A Catalog of Antarctic Research Bases, Airfields and Airplanes

My dear friend Nino is continuously working on his catalog containing information about Antarctica and Sub-Antarctic Islands, in particular Research Bases, Airfields and other points of interest. Read here what he has to tell you about the idea, the realization and the results of his work:

nino_catalog_overviewThe initial idea was to systematize data on Antarctica on the web and to assist the developers of sceneries for X-Plane in the implementation of Research Bases and Airfields to populate the Antarctic Continent in X-Plane – to make the Antarctic Flight Simulation with more realistic landscape even more interesting.

The result of this work are hundreds of PDF cards: One for each Research Base, Airfield, Geo-point and Airplane containing data and real images or at least screenshots from the simulator, as well as links to information, movies and downloads.

nino_catalog_startpageThe PDF cards also contain links to download basic helipads for X-Plane, located at the Research Bases, still to develop for the simulator, and as well the Geo-points: Hopefully, in addition to the iconographic material contained in each PDF card, they may constitute some help to stimulate the realization of the missing Research Base Station Sceneries for X-Plane.

nino_catalog_exampleThe realization of  PDF cards became a continuous work in progress in parallel and in addition to the Antarctica4XPlane project, and to what has been achieved with respect to the project by third parties. Recently, the catalog was extended by data relating to the Sub-Antarctic Islands as well as airports in Africa, Oceania and South America, important for departure flights to the Sub-Antarctic and Antarctica.

I chose to merge the collected data into QGIS, a cross-platform free and open-source desktop geographic information system application, that provides data viewing, editing, and analysis. Each point geo-referenced relative to the surveyed sites was added to a map of Quantarctica, a collection of Antarctic geographical datasets realized in QGIS. Finally, all this was made available on the web through the functionality of QGIS Cloud.nino_map_startpage

Visit the Antarctica Catalog…
or the Antarctica Web Map…

Usage tips

Some simple usage tips for the map: Once achieved a sufficient magnification by zooming in to identify the point that locates the site on the map and clicking on that point, a window with site name(s) in the area detected will appear.

Clicking on a site name will appear a mask containing some essential information and the link to the PDF with the relevant data collected. By clicking instead on the outlined perimeter of the continent of one of the Antarctica4XPlane Parts realized so far, you will get the PDF chart about the related X-Plane Terrain Mesh created by Matthias.

Please notice, some recently added features of QGIS Cloud allow now to determine the distance between two points or the extension of an area on the web map.


The Antarctica Catalog project was realized with thanks to the irreplaceable contribution of Alessandro Lambertini PHD, of the Department of Civil, Chemical, Environmental, and Materials Engineering  –  Topography and Cartography of the University of Bologna, directed by Professor Antonio Zanutta.

I also thank George Roth, Quantarctica Project Coordinator of the Norwegian Polar Institute, Tromsø for his suggestions and active cooperation.