The activities of the Photographic Section were diverse and included producing and processing blue prints, dyelines, photostat prints, bromides, negatives, aerial photographs and air photo maps. As well as providing photographic and cartographic-related services for the Survey Office, the Photographic Section undertook work on behalf of each Branch of the Lands Department and many other Government departments (including the Main Roads Board, Works Department and the Workers' Dwellings Board).
Following a review by the Public Service Commissioner in 1922, the structure of the Survey Office was revised and streamlined. Under the new structure, which came into effect on 1 October 1922, the Photographic Branch was subsumed by the Cartographic Branch. The placing of the Photographic Section under the Cartographic Branch was intended to represent the relationship between the two activities in the process of map production. (Other related Sections which were incorporated into the Cartographic Branch were the Compiling Section, Lithographic Section, and Map Mounting Section).
The number of officers working in this Section steadily increased throughout this period indicating the growing importance of, and demand for, the photographic services provided by the Section. From 1968, the Photography Section incorporated the previously separate Map Room and Map Mounting Section.
The Survey Office was made a separate Department in March 1975 and renamed the Mapping and Surveying Department on 13 December 1975.