Recent Developments in the Australian Antarctic Data Centre

State of Antarctic Environment Reporting
State of Antarctic Environment Reporting

11 August 2004

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

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.

Field samples in the palm of your hand

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 Pocket PC or Palm). This is expected to be much easier to use than a bulky laptop in the challenging Antarctic field environment.