The Antarctic digital topographic database is the outcome of a truly international collaborative project between 11 nations. Data capture was co-ordinated in the UK, under the auspices of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR), during a two-year period. Over 200 maps, at scales ranging from 1:200 000 to 1:5 000 000, were digitized for the project and reference was made to a similar number of satellite images (mostly Landsat photographic products). Editing and harmonization of the data derived from the different sources has produced a seamless map of Antarctica which has the most up-to-date coastline now available. The topographic database created, to be published on one CD-ROM, will form the foundation for future GIS needs in Antarctic research. Products already derived from the database include digital elevation models and customized maps; the latter can be reproduced by research groups to meet their own mapping needs.