Frank Leahy at Burke and Wills book launch, Royal Society of Victoria, November, 2011

The Study

Podcast No.18: Interview with Frank Leahy

by Craig Robertson

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Frank Leahy in his study with theodolite
(Above) Frank Leahy at home in his study with a favourite old theodolite.
(Left) Frank signing books at the launch of Burke & Wills: the Scientific Legacy of the Victorian Exploring Expedition (see below for details), at the Royal Society of Victoria, November, 2011. (Photo: Hui Fen Chen)
Podcast No.18: Frank Leahy (15 Mb m4a file; 60 minutes)

Frank Leahy has had a long career in the practice of geodesy and geomatics, as a researcher, teacher, and consultant. He is particularly interested in the mathematics involved, especially least squares theory; he is an admirer of Karl Friedrich Gauss. He has developed algorithms in use today by Geoscience Australia and other major organisations involved with mapping land, railway networks and marine boundaries. His working life has seen the technology change from sextants and theodolites and traditional eighteenth-century triangulation methods to instruments so accurate their measurements can adjust for continental drift.

Frank qualified first as a land surveyor. Since boyhood and a youthful period mapping outback Queensland, he has had a special interest in the history of the Victorian Exploring Expedition (1860-1861) - otherwise known as the Burke and Wills Expedition - because he is a passionate supporter of the achievements of William John Wills as a surveyor. Many thanks to Dr Doug McCann for participating in this interview. This interview © Copyright Frank Leahy, Craig Robertson & Doug McCann, 2012.

This podcast includes my two regular themes:
Introduction and final announcements: Prelude from J.S. Bach: Prelude and Fugue in C, Book 1, BWV846, played by Ronald Farren-Price, from his album Reflections, courtesy of Move Records © 1993
Prelude to the section "In my study": a movement from G.F. Handel: Suite No. 5 in E major, played by Elizabeth Anderson on her album The Convict Harpsichordist, also courtesy of Move Records © 2003

In my study: No. 18 notes on maps and mapping. (5.1 Mb mp3 file; 5' 16") This is a slightly longer version than the notes included in the Frank's podcast. For more IMS Notes see also List of Subjects.)

Frank Leahy: selected publications

Frank Leahy (2011). William John Wills as scientist, chapter in Burke & Wills: The Scientific Legacy of the Victorian Exploring Expedition, (eds) EB Joyce & DA McCann (CSIRO Publishing).
Frank Leahy (2007). Locating the "Plant Camp" of the Burke and Wills Expedition Journal of Spatial Science Vol. 52 (2): 1 - 12.

Most of Frank Leahy's many papers were published in a range of professional journals. Some of the more readily found include:
The Australian Surveyor: A survey network approach to locating HMAS Sydney, co-authored with NE Brown, T O'Leary, J Leach (2001); and other papers in 1977, 1986, 1992 - 1998. There are also many conference papers and a number of reports to various government bodies and industry associations, e.g. the Murray-Darling Commission and Victorian Public Transport Corporation.

All material, unless otherwise stated, is © Copyright Craig Robertson, 2012

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