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Teachers’ notes | Geographical Information Systems

Using GIS in Antarctica

The section uses ESRI based GIS software to show how the applications can be used in a research setting to analyse data gathered in Antarctica. Whilst it is unlikely that many schools will have access to the software the PowerPoint presentations can be used to demonstrate the functionality of the software and to introduce the terms used in GIS.

The examples can be used to give flavour of using a high level GIS system without worrying too much about the exact detail of each processing step. There are no specific exercises associated with the three examples demonstrated as the original data sets are not available, but they can be used to illustrate the potential of GIS to analyse complex data sets.

Further information about the break up of the ice shelves can be found in Cook, A. J, and Vaughan, D.G. 2010. Overview of areal changes of the ice shelves on the Antarctic Peninsula over the past 50 years . Cryosphere, (4)1: 77-98. at

More information about time zones and how they are used in Antarctica can be found at ‘A brief history of time zones’.