Australian Antarctic Data Centre

Recent developments in the Data Centre

State of the Antarctic Environment Reporting

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In 2002 the Australian Antarctic Data Centre (AADC) developed an environmental management system to address Australia's Antarctic State of the Environment reporting obligations in line with the Rio accord. The Antarctic Treaty's Committee for Environmental Protection (CEP) has now accepted this as the model for an Antarctic-wide State of the Environment reporting system. There are three preliminary indicators on the CEP State of the Environment reporting page.

New geographic information

The AADC has digitised the coastline of the McDonald Islands from a 2003 satellite image. This coastline shows a marked difference to that obtained from a 1980 aerial photograph. This change is thought to be due to volcanic activity and was first noticed in 2001.

New satellite images of Heard Island:

Biodiversity data online

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The AADC now provides biodiversity data (seabirds and seal sightings, herbarium specimens, and whale catches) through the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF). The GBIF project is a web-based initiative that draws together biodiversity data from many different institutions under a unified framework. The AADC is also developing analytical tools that can be used with these data - see the graphical exploration of biodiversity feature page.


The AADC has had some visitors:

  • Steffen Vogt from the University of Freiburg visited for one month, and spent this time with AADC staff (particularly David Smith and Ursula Ryan) with further development of the SCAR Feature Catalogue. Steffen also gave a seminar on his experiences working with King George Island GIS data.
  • Dr Hongxing Liu from Texas A&M University made a flying visit and gave a seminar on satellite remote sensing of Antarctic topography, surface melting and ice motion.

Field samples in the palm of your hand

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A group of third year computing students at the University of Tasmania, in conjunction with the AADC and the Human Impacts program, is developing a sample tracking database that runs on a handheld computing device (such as a PocketPC or Palm). This is expected to be much easier to use than a bulky laptop in the challenging Antarctic field environment.

This page was last updated on 11 August 2004.