2017 News

Attention R Users: A new package with Antarctic place names is now available for use!

14 March 2017:

1README leaflet- Contributed by Ben Raymond, Secretary of SCAR’s Expert Group on Antarctic Biodiversity Informatics

The SCAR Composite Gazetteer of Antarctica (CGA) is the authoritative source for Antarctic place names. It was begun in 1992 and consists of approximately 37,000 names corresponding to 19,000 distinct features. These place names have been submitted by the national names committees from 22 countries. Since 2008, Italy and Australia have jointly managed the CGA, the former taking care of the editing, the latter maintaining the database and website. The SCAR Standing Committee on Antarctic Geographic Information (SCAGI) coordinates the project.

Recently, the SCAR Expert Group on Antarctic Biodiversity Informatics and SCAGI have produced an R package around the CGA. This R package (called "antanym") is intended to provide R users with easy access to CGA data, as well as functionality for filtering, searching, and using place names in the R software environment.

The package can be found here, along with installation instructions and examples of its use. Currently the package only exposes data from the CGA but may be expanded at a later date to other place name sources, such as subantarctic gazetteers. For more information about the CGA, see the overview page on the SCAR website or the CGA home page.

Some GIS packages (e.g. QGIS and ArcGIS) are capable of running R scripts, and so the antanym package might also be of interest to GIS users. QGIS users can alternatively access the CGA through Quantarctica, which also provides some of the same functionality for searching and filtering place names.