Colonel Light’s map of Adelaide.

Buried in the SA Migration museum is a map that defines Adelaide. Drawn in 1838 by Light &Co is the map that depicts the European settlement of Adelaide two years after the city was established. The map was originally thought to be printed and came to Artlab for condition assessment and re-housing. During preliminary examination, it became apparent the map was completely hand-drawn and was identified as an unpublished early drawing of Adelaide and its suburbs.

ArtLab curators are now deciphering the origins of this map and who was involved in its production. Using lithographic techniques available at the museum and UnISA TestLab staff 3D scanning expertise, ArtLab is seeking to identify how the map was drawn.

3D scanning enabled some of the features to be studied in more detail by recreating a digital version of the map and assisted to identify additional information on how the map was created.


UniSA Testlab printed a colour
reproduction of the map of Adelaide.

UniSA TestLab staff also printed a colour reproduction of the map. Utilising the 3D image, UniSA Testlab staff used the colour printing capabilities of the Stratasys 3D printer to recreate a colour reproduction of the 1838 map of Adelaide. The 3D printed map had all the hallmarks of the original map; including variations in the map surface and blemishes in the map surface that are attributable to the age of the map.

The following news report has further information on Colonel Lights map of Adelaide.

One of the oldest maps of Adelaide is the focus of some intensive detective work at Artlab. Curators are working on the mysteries of the map that may have been hand-drawn by Colonel Light.

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