Mapping and GIS team

The Mapping and Geographic Information Centre provides geospatial information support to BAS science and operations programmes. It takes a leading role in international projects to improve geospatial information resources for Antarctica through new techniques and data sources.

Team priorities

  • Provide geospatial information support to BAS science and operations programmes and other external stakeholders
  • Develop the geospatial infrastructure for British Antarctic Territory
  • Take a leading role in international projects to improve polar geospatial information

Technology, innovation and training

  • Pursue opportunities from new geospatial techniques and data sources, developing innovative methods for measuring historical glacier change and detection of wildlife and vegetation
  • Satellite imagery, aerial photography and GPS are key data sources for supporting BAS science and operations and new topographic mapping
  • Provide the wider Antarctic science and operations community with web –based systems for easy access to geospatial information
    Influencing and leading international programmes
  • Play a key role in international programmes providing accurate and up-to-date sea ice and iceberg information from satellite imagery for polar maritime operations
  • Represent UK interests on the International  Ice Charting Working Group
  • Take leading roles on the SCAR Standing Committee on Geographic Information and Action Group on Remote Sensing

Stakeholder and public engagement

  • Publishing topographic maps, and managing the Antarctic Place-names Committee, gazetteer and online map for the FCO supports UK foreign policy interests in Antarctica
  • Collaborating with international partners to provide accessible geospatial data sets and resources for the wider Antarctic community
  • Publish high quality maps aimed at tourist visitors to Antarctica, in association with the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust
  • Participate in BAS media and public engagement programmes through public talks and STEM ambassador roles
  • Present the work of MAGIC and BAS through scientific and general -interest publications and at national and international events

Andreas Cziferszky

Geospatial Systems Architect


Felix Fennell

Geospatial Developer


Nathan Fenney

Geomatics Specialist


Elena Field

GIS and Web Mapping Specialist


Andrew Fleming

Head of MAGIC


Peter Fretwell

Geographic Information Officer


Laura Gerrish

GIS and Mapping Specialist


Louise Ireland

Geospatial Information Systems Lead

Polar Thematic Exploitation Platform

A Polar Thematic Exploitation Platform (Polar TEP) is being developed for the European Space Agency (ESA). Polar TEP will provide polar researchers with access to computing resources, earth observation (EO) …

EC Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service

The Copernicus marine environment monitoring service provides regular and systematic reference information on the state of the physical oceans and regional seas. The observations and forecasts produced by the service …

South Georgia GIS

Visualise and download topographic, management and scientific data for South Georgia.

Polar View

Polar View delivers information about sea ice direct to ships operating in the Southern Ocean.

Antarctic Digital Database

The SCAR ADD is a seamless compilation of topographic data for Antarctica to 60°S. It is the place to go to get data such as Antarctic coastline or contours for working in desktop GIS.


The EC-funded ICEMAR project is a GMES pilot service delivering sea ice information products directly to ships navigating through sea ice in the Arctic.

Albatrosses from space: wildlife detectives needed!

4 September, 2022

British Antarctic Survey (BAS) and RSPB are recruiting albatross detectives to help to search for wandering albatrosses in satellite images taken from space. This is to help us learn more …

BAS mapping data in global collection 

19 May, 2022

The latest British Antarctic Survey (BAS) Antarctic Digital Database (ADD) data will be included in a world leading collection of geographic information. 

Climate change risk to emperor penguins

3 August, 2021

British Antarctic Survey scientists have contributed to a new study published today (3 August)  which provides valuable new data highlighting how emperor penguins extinction risk is increased due to rapid …

Using AI to track whales from space

4 February, 2021

British Antarctic Survey (BAS) scientists will work with an Artificial Intelligence company after being awarded a contract from the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) to support the protection of an endangered …

Giant iceberg mission begins

2 February, 2021

A research mission to determine the impact of the giant A-68a iceberg on one of the world’s most important ecosystems departs from Stanley in the Falkland Islands today (2 February …

A68 iceberg heads towards South Georgia

4 November, 2020

An iceberg is heading towards the sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia. A68a – the size of the UK county of Somerset – broke off from the Larsen C ice shelf …

Scientists discover new penguin colonies from space

5 August, 2020

A new study using satellite mapping technology reveals there are nearly 20% more emperor penguin colonies in Antarctica than was previously thought. The results provide an important benchmark for monitoring …

Updated Mapping Datasets for Antarctica

12 May, 2020

A newly updated Antarctic Digital Database is released today (12 May 2020). Aimed at the science and logistics communities, the maps include updates to the ice shelf front around Thwaites …

Stranded whales detected from space

17 October, 2019

A new technique for analysing satellite images may help scientists detect and count stranded whales from space. Researchers tested a new detection method using Very High Resolution (VHR) satellite images …

Watching whales from space

1 November, 2018

Scientists have used detailed high-resolution satellite images provided by Maxar Technologies’ DigitalGlobe, to detect, count and describe four different species of whales. Reported this week in the journal Marine Mammal …

New map of South Georgia wins award

7 September, 2018

British Antarctic Survey’s detailed map of the sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia featuring the epic “Shackleton Crossing” has won an award at the 2018 British Cartography Society Awards. The map, …

New map of South Georgia unveiled

24 August, 2017

A team of cartographers at British Antarctic Survey (BAS) has re-produced a high-resolution updated map of the sub-antarctic island of South Georgia. The island, situated at 37°W 54°10’S is a …

NEWS STORY: New maps show unseen world

25 September, 2014

New maps of the polar regions reveal unseen world beneath the ice and highlight dramatic decline in Arctic sea ice cover New maps of the sub-ice features in Antarctica and …

NEWS STORY: Emperor Penguins’ adaptation skills

24 June, 2014

New research using satellite images reveals that emperor penguins are more willing to relocate than previously thought A new study led by the University of Minnesota offers new insights on …

NEWS STORY: Award for innovative map

3 October, 2013

Map makers rewarded for stunning recreation of Antarctic without ice A colourful British Antarctic Survey map has won a coveted award. The map, created by the institution’s MAGIC (Mapping and …

NEWS STORY: Bedmap opens up Antarctica

8 March, 2013

Bedmap2 gives scientists a more detailed view of Antarctica”s landmass Scientists at the British Antarctic Survey have been working with a host of international collaborators to present the most detailed …

NEWS STORY: Queen Elizabeth land

18 December, 2012

UK names part of Antarctica in honour of the Queen The Foreign Secretary, William Hague, has announced that the southern part of British Antarctic Territory has been named Queen Elizabeth …

Polar View in the Antarctic

8 February, 2010

As the Antarctic field season continues with the usual mix of exciting research programmes new enhancements to the online satellite image system that improves ship safety and efficiency are launched. …

PRESS RELEASE: Interactive map highlights diversity

22 October, 2008

New visualisation of South Georgia A new visualisation tool for exploring the subantarctic islands of South Georgia is unveiled today (22 October 2008). The South Georgia Geographic Information System (SGGIS) …

Giant iceberg breaks off from Antarctic glacier

16 October, 2007

Giant iceberg breaks off from Antarctic glacier  British Antarctic Survey (BAS) scientists have spotted a huge iceberg, which has broken off from Pine Island Glacier in West Antarctica. The iceberg, …

Whales from space dataset, an annotated satellite image dataset of whales for training machine learning models

27 May, 2022 by Hannah Cubaynes, Peter Fretwell

Monitoring whales in remote areas is important for their conservation; however, using traditional survey platforms (boat and plane) in such regions is logistically difficult. The use of very high-resolution satellite…

Read more on Whales from space dataset, an annotated satellite image dataset of whales for training machine learning models

Quantifying the causes and consequences of variation in satellite‐derived population indices: a case study of emperor penguins

19 April, 2022 by Philip Trathan, Peter Fretwell

Very high-resolution satellite (VHR) imagery is a promising tool for estimating the abundance of wildlife populations, especially in remote regions where traditional surveys are limited by logistical challenges. Emperor penguins…

Read more on Quantifying the causes and consequences of variation in satellite‐derived population indices: a case study of emperor penguins

Experimental determination of reflectance spectra of Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) in the Scotia Sea

1 August, 2021 by Anna Belcher, Geraint Tarling, Gabriele Stowasser, Louise Ireland, Peter Fretwell, Sophie Fielding

Antarctic krill are the dominant metazoan in the Southern Ocean in terms of biomass; however, their wide and patchy distribution means that estimates of their biomass are still uncertain. Most…

Read more on Experimental determination of reflectance spectra of Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) in the Scotia Sea