All scientific data collected by the Australian Antarctic program (AAp) are eventually described in the Catalogue of Australian Antarctic and Subantarctic Metadata (CAASM). CAASM can be used to search through AAp data descriptions, and it also provides links to access publicly available datasets, which can either be immediately downloaded or obtained from the Australian Antarctic Data Centre (AADC).

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Harris, U. (2010) Windmill Islands 1:50000 Topographic GIS Dataset, Ver. 1, Australian Antarctic Data Centre -, Accessed: 2021-10-15
Windmill Islands 1:50000 Topographic GIS Dataset
Data Centre
Australian Antarctic Data Centre, Australia
Created Date
Revision Date
Parent record


The Windmill Islands 1:50000 dataset details topographic features along a strip of rocky islands about 11 km wide, parallel to the coast and extending north for about 28 km from Vanderford Glacier. The dataset includes five metre interval contours. The dataset also contains penguin colonies.

The data were originally formatted according to the Australian Antarctic Spatial Data Model and are included in the GIS data for the Windmill Islands available for download from a Related URL.
The data has been reformatted according to the SCAR Feature Catalogue which superseded the Australian Antarctic Spatial Data Model.
Data that are part of this dataset have Dataset_id = 138 in the SCAR Feature Catalogue format. Dataset_id is an attribute in the attribute table.
Data quality information for any feature can be searched for at a Related URL by entering the Qinfo number of the feature at the 'Search datasets and quality' tab. Qinfo is an attribute in the attribute table.

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These data are based on 1:30,000, 1:15,000 and 1:5000 scale aerial photography (film ANTC1000 - 1004) flown on 4 January 1994 using a Zeiss UMK camera. Owing to surface conditions at the time of the photography some small features may not be present or may be incorrectly shaped.

Contours on ice on the east and south of the dataset were sourced from Antarctic Division map, Windmill Islands Ed 1, and from 1:200,000 scale Soviet mapping.

Route data was sourced from expeditioners.

The data were checked for correct topology and to ensure that the layers overlap and abut as appropriate. Where features have been sourced from Antarctic Division aerial photography the horizontal and vertical accuracy of well defined features is +/-1 metres. The positional accuracy of route information varies. However routes established when this dataset was produced were positioned using GPS (+/-100 metres 95% of the time).

Q-info values identify the source from which features were mapped, except for the penguin colonies, which were mapped from the 1994 Zeiss aerial photography. Which aerial photography was used for each colony is unknown.

In 2009/10 new coastline in the 'Old Casey' area was digitised from an Australian Antarctic Data Centre orthophoto for Casey. The coastline could be discerned more easily from this source than the January 1994 aerial photography. Contours and areas of exposed rock were clipped to match this new coastline. Rock boundary and hypsometric areas data was not clipped.

Some other editing was also done:
(i) A few relatively small exposed rock and offshore rock polygons were created from rock boundary data - these polygons were missing in the original dataset.
(ii) Exposed rock polygons that crossed the coastline were clipped to the coastline.

The mapping extent polygons for this dataset show the extent of mapping of polygon topographical features. Some coastline and contour line features are not contained within these extent polygons.


These data are publicly available in shapefile format for download from the provided URLs.

Temporal Coverages

Spatial Coverages

Science Keywords

Additional Keywords

  • GIS






  • Cameras


  • smith, david (DIF AUTHOR)

Use Constraints

This data set conforms to the CCBY Attribution License

Please follow instructions listed in the citation reference provided at when using these data.

Creative Commons License