Recent Developments in the Australian Antarctic Data Centre
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:
- Laurens peninsula
- eastern Heard Island from Capsize Beach to Compton Lagoon
- north eastern Heard Island from Compton Lagoon to Shag Island
- topographic mappings from the above two images
- coastal orthophotographs derived from nom-metric photography
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 PocketPC or Palm). This is expected to be much easier to use than a bulky laptop in the challenging Antarctic field environment.