USGS online database pinpoints Antarctica geographic coordinates

Where in the world is Terror Glacier? How high is Zurn Peak?


The answers can be found on the new Antarctica Geographic Names Database created for
the Geological Survey.


“The availability of official geographic names and associated information for
Antarctica from a Web site is of major significance to the scientific community, as well
as to the growing tourist industry,” said Roger Payne, executive secretary of the
U.S. Board on Geographic Names.


The database is a new addition to the Geographic Names Information System. “Now
everyone has instant access to the namescape of Antarctica, which will promote
communication and reduce confusion,” Payne said.


Visitors can search the database’s land records by name, type, elevation,
geographic coordinates and variant name. The database includes notes on how the land
features got their name.


Users can access the database at http://mapping.usgs.gov/www/gnis.
By typing in Zurn Peak in the Feature Name Box and clicking on the Send Query button,
users discover that Zurn Peak is 1,515 meters tall and is on the north edge of Toney
Mountain.


USGS hosts the database on a Data General Corp. Aviion 6200 server with 96M of RAM and
10G disk space running DG/UX. The server, at USGS headquarters in Reston, Va., will be
upgraded this month, USGS spokesman Billy Tolar said.   n

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