Site designed by: Fred Pall (Nov 2000)     Revised by: Jean M. Rüeger (Nov 2005, Nov 2010, Jan 2013, Apr 2014, June 2015)

Enter collection
Over the years, the School of Surveying and Geospatial Engineering (formerly Schools of Surveying, Geomatic Engineering and Surveying and Spatial Information Systems) of the University of New South Wales has obtained a number of valuable instruments, both from donations and from in-house stock. In 1997, these instruments were catalogued and researched for the first time by Thomas Ko. In 2000, Fred Pall improved the description of the instruments and prepared the complete collection for publication on the World Wide Web. 
Please note that, unfortunately and regrettably, the UNSW Surveying Instrument Collection is not accessible to the general public, since the University of New South Wales does not allocate funds to provide both a secure area and staff supervision. Thanks to this website, a virtual visit of the collection is now possible.
From time to time, instruments are loaned to other museums for public display. In September 2012, the theodolite (Watts & Son, Catalogue No. 0205) used to set out the Sydney Harbour Bridge is on loan to the Sydney Harbour Bridge Museum (located at the entrance to BridgeClimb, Cumberland Street, The Rocks, Sydney). 

Click on image below for a full description.

AGA Geodimeter Model NASM-2A
AGA Geodimeter Model NASM-2A
The first commercially available electro-optical distance meter.

Our Collection:
These valuable instruments were produced in the 19th and 20th centuries. Most of them were designed and manufactured in Europe. In September 2012, there were 164 items in the collection. They are grouped into four categories: Scientific and Mathematical Instruments, Theodolites, Levelling Instruments and EDM (Electronic Distance Measurement) Instruments. The majority of these instruments are in very good condition. 
The collection includes several valuable instruments such as the Geodetic Micrometer Theodolite used for the setting-out of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the first optical theodolite (Zeiss Th1, the forerunner to the original Wild T2 Theodolite), the first commercial electro-optical distance meter (AGA Model NASM-2A Geodimeter) and a number of instruments donated by the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Authority (S.M.H.E.A.) such as the Wild T4 High Precision Theodolite.
Click on image below for a full description of the instrument shown.

Watts Geodetic Micrometer Theodolite

Watts Geodetic Micrometer Theodolite
Theodolite used to set out Sydney Harbour Bridge in 1931-1932




This virtual museum of the 'UNSW Surveying Instrument Collection' was designed and created in 2000 by Frederick Pall whilst a final year student at the (then) School of Geomatic Engineering of UNSW.  


Originally, this website was based on the catalogue and picture collection prepared by Thomas Ko in 1997, archive photographs of the School of Surveying and Geospatial Engineering and additional investigations by Frederick Pall in 2000. Since both students had limited time and resources for the investigation of individual instruments, no claim is made that all information given is correct or complete.


Corrections and additional information on specific instruments from visitors to the site are welcome, as are internet addresses of other virtual museums on surveying instruments.


Photos by School of Surveying and Geospatial Engineering of UNSW (previously known as School of Surveying Spatial Information Systems, School of Geomatic Engineering and School of Surveying), Thomas Ko (as edited by F. Pall), Frederick Pall and J. M. Rüeger. Student supervisor, editor of the website, and curator of the UNSW Surveying Instrument Collection is Dr. J. M. RŁeger.


This webpage was last updated on 30 June 2015 by Dr. J. M. Rüeger.

Comments on the contents of this virtual museum of the UNSW Surveying Instrument Collection are welcome.

Please contact:

Surveying Instrument Collection

Surveying and Geospatial Engineering
C/- School of Civil and Environmental Engineering
The University of New South Wales
Phone: +61 2 9385 5033    Fax: +61 2 9385 6139
Email: cven.enquiries@unsw.edu.au
(Put 'Surveying Instrument Collection' in 'Subject' field.)