The Australian Antarctic Division map catalogue

A mosaic of images including satellite photos, the Heard Island landscape and a scientist logging GIS data
Clockwise from top left: Satellite image map of the Larsemann Hills; total workstation at Atlas Cove, Heard Island, with Australia's highest active volcano, Big Ben (2760 m), in the background; an aerial photograph of Mawson Station; a scientist using real time GPS to log GIS data in the Stillwell Hills; and a map produced from the GIS of Laurens Peninsula, Heard Island.

The Australian Antarctic Division holds a collection of approximately 3,500 maps and charts. In 1998 the Australian Antarctic Data Centre began the task of collating a catalogue of its holdings. After several previous attempts to complete this large task, the map catalogue was published online in early 1999.

The map catalogue includes:

  • historical maps dating back to the mid 1800's
  • thematic maps such as geological, vegetation and bathymetry maps
  • hydrographic charts
  • topographical maps
  • satellite image maps
  • orthophoto maps

Many countries from around the world distribute their Antarctic maps and charts through an agreement by the Scientific Committee of Antarctic Research (SCAR). These are also included in the map catalogue. The Australian Antarctic Division online map catalogue was recently adopted by the SCAR Working Group on Geodesy and Geographic Information as the international standard for the cataloguing of Antarctic maps.

Ursula Ryan
GIS Officer,
Australian Antarctic Division