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).
Aerial photography has been an important means of acquiring spatial data in Antarctica and the subantarctic islands, though satellite imagery is playing an increasingly important role.
The Australian Antarctic Data Centre's collection of aerial photographs includes (but is not limited to) the following.
1 Vertical and oblique aerial photography of the Australian Antarctic Territory coastline and some inland areas, acquired by the US Navy during Operation Highjump in 1946/47.
2 Vertical and oblique aerial photography flown by National Mapping (now part of Geoscience Australia) during 1954 - 1965 from fixed wing aircraft, mainly using a K17 trimetrigon camera. From 1960 the vertical camera in the system was replaced with a Wild RC9. An Eagle V camera was also used in 1963. The photography was acquired along the Australian Antarctic Territory coastline and over the Prince Charles Mountains.
3 Comprehensive and systematic coverages of the Prince Charles Mountains and Enderby Land flown by National Mapping from a fixed wing aircraft in the 1970s using a Wild RC 9 camera.
4 Photography acquired since 1977 from helicopters using non-metric Hasselblad and Linhof cameras. This photography was acquired principally for life science research and was not intended to be used for mapping. The photography was acquired over Heard Island, Macquarie Island, the Larsemann Hills, the Windmill Islands, the Vestfold Hills and Mawson Coast.
5 Photography acquired since 1992/93 by the Australian Antarctic Division and AUSLIG (now part of Geoscience Australia) from helicopters using a Zeiss UMK camera. It has been used to acquire photography for large scale mapping of the Australian Antarctic Territory, Heard Island and Macquarie Island.
6 Photography acquired since 2000 by the Australian Antarctic Division from helicopters using a Wild RC8 camera. A revision of the guidelines for overflight heights over animal colonies required that animal census photography be done with a camera with a longer focal length than the Linhof camera previously used for this type of work. This was in order to maintain the same scale at a greater height. The Wild RC8 camera has also been used for photography for mapping at the Windmill Islands.
7 Photography of sea ice acquired since 2003 by the Australian Antarctic Division from helicopters using a digital Nikon D1X digital camera.
8 Photography of Adelie penguin colonies and other features acquired since 2009/10 by the Australian Antarctic Division from helicopters using a digital Hasselblad H3D-II 50 digital camera.
Digital flight lines and photo centres have been generated to represent the runs along which the photographs were taken and the centres of the photographs.
The photos are scanned on a needs basis. Most of the Operation Highjump photos have been scanned but overall a minority of the photos have been scanned. Preview images have been created of the scanned photos. The scanning of the Operation Highjump photos is described by a separate metadata record: 'Digital images of Operation Highjump aerial photography'.
The collection can be searched in two ways.
1 A web search - see Aerial Photograph Catalogue link below. Preview images of the scanned photos may be viewed using this search. In addition to the search, the Catalogue has tabs with information about viewing or obtaining photographs, the cameras used and further historical information.
2 The flight line and photo centre data can be downloaded as shapefiles (refer to url below) and overlaid on topographic data in GIS software such as ArcGIS. The Australian Antarctic Data Centre (AADC) has mainly large to medium scale data topographic data available for download - refer to url below.
There are some flight lines for which photo centres have not yet been generated and some photo centres for which flight lines have not yet been generated. This is being done gradually over time. The flight line and photo centre shapefiles available for download will be updated about every six months.
Also available for download is a document with information about the cameras and a timeline for the photography - refer to the provided URL.
Some aerial photography flight lines have been digitised off flight line diagrams formerly held by AUSLIG (now Geoscience Australia). Transcription and digitising of photo centres onto maps and from digital log files was acquired at the time of the photography.
Those flight lines digitised off flight line diagrams have widely varying spatial accuracy, as the majority of the flight lines were positioned relative to the terrain shown on 1:1 million maps.Some features shown on these maps are known to be 5-10km out of position. The centres of photos taken with the Zeiss UMK and Wild RC8 cameras have been positioned by GPS.
Dataset IDs and quality information numbers are gradually being added to the flight line and photo centre data. These can be used to search for data quality information. eg who took the photography, estimated positional accuracy of photo centres. Refer to the provided URL for search.
Photos taken by surveyors are allocated the dataset ID of the survey dataset. These surveys have their own metadata records which refer to the survey reports. Otherwise the photos are allocated dataset ID = 260 which represents the dataset 'The collection of aerial photographs held by the Australian Antarctic Data Centre' described by this metadata record. Scanned images of aerial photographs of Cape Denison and the McKellar Island taken from a helicopter by Don McIntyre 2001/2002 are available for download from this metadata record. A metadata record describing this photography was merged with the metadata record 'The collection of aerial photographs held by the Australian Antarctic Data Centre' in June 2008 and the existing zip file of scanned images linked from the latter metadata record. The metadata record 'Aerial photographs of Cape Denison and the McKellar Island taken from a helicopter by Don McIntyre 2001/2002' was then deleted.
The flight lines and photo centres are available for download as shapefiles stored in geographicals. Refer to the provided URL.
This data set conforms to the CCBY Attribution License
Please follow instructions listed in the citation reference provided at http://data.aad.gov.au/aadc/metadata/citation.cfm?entry_id=aerial_photo_gis when using these data.