GUIDE RESOURCES

Below is a range of useful resources and online tools for the PTI Pro.

WEATHER & ICE CONDITIONS

MAPS & NAVIGATION

  • Svalbard Maps – Resource for researching new locations & new trips. Be sure to check with AECO for restricted areas.
  • Svalbard Kartet  – WebGIS for Svalbard can overlay different thematic map layers and has advanced querying tools.
  • Quantarctica – Community-based and peer-reviewed Antarctic geographical datasets which works with the free, cross-platform, open-source software QGIS.
  • British Antarctic Survey Maps – Topographic maps of the Antarctic and the Arctic including the Antarctic Peninsula and South Georgia. Maps can be ordered online through the BAS, UKAHT, or the Scott Polar Research Institute.
  • Antarctic Peninsula Information Portal - Open-source WebGIS for the Antarctic Peninsula with thematic map layers run by the British Antarctic Survey.

CITIZEN SCIENCE

  • Polar Citizen Science Collective – An excellent group of scientists and outdoor professionals leading the way with citizen science. The Polar Collective facilitates ship-based citizen science programs.
  • Happy Whale – A fantastic program to link whale fluke images taken around the globe in order to better understand the movements of these great creatures.
  • Oceanites – Oceanites is an environmental, scientific and educational non-profit organization founded by Ron Naveen in 1987. 
  • Birdlife International – BirdLife has nine global programs, each responding to specific conservation issues.
  • Fjord Phyto – From the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, Fjord Phyto runs citizen science programs in fjords of the Arctic and along the west Antarctic Peninsula.
  • NASA GLOBE Program – Sponsored by NASA, this program helps collect data to better understand the different types of clouds and the effects they have on our Earth’s climate.
  • Penguin Watch – Help scientists monitor penguin populations through camera footage in Antarctica. 

INFORMATION & RESOURCES

  • AECO – Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators – is an international association for expedition cruise operators operating in the Arctic and others with interests in this industry. A great set of resources and critical information for any guide working in the north. Check out their new ‘pre-trip’ video mandatory for all passengers.
  • IAATO – International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators. A member organization founded in 1991 to advocate and promote the practice of safe and environmentally responsible private-sector travel to the Antarctic. They administer the Field Staff Test for all PTI staff working in Antarctica and produce a useful Field staff newsletter through the Antarctic season.
  • Cruising Handbook for Svalbard – A great online resource for guides. Information on geology, natural environment, history and cultural heritage sites along Svalbard.
  • UK Antarctic Heritage Trust – An excellent resource for learning about British heritage sites along the Antarctic Peninsula.
  • South Georgia Heritage Trust – A great way to stay up to date on information in South Georgia with good heritage and historic educational content.

FLORA & FAUNA

  • Svalbard Flora – A guide to Svalbard flora of vascular plants. 
  • Antarctic Wildlife – An online overview of Antarctic animals, plants and microscopic organisms by Australia’s Antarctic Program. 
  • Antarctic Wildlife – An online overview of Antarctic animals and plants by the British Antarctic Survey.

SMARTPHONE APPS

Below are smartphone apps recommended by guides who use them. We are in no way compensated for recommending these particular applications.

  • IAATO Polar Guide – A valuable support tool for field guides to have safe and responsible travel to Antarctica.
  • Gaia GPS – A reliable GPS app that allows downloads of topographic maps around the world. Works offline with downloaded maps.
  • Windy – The app version of the online weather radar. Needs internet or data connectivity to load current weather.
  • Merlin Bird ID – From the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, a free application that works offline. Download the Scandinavian package for Svalbard.
  • Antarctic Wildlife – A guide to the birds, seals, and whales likely to be encountered on a voyage to the Antarctic Peninsula, The Falkland Islands and South Georgia.
  • iSailor – A marine navigation app using Transas TX-97 format marine vector charts, rated among the best in the industry. Chart regions cover most popular cruising areas in the world.
  • Here and There Svalbard – Travel with the complete map of Svalbard, Bear Island and Jan Mayen. Amazing high resolution maps down to a scale of 1:70 000 (Requires 1 GB of space).
  • Svalbardguiden – Offline Topographic map of Svalbard. Includes place names and GPS location.