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A Casualty of War

A Casualty of War

In 1899, a new ship was launched at the Crescent Shipyard in Elizabethport, New Jersey, USA. This vessel was a Coast and Geodetic Survey ship designed and constructed for rugged se...

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The Northern Barrage

The Northern Barrage

Historically, perhaps the naval discipline most related to the work and skills of the hydrographer is naval mine warfare. Successful implementation requires knowledge of the config...

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The Siboga Expedition

The Siboga Expedition

The Indonesian archipelago is one of the world’s most beautiful archipelagos. Home to over 17,000 islands, mountains rising to over 5,000 metres, including over 70 historical...

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History Selection

Bilby Towers

Bilby Towers

The great classical continent-spanning geodetic networks of the Nineteenth and Twentieth centuries had two major obstacles to overcome – distance and the curvature of the Ear...

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'As it Was'

'As it Was'

The late Professor Taylor, a former Registrar General for Scotland, whilst researching the Balfour Collection of documents at the National Library of Scotland, came across a set of...

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Pioneer Surveyor

Pioneer Surveyor

George Davidson, whose name is indelibly connected with the survey of the West Coast of the United States, spent most of the sixty-one years between 1850 and 1911 in service to the...

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The Banana Belt – Southern Alaska

The Banana Belt – Southern Alaska

As opposed to the Alaskan Arctic, portions of Southern Alaska are relatively balmy, with average annual temperatures approximately 28 degrees Celsius higher than on Alaska’s...

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As it Was

As it Was

On 2 November 1902 the Antarctic research ship, Scotia, sailed quietly down the lower Clyde from its berth in the yards of the Ailsa Shipbuilding Co., on its way to Antarctica. The...

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'As it Was'

'As it Was'

<i>The New England Coasting Pilot</i> was the first folio of sea charts of the coast of North America. The work of an English naval officer, they covered the coastal wa...

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Introducing Capt. Skip Theberge

Introducing Capt. Skip Theberge

Although this is my second effort at contributing to the History column, I would like to use this issue’s column to introduce myself to the readership of Hydrointernational....

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100 Years of Service

100 Years of Service

This year marks the 100th Anniversary of the Commissioned Corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA Corps). The law forming the service was signed on 22 Ma...

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History Selection

Tide Prediction in Colonial America

Tide Prediction in Colonial America

Although tidal ranges in America are, in general, less than in Europe, they have still had an impact on history. Many harbours were only accessible with high tide, introducing a l...

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The Myth of the Telegraphic Plateau

The Myth of the Telegraphic Plateau

In the mid-nineteenth century the great hydrographic myth of a Telegraphic Plateau located in the North Atlantic Ocean was born. The origin of this myth began with the cruise of th...

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‘As it Was’

‘As it Was’

The long history of the charting of the waters off the west coast of Ireland, including Galway Bay, began in the 16th century. It may be said to be culminating with the current Nat...

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New York Harbour

New York Harbour

The greatest of the Coast Survey mid-nineteenth century harbour studies was that of New York Harbour. In 1855, the Commissioners on Harbor Encroachments of New York requested that...

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As it Was

As it Was

Two famous scientists, Charles Darwin (1809-82) and John Murray (1841-1914) differed greatly as to how tropical atolls had assumed their unique structure: a shallow lagoon surround...

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'As it Was'

'As it Was'

The history of charting the estuary of a navigable river to enable shipping to safely enter port is inevitably long and continuing as the channels, and the shoals which confine the...

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The Neptune Oriental

The Neptune Oriental

The article below is reproduced from the Field Engineers Bulletin of the US Coast and Geodetic Survey for December 1936 with minor changes. Lieutenant Earle Deily (1900-1995), the...

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The Arctic Field Party

The Arctic Field Party

It seems ironic that in the early stages of the Cold War, the United States Government sent surveyors and hydrographic engineers to the coldest reaches of the North American contin...

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History Selection

The Longest Line

The Longest Line

Mt. Shasta is a huge stratovolcano near the southern end of the Cascade Mountains of western North America. It rises to an elevation of 14,179 feet above sea level and is at the no...

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James Horsburgh

James Horsburgh

In the 18th century, a trading ship was on a passage in the Bay of Bengal. There were 250 people on board the sailing ship. The sea through which they traversed was mostly uncharte...

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Pathfinder

Pathfinder

In the Second World War, the Pacific was poorly charted, and the Navy would require the services of a cadre of hydrographers to rapidly survey areas of tactical and strategic inter...

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A Note on Fifty Years of Multi-beam

A Note on Fifty Years of Multi-beam

The year 2013 marks the Fiftieth Anniversary of the first installation of a multi-beam sonar sounding system. A review of the early development of multi-beam sonar systems fol...

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'As it Was'

'As it Was'

On 8th October 1993, with the introduction of the Laser Airborne Depth Sounder (LADS) flown in a Fokker F-27 aircraft, the Australian Hydrographic Service could claim to be among t...

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'As it Was'

'As it Was'

On 14th October 2004 a large French flag was lowered to reveal the name <i>Pourqui-Pas?</i> on the hull of a magnificent new ocean survey ship which will be jointly ope...

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As it Was

As it Was

I was in command of the British surveying ship HMS Challenger in 1951 during a world voyage, with geophysicists Tom Gaskell and John Swallow onboard, to measure by seismic methods...

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By the Old Hydrographer

By the Old Hydrographer

A number of largely British settlements had been established in New Zealand by the early 1840s,where natural harbours had been found. The general Admiralty chart of New Zealand, pu...

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