Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR)
Collated by Programma Nazionale di Ricerche in Antartide (Italy)
in the framework of the SCAR Standing Committee on Antarctic Geographic Information (SCAGI)
The short history of the SCAR CGA shows that every reasonable effort was made to include all existing Antarctic names in the CGA, and to have the data authorized and validated to the maximum possible extent. Nevertheless, it is highly probable that not all data have been collected at the present stage. Moreover, new datasets will become available in the future when new geographic features will be named. Apart from such straightforward additions, it is hoped that the database will undergo a continual process of refinement and amendment. Accordingly, the SCAR Composite Gazetteer of Antarctica has to be taken as an interim product, the best possible effort at this date.
As to the printed version of the SCAR CGA, it has been divided into two parts, Volume 1 and Volume 2. The corresponding text is not directly available at any web site, but the kind of information provided by the two volumes and the Supplement is equivalent to that available on the database at this site. The site obviously contains more data because it is continuously updated. On the other hand the fast development and the widespread availability of the electronic diffusion of the information makes not useful for the time being a new edition of the CGA in printed form.
The ideal procedure for compiling the CGA is as follows:
Unfortunately conditions 1 and 2 have not always been fulfilled. Nevertheless, for the sake of completeness, those data which had not come from an official publication and those which have not received final validation have been included in the CGA. The different sources and status of validation are shown in Annex E.
Data for updating the CGA are provided by members of the SCAR Geoscience Standing Scientific Group which are taken to be the official representative of their country (formerly that was the task of the WG-GGI members). Alternatively the data could be provided directly by the SCAR Permanent Delegate of that country. Data are usually supplied as a list of names, coordinates and attributes in electronic format, whenever a process of approval or revision sees the end. A single name or a bunch of names can be supplied by filling up the form in Annex I. In any case the form can be taken as a memo of the complete information which should ideally accompany the name of a geographic feature.