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SCAR GSSG - Geographic Information Programme 2004-2006



[If you are interested in obtaining or looking at geographic information of Antarctica then please visit either our Products or Links pages.

You may also wish to view a list of contacts for the exchange of map, chart and geographic publications or a list of distributors of Antarctic maps.]

This is the work programme of the SCAR GSSG Expert Group Geospatial Information - Geographic Information. The programme objective is to create and maintain an Antarctic Spatial Data Infrastructure (AntSDI):

Terms of Reference for AntSDI

Understanding that geographic location is a fundamental element for integrating and communicating Antarctic science knowledge,
the GI group aims to create an Antarctic Spatial Data Infrastructure (AntSDI) by:

In support of this objective the group currently operates nine projects in the GI Programme. These are:

  1. Place Names (SCAR CGA)
  2. Topographic Database (SCAR ADD)
  3. Map Catalogue (SCAR MapCat)
  4. King George Island GIS (SCAR KGIS)
  5. Spatial Data Model
  6. Geospatial Information - Enabling Technologies
  7. Cybercartographic Atlas of Antarctica
  8. GIS Collaboration in East Antarctica
  9. Antarctic Data Linkages

Programme Coordinators: Mr Steffen Vogt, Germany and Mr John Manning, Australia


1. Place Names (SCAR Composite Gazetteer of Antarctica)

Project Leader: Italy - Prof Roberto Cervellati

Collaborators: UK, Germany

Goal: Provide an authoritative database of all Antarctic place names approved by recognised bodies, for reference by national Antarctic naming authorities, scientists and operators.


  1. Continue to collect descriptions and dates of approval
  2. Development of a policy for the future of the CGA
  3. Address the resourcing of the SCAR Composite Gazetteer from two years on prior to SCAR XXIX
  4. Address non-responding countries via letter through former GGI representatives / SCAR delegates / COMNAP delegates / Place Names Committees
  5. For new or modified entries include source of co-ordinates
  6. If countries supply names for submarine features advise GEBCO
  7. Investigate links to existing gazetteers for place names above 60 South

If you are interested in obtaining an ArcInfo export file (.e00) containing all CGA entries at 1 January 2002 then please visit the Geoscience Australia Antarctic Data download site.

Go here if you are interested in viewing the classes of Antarctic place name features

Click on this image to access the CGA Place Names of Antarctica database

2. Topographic Database (SCAR Antarctic Digital Database)

Project Leader: UK - Mr Adrian Fox

Collaborators: Australia, USA, Germany

Goal: Provide a SCAR standard small scale topographic GIS database, for use by scientists and operators, and contribute topographic data to global mapping initiatives.


  1. Identify data sources for incorporation of sub-Antarctic islands into ADD
  2. Migrate the ADD to object oriented data model and create the Antarctic Map Server (including resolving the issue of interpretation of features)
  3. Add coastal change data to the Antarctic Peninsula region (and other parts of the continent if available)
  4. Add BEDMAP dataset - a single database describing the thickness of the Antarctic ice sheet collected on surveys undertaken over the past 50 years.

3. SCAR Map Catalogue

Project Leader: Australia - Mr Henk Brolsma

Collaborators: UK, USA, Germany, Chile

Goals: To maintain a public-access catalogue of all Antarctic mapping products


  1. Relevant countries to check existing entries and to add new or missing ones
  2. Define additional fields if necessary
  3. Evaluate inclusion of SCAR geological map catalogue (at BAS)
  4. Link US and BAS thumbnails into the map catalogue
  5. Request countries to provide thumbnail scans of their maps


  1. Search for maps in the catalogue
  2. Log in page for Custodians to update their entries

4. SCAR King George Island GIS (KGIS)

Project Leader: Germany - Mr Steffen Vogt

Collaborators: Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Poland, China, Korea, UK, Uruguay

Goal: To provide an integrated geographic database of King George Island for use by all countries and in multi-disciplinary applications.


  1. Continue obtaining and integrating data
  2. Maintain database and website
  3. Promote KGIS among users / data producers
  4. Establish / maintain close links to related GIS projects on King George Island
  5. Continue contributing to the development of the SCAR spatial data standards
  6. Make report on pilot study on place names available (October 2004)
  7. Link data into Cybercartographic Atlas (provided funding is available)


  1. Interactive Mapviewer to the KGIS data base
  2. Report on placenames study available at the KGIS website.

5. Spatial Data Standards

Project Leader: Australia - Mr Henk Brolsma

Collaborators: UK, USA, Germany, Chile

Goal: To provide a SCAR standard spatial data model for use in SCAR and national GIS databases.


  1. Continue developing the SCAR Feature Type Catalogue and the SCAR Spatial Data Model
  2. Develop policies on changes and updates for the SCAR Feature Catalogue
  3. Investigate metadata / data quality requirements
  4. Ensure compliance to and investigate implementation of ISO TC211 and OGC standards
  5. SCAR ISO TC211 liaison officer (Paul Cooper) to attend TC 211 meetings and report back to the project

6. Geospatial Information - Enabling Technologies

Project Leader: USA - Mr Jerry Mullins

Collaborators: Australia, China, Canada

Goal:To investigate into and to report on emerging technologies for spatial data acquisition and dissemination


  1. Integration of on-line geospatial information from distributed web services
  2. Development and testing of airborne GPS digital cameras and navigation based photogrammetry for near real-time mapping

7. Cybercartographic Atlas of Antarctica

Project Leader: Canada - Prof D.R. Fraser Taylor

Collaborators: Australia, USA, China, Argentina, Chile, IHO, Poland

Goal: To provide an online Antarctic Cybercartographic Atlas


  1. Complete conversion of Antarctic Digital Database to a Web accessible Feature Service through collaboration with BAS (12-2004)
  2. Develop preliminary Atlas content modules. Present 'Alpha' release to relevant stakeholders for review (04-2005)
  3. Hold a stakeholders workshop to review Alpha release. Possibly in conjunction with GIG workshop. (October 2005)
  4. Incorporate stakeholder feedback -> present next iteration Alpha (09-2005)
  5. Develop International content for inclusion in beta version (01-2005 - 01-2006)
  6. Beta Atlas release (07-2006)
  7. Release Atlas Version 1 (11-2006)

8. GIS Collaboration in East Antarctica

Project Leader: Russia - Dr Alexander Yuskevitch

Collaborators: Australia, China, Italy

Goal: To develop and finalise a proposal for GIS collaboration at a key site in East Antarctica.


  1. Prepare a geodetic control information table of all ground control
  2. Compare digital topography between Davis and Molodezhnya for Russian, Chinese, Japanese and Australian data
  3. Integrate 2004/05 ground control from Davis to Amery Ice Shelf
  4. Compare and correlate digital data in selected areas progressing westwards from Davis
  5. present progress to SCAR XXIX

9. Antarctic Data Linkages

Project Leader: Canada - Mr Peter Pulsifer

Collaborators: Australia, Germany, US

Goal: Provide advice on spatial data management issues in general data management.


  1. Liaise with JCADM and STADM regarding geospatial information activities and projects relevant to each group
  2. Meet inter-sessionally to discuss areas of mutual interest

Link to old GI work plans from 1994-2004