Forestry camp maps analyse and represent spatial data on forest management operations and National Parks, in graphical form. The most common type of map in this series is the forest survey enabling assessment for timber production and protection. In earlier maps the scale of measurement is in miles, or in chains. Scales according to chains per inch were predominant on the hand-drawn maps and other early maps up to the 1970s, from then on being metric. Methods of mapmaking varied from early ones and drafts being hand-drawn, to newer sophisticated publications. Also some of them were made in collaboration with other agencies. Some were used by foresters for reference or for adding to: military, mining and telegraph maps. Agencies that collaborated were Mapping and Surveying and QIT. Also, forest management data was sometimes superimposed on maps originally published e.g. by the Survey Office.
Primarily this series shows development of forest management operations, formation of national parks, also natural and cultural history sites. Data may include: topography, tree species (commercial and non-commercial) using common rather than botanical names, means of access, timber extraction and mills, timber volumes, forest stations and experimental plots, strip stations and also parks development, mining, and town plans that are in the vicinity of forestry. Over time these forestry developments included environmental conservation as well as commercial operation.
Some unpublished maps have keys, however the most detailed keys are on the Forestry Department published maps indicating geographic features, also areas of State Forest, National Parks, tree varieties plus other Forest Service information like 'underplanting', also measuring timber and blazing, clearing and surveying land. Some acronyms used are: FIS Forestry Information Service, GBH Girth at breast height, GR Grass and regeneration, LAD Land Agent's District, LA Logging Area, NPR National Park Reserve, SF(R) State Forest (Reserve), TR Timber Reserve, VCL Vacant Crown Land. CAM County Arbitrary Meridian, The latter is an old meridian system used in Australia: the difference between True North and Magnetic was determined at an initial point in a County, this difference called the 'variation' was then held fixed. All meridians within the county were then held parallel to this approximate magnetic meridian.
From the 1960s the Department documented 'rainforest experiments' on hundreds of experimental plots (two-acre and smaller).
Regarding soil data kept by means of these maps, the purpose was to document it in relation to the production of tree crops. Although the reservation of Crown Lands for State Forests and other such purposes was a function of the Lands Department, the Forest Service was invariably involved in surveying, selecting and acquiring land to be reserved as State Forests.
Many maps in this series were originally part of sets of documentation e.g. certain maps would have been the 'illustrations' for field reports prepared by District Foresters which provide soil and vegetation analysis results, survey results, recommendations regarding the construction of forest roads, and findings on flora and fauna conservation issues.