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SCAR XXXII WP23: Report of the Standing Committee on Antarctic Geographic Information (SCAGI) Popular

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XXXII SCAR Delegates Meeting
23-25 July 2012, Portland Oregon, USA

SCAR XXXII WP23: Report of the Standing Committee on Antarctic Geographic Information (SCAGI)

Working Paper 23
Agenda Item: 6.2
Posted/Revised: June 14
Person Responsible: Fox

Executive Summary

Title: Report of SCAR Standing Committee on Antarctic Geographic Information (SCAGI)

Authors: Adrian Fox and Jean-Yves Pirlot, SCAGI co-Chief Officers

Relevant URLs or references to other reports:
Introduction/ Background: All work in Antarctica relies on a consistent geographic framework, and the main function of the Standing Committee on Antarctic Geographic Information (SCAGI) is to manage and improve the geographic framework not only for Antarctic scientific research but also for other activities including operations, environmental management and tourism. SCAGI continues to deliver, and actively develop, a range of Geographic Information products through its various projects. These products include: the SCAR Composite Gazetteer of Antarctica (CGA), the SCAR Antarctic Digital Database (ADD), the SCAR Map Catalogue and SCAR Feature Catalogue. SCAGI integrates topographic and names information received from national Antarctic programmes into the SCAR ADD and SCAR CGA. In keeping with Article III.1.c of the Treaty that Scientific observations and results from Antarctica shall be exchanged and made freely available, SCAGI promotes an open standards approach to support free and unrestricted data access and develops the respective specifications.

Important Issues or Factors:
Most of the effort in SCAGI comes from a few committed members. To ensure maximum effectiveness for SCAR, SCAGI is focusing its limited resources on delivering the three main SCAR-SCAGI products: Composite Gazetteer of Antarctica (CGA), Antarctic Digital Database (ADD), SCAR Map Catalogue (MapCat).

The SCAR products can only be as good as the data that are in them. It is critical for the continued relevance and utility of the SCAR-SCAGI products that SCAR members contribute all new maps, topographic data, and place-names information to the ADD, MapCat and CGA in a timely manner.

Geographic Information and place-names in Antarctica sit within a range of organisational settings in different countries, including National Mapping, military, research centre and university agencies. Some of these organisational settings do not have strong links to SCAR, and it would be extremely helpful to gain commitment from National Delegates from all the countries in SCAR to encourage engagement with SCAR-SCAGI by their relevant agency.

Recommendations/Actions and Justification: 
Delegates should ensure that they are familiar with the work that SCAGI does and encourage their national representatives to become involved with and contribute all new data to SCAGI products. Delegates should ensure that retiring national representatives are replaced with a successor national representative and that the SCAGI co-Chairs are informed of this change.

Expected Benefits/Outcomes: 
Wider engagement by the Antarctic community would help SCAGI to continue to develop, and deliver effectively, reliable relevant Geographic Information Services to the Antarctic science and operations communities. Maintaining the position of SCAR as the source of Geographic Information Services such as the ADD and CGA supports the SCAR Strategic Plan objective of an international leadership role for SCAR.

Partners: SCADM, SCAR member countries, other organizations with an interest in Antarctic geographic Information such as COMNAP, CCAMLR, Antarctic Treaty System, IHO, NASA, Google.

Budget Implications:
For the SCAR CGA and SCAR ADD to be improved, it requires that, either SCAGI members take on the necessary work or the work is outsourced. Continuation of $4k a year allocation.