Please note that this site is an archive. The most up-to-date material is at: .

SCAR GSSG - Report of WG-GGI to XXV SCAR " /> " /> Updated:


20 - 24 JULY 1998


Representatives and observers from fourteen SCAR countries and observers from three non/inter-government organisations attended the Working Group on Geodesy and Geographic Information (WG-GGI) meeting at XXV SCAR, 20-24 July 1998, in Concepcion, Chile:

Apologies were received from Finland, Russia, South Africa, Sweden, New Zealand and Norway. The current Working Group membership is listed at SCAR Membership listing and Attachment 1.

The WG-GGI continues to focus on providing the fundamental geodetic and geographic information needed to support Antarctic science, environmental monitoring and operations. The key activities during the meeting were:

National reports were tabled from countries active in Antarctic geodesy, mapping and GIS. Presentations and briefings were given on a range of SCAR and other projects and programs. Recommendations were developed addressing place names, geodesy and bathymetry.

A report on the Antarctic Geodesy Symposium held at the University of Chile in Santiago prior to the Concepcion meeting was also provided. Twenty papers were presented at the symposium, addressing current research in Antarctic geodesy and promoting interaction between SCAR and non-SCAR geoscientists.

A joint meeting was held with the Geology and Solid-Earth Geophysics Working Groups, and members of WG-GGI were actively involved in development of the proposal for a new Group of Specialists on Antarctic neotectonics (ANTEC).


Reports on the three Programs developed at the Cambridge meeting were presented. In summary:

Geodetic Infrastructure for Antarctica (GIANT) (Australia)

Standards and Directories (USA)

Geographic Data (UK and Germany)


The following WG-GGI meetings were held during the period:


The Working Group’s programs and products have significant global and interdisciplinary applications. Liaison with external bodies is therefore essential to ensure that activities are appropriately integrated and focussed on scientific and operational needs.

Reports were presented to the Concepcion meeting on the following projects and agencies: SCAR, COMNAP, IHO, IAG, GLOCHANT, GOSEAC, JCADM, GEBCO, radar mapping, bedrock mapping, coastline mapping, World Atlas of Snow and Ice Resource, Global Mapping and development of the Global Spatial Data Infrastructure. A joint meeting was held with the Geology and Solid-Earth Geophysics Working Groups.

The WG-GGI gave a presentation at Concepcion to the COMNAP symposium, outlining the place names, mapping data and GPS base station developments. Arrangements to strengthen liaison with COMNAP were discussed with the COMNAP President and Executive Secretary, and will be further developed.

4. PLANS FOR 1998 - 2000 PROGRAM

The Working Group adopted a simplified and more focussed program structure for 1998-2000, with two major programs. The program structure is designed to endure, while the projects undertaken within each program continue to evolve. The two programs, their objectives and the projects to be undertaken in 1998-2000, are listed in the following table:

Geodesy (Geodetic Infrastructure
for Antarctica - GIANT) Program

Geographic Information Program


  • provide a common geographic reference system for all Antarctic science and operations;
  • contribute to global geodetic science (physical earth processes and precise terrestrial reference frame);
  • provide Antarctic horizontal and vertical motion data


  1. Permanent Observatories
  2. Epoch Campaigns
  3. Physical Geodesy
  5. Differential GPS Base Stations
  6. Remote Geodetic Observatories
  7. Information Access


  • integrate and coordinate Antarctic mapping and GIS programs;
  • make fundamental reference data available to the Antarctic and global user communities.


  1. Standards
  2. Place Names
  3. Topographic Database
  4. King George Island GIS
  5. Geographic Data Integration
  6. Map and Chart Catalogue

The goals and major activities planned for the 1998-2000 period are summarised below:

Geodetic Infrastructure for Antarctica (GIANT) Program

Geographic Information Program


Coordinators were appointed for the two WG-GGI programs:

Drew Clarke (Australia) was re-elected Chairman. The WG-GGI home page ( will continue to provide a key means of disseminating information on WG activities, contacts and meetings. More detailed descriptions of the 1998-2000 program plans for Geodesy and Geographic Information will also be available at this site. A WG-GGI list-server capability will be developed to further improve communication between members.

The Working Group proposes the following meetings in 1998-2000:

The WG-GGI Standing resolutions were reviewed, and three new resolutions were added addressing ground control points, geodetic reference frame, and representation on the Working Group. The current resolutions are listed in Attachment 2.

Four new recommendations to SCAR were developed, addressing place names, permanent geodetic observatories, geodetic reference frame and bathymetric data. These recommendations are listed in Attachment 3. The Working Group on Geodesy and Geographic Information also strongly supports the proposal to create a new Group of Specialists to address Antarctic Neotectonics - ANTEC.

Applications for SCAR funding support have been made for the 1999 GIANT Symposium, physical geodesy project, place names project, and topographic database project.

Acronyms used in this report, and others applicable to WG-GGI, are listed in Attachment 4.

The meeting concluded with the adoption of this report.

Drew Clarke
24 July 1998