This map presents work carried out for The Encyclopaedia of Aboriginal Australia which began in 1988. The Encyclopaedia was published in 1994. Using the best available published research at the time, the map attempts to represent all the language and social groups of Indigenous people of Australia. Brief information about each group was included in the Encyclopaedia.
The regions were analysed by using the watershed basins as a template with all the groups superimposed on that base having determined where such factors as culture, language and trade indicated the relationships between groups to be.