STAGE 1

The Brisbane City Council had supplied the Mapping Brisbane Southside History Project (MBSH; forerunner of MBH) the amount of $6,800, from the 2012 Community History Grant provided to the Coopers Plains Local History Group Inc., for a pilot study of three local areas: Coopers Plains (Banoon)-Sunnybank, Moorooka-Tarragindi, and Fairfield-Annerley.

The original MBH (MBSH) Project Team consisted of three professional historians, Beryl Roberts, Janice Cooper, Neville Buch, as well as Chris Burns, a professional surveyor. Our first task was to gather all maps which gave us sufficient detail for the three local area pilot studies from five archives (State Library Queensland, National Australian Archives, Queensland State Archives, and Brisbane Council Archives). After mostly completing our collection of digital map images from various archives, the next stage of the project was to decide three to five comparative years for the study across the three local areas, based on common time-periods of the maps in the digital collection. Our choice of comparatives years aimed at a spread across a century and half (e.g. 1860, 1885, 1935, 1961, 1975). In the following stages of the project, we then investigated narrative and other documentary sources in relation to the local study areas in the common comparative years, looking for specific records in the archives during that time period.

Once the specific data was collected, its details were combined and reproduced, using mapping software, into digital maps.

Step One:
Professional advice was gained on a map drawing software that would best suit the requirements of the project. The OS-Geo software was purchased and set-up on several laptops to start the second stage.

Step Two:
Researchers gathered data on the topography, waterways, vegetation, boundary and property lines, as well as features of human habitation including indigenous sites, buildings and gardens, tracks, streets, roads, tram and railway lines. The data was related to a sequence of about three or four particular years across the historical distance to present, and would be specific to the three local areas in the pilot study. The data has been drawn from:

Local history archival material in various collections;

Local history publications and unpublished manuscripts;

Photographs in various collections; and significantly…

Maps in the Lands Museum, State Library of Queensland, Queensland State Archives, and Brisbane City Archives.

Once the specific data was collected, its cartographic details would be combined and reproduced, using map drawing software, into digital maps that can be layered in different ways.

Step Three:
A website was designed to present a series of digital map files with descriptions of methodology and the landscapes revealed in the maps.