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The Australian National University

PAMBU Collaboration

Development of Off-line Database and Interactive Map for Pacific Manuscripts Bureau & PNG Department of Agriculture & Livestock Preservation of land use survey reports

The production of the database and demonstration searchable map interface was funded by AusAid and developed by the Pacific Manuscripts Bureau (http://asiapacific.anu.edu.au/pambu/) in partnership with the Department of Agriculture and Livestock in Port Moresby.

The database and demonstration searchable map interface were developed by the Centre for Digital Humanities Research.

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Over the period late 1940s to late 1990s, staff of the Land Use Section of the Papua New Guinea (PNG) Department of Agriculture and Livestock (DAL) conducted extensive fieldwork in many locations in PNG. They wrote reports on land use, soil fertility, crop potential, etc. which are held in the land use survey files. There was a greater density of fieldwork and reports for locations of potential land resettlement and export cash crop development, but the reports cover all provinces and many locations in most districts.

There are around 700 reports. A few of these have been published, but most now exist as a single copy in the DAL Land Use Section office at Konedobu in Port Moresby.  The reports range from single pages to one report with 10 (published) volumes. As far as is known, the reports are extant and have not yet been destroyed as have, for example, hundreds of files containing results of agronomic field trials.

These reports contain very valuable information. The work could never be done again for all of these locations, due to cost, logistics and staffing reasons. It is vitally important that they be digitised and made available to a wider audience. Many agricultural development workers and scientists use the reports when working in particular geographic regions and have found much valuable information in them. This resource has been built up over 50 years, but is now in danger of being lost.

As part of an AusAID funded project, the Pacific Manuscript Bureau received a small grant from AusAID to work with the PNG Department of Agriculture and Livestock staff to digitize land use reports held in PNG and to develop a database and digital map to provide access to these reports. The Centre for Digital Humanities Research at ANU has developed the standalone searchable database and interactive map that shows the location of the Land Use Survey Reports and cross-references to the digitised reports.

 

Updated: 29 August 2014/ Responsible Officer:  Head, CDHR / Page Contact:  CDHR