1916 and documents the topography of much (but not all) of the state, at a scale of 1 inch to 1 mile. Most of the series is available online.

Other key Victorian topographic map series include:

We also hold several later series of Victorian topographic maps, including the VicMap Topographic series, which began in 1976. This is a series of maps covering most of the state at the scale of 1:25,000 and includes maps at two scales for highly populated areas (1:25,000 and 1:50,000).