If you are a scientist working in the field it is more than likely you will need maps. Maps of how to get to where you are working and maps to tell you about the area you are working in. In the UK we take the availability of maps for granted - if you need a new map you go out and buy one. However, in the Antarctic, things are not so easy. Often one of the first things that must be done when starting a science project is to produce the map or to bring an existing map up to date. This is the role of the BAS Mapping and Geographic Information Centre (MAGIC).
Every other austral summer, the MAGIC team undertakes fieldwork in Antarctica. In the 2000-2001 Antarctic field season Adrian Fox and Olivier Cottray, with their field assistant and guide, Florian Piper, had a full programme of aerial photography and global positioning system field surveying in support of future mapping projects and science programmes. December and January were spent operating on the Antarctic Peninsula, mainly from Rothera Research Station. In late January the team returned to the Falkland Islands and then traveled to Signy Research Station in the South Orkney Islands on the RRS Ernest Shackleton. February was spent surveying on Signy Island in preparation for compilation of a new large-scale topographic map of the area. The team then returned to Britain in mid-March 2001.
Adrian and Olivier took a digital camera with them and produced regular reports on the progress of their field programme.
8 January to 7 February- Aerial Photography
21 December to 4 January- GPS Surveying
30 November to 20 December- Getting ready to roll !