Maps and views blog

Cartographic perspectives from our Map Librarians

1 posts from April 2023

21 April 2023

British Antarctic Survey data available on digital maps viewer

Twenty three datasets from the British Antarctic Survey are now available to readers in the digital maps viewer which can be accessed in the maps reading room.

British Antarctic Survey mapping on the Legal Deposit (GDAS) Viewer
High resolution vector polygons of Antarctic rock outcrop in the Digital Maps Viewer. Data from the SCAR Antarctic Digital Database, accessed 2022


British Antarctic Survey delivers and enables world-leading interdisciplinary research in the Polar Regions. They work to advance our understanding of Earth as a sustainable planet and facilitate access for the science community to the UK polar research operation. They are holders of a range of Polar data from long-term environmental, biological, geological and meteorological datasets, to specimens, maps, and photographs. We have received a deposit of The Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research Antarctic Digital Database which is published by the British Antarctic Survey. This database provides seamless topographic datasets and covers Antarctica south of 60°S with the following datasets:

  • coastline, including grounding lines and ice shelf fronts
  • rock outcrop
  • contours
  • lakes
  • moraine
  • streams
  • seamask
  • ADD data limit at 60°S

Thanks to Laura Gerrish and Felix Fennell at British Antarctic Survey for their help in obtaining the data. The data were made available using the Antarctic Stereographic Projection (EPSG 3031) which is the first time we have employed this projection. As a background layer we chose to use a Landsat Image Mosaic Of Antarctica and added some key place names to provide context.

The data can be viewed in the digital maps viewer which is available onsite at the British Library St Pancras in the maps reading room. Please do come into the reading room and take a look but do also read the instructions here beforehand that can help you access the maps reading room. The viewer allows readers to browse maps and geospatial data that the legal deposit libraries have collected for over twenty years using a slippy maps interface similar to Google, Bing or Apple maps. Ordnance Survey Great Britain Master Map and Ordnance Survey Northern Ireland Large Scale mapping are added every year and the 2022 versions are now accessible to readers in the viewer alongside older versions.

Dr Gethin Rees