Cga composite gazetteer of antarctica 3 scagi meeting buenos aires 31 july 1 august 2010
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CGA - Composite Gazetteer of Antarctica 3° SCAGI Meeting Buenos Aires, 31 July - 1 August, 2010 PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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CGA - Composite Gazetteer of Antarctica 3° SCAGI Meeting Buenos Aires, 31 July - 1 August, 2010. CGA, entrusted to Italy by SCAR in 1992. Now, a 18 years old project, is a cooperation between the Italian PNRA and the Australian AAD with contributions by all SC-AGI Members.

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CGA - Composite Gazetteer of Antarctica 3° SCAGI Meeting Buenos Aires, 31 July - 1 August, 2010

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CGA - Composite Gazetteer of Antarctica3° SCAGI MeetingBuenos Aires, 31 July - 1 August, 2010

CGA, entrusted to Italy by SCAR in 1992.

Now, a 18 years old project, is a

cooperation between the Italian PNRA and the Australian AAD with contributions by all SC-AGI Members

CGA, updating 1 June 2010

  • Contains 36373 place names (including 176 since Amsterdam 2009)

  • Corresponding to 18379 geographical features (including 99 added after Amsterdam 2009)

  • Provided by 22 Countries

New entries from Sept.1, 2009 to May 31, 2010(*) according to work on Larsemann Hills, Brolsma et al.

(*) after Brolsma’s work on Larsemann Hills


Just a compilation, however…..

Input data made homogeneous

Transliteration and translation


Data check

Association of names to features

Grouping of names around a feature (Unique SCAR ID)


Some choices

Exclusion of features North of 60°S

Partial inclusion of man-made features

Exclusion of non official names

Inclusion of undersea features

Inclusion of subglacial features

CGA-GEBCO Harmonization

A project started by H.W. Schenke and R. Cervellati at Buenos Aires first SC-AGI meeting (Oct.2007).

Carried out by R. Krocker (AWI) in 6 months.

Set of “proposal for changes” in the CGA, issued in Sept.2008.


CGA-GEBCO Harmonization

Differences in geographical coordinates are partly accounted for by the fact that GEBCO contains point, line and spatial features.

National gazetteers and CGA, on the contrary, contain only point-like features.

CGA-GEBCO Harmonization

The Norwegian reply made a good point.

No other replies.

CGA will include changes only if they are made in the national gazetteers.

CGA-GEBCO Harmonization

Krocker took into consideration 74 geographic features.

Harmonization required changes in the generic term, and/or specific name, and/or coordinates.

7 Countries are involved (ARG, AUS, GBR, NOR, NZL, RUS, USA).

Relevant info circulated and request for comments among Members (30.11.2009)

CGA and Google Earth

  • Encouragement from SCAR ExCom:

  • to develop a pan-Antarctic perspective

  • to interact with the SC-ATS

  • to advise and look support inside SCAR itsel

  • To implement the Data and Information Management Strategy (DIMS)

CGA and Google Earth

  • Paul Woodmam, former Chair of UK APC, verified the interest of Google Earth in using CGA names (Nairobi 2010, Int’l Conference on Place Names).

  • The problem of multiple names and multiple coordinates was suddenly evident.

  • To obtain that a name be changed is a hard task but to improve coordinates looks feasible.

CGA and Google Earth

  • Henk Brolsma, who prepared the Issues Paper on the inconsistencies existing among the National Gazetteers,

    verified the willingness of SC-AGI’s Members to operate towards an improvement of the coordinates,

    obtaining a range of responses from positive to negative or no response at all.

CGA and Google Earth

  • SC-AGI is in a difficult position between

  • the EXCom Policy and DIMS


  • the impossibility to change anything in the CGA without the consent of the Members

CGA and Google Earth

  • An additional effort is required from SC-AGI in the short term. Suggested points of discussion are:

  • improvement of coordinates/feasibility

  • availability of Members to share the overall burden

  • liason of Members with one another to agree to the same coordinates

  • could a subset of CGA, derived from CGA but different from CGA, provide a product suitable for Google Earth?

  • (at present we could only supply Google Earth with the national gazetteers as independent layers of information)


Two main products:

A web-site continuosly updated

Two hard-copy Publications (in 1998 e 2000) plus a Supplement (in 2004) with SCAR’s financial support


Place names areal distribution shows that:

different Countries apparently adopted different approaches.

Russia and USA gazetteers cover all the continent.

claimant Countries seem to be mainly interested in the claimed sector.

other Countries add up comparatively few places names


  • Contribution to the international awareness that toponymy in Antarctica, even though left to the choices of Countries, can’t be quite arbitrary.

  • There are the SCAR’s recommendations, a coordination (SC-AGI) , a preset format for editing place names


The practical outcome

CGA is most complete and updated list (as much as practicable) of the existing names.

For every new proposed toponym it is feasible to verify whether the feature has been already named.


The present

AADC of AAD has accomplished the task of moving the CGA data-base into a new server, adding new fields and new search capabilities, fully refurbishing the web site.

Cooperation between Italy and Australia is excellent.

In the near future

  • Tackling the multiple coordinates problem

    perhaps establishing a task force inside the SC-AGI

  • To assess the size of the problem and its relationship at different scales

  • To set up a medium term program (on the web and/or on the field) for the adhering Countries

  • To obtain the involvement of Countries.

  • Countries to cooperate. Their work to be acknowledged.

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