Antarctic Place-names Commission

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Coat-of-Arms-Bulgaria-Blue.jpg
Bulgaria in Antarctica
Bulgarian Antarctic Institute
National Centre of Polar Research
St. Kliment Ohridski Base
St. Ivan Rilski Chapel
Camp Academia
Tangra 2004/05
Bulgarian toponyms in Antarctica
Antarctic Place-names Commission
Military Geographic Service
H.H. Benedict XVI presented with the 2005 Bulgarian map of Livingston Island
Field work for the Commission
Topographic marker used by the Commission
A stamp commemorating the Tenth Anniversary of Bulgarian Antarctic cartography in the service of the Commission

The Antarctic Place-names Commission was established by the Bulgarian Antarctic Institute in 1994, and since 2001 has been a body affiliated to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria.

The Commission approves Bulgarian place names in Antarctica, which are formally given by the President of the Republic according to the Bulgarian Constitution (Art. 98) and the established international practice.

Bulgarian names in Antarctica[edit]

Geographical names in Antarctica reflect the history and practice of Antarctic exploration. The nations involved in Antarctic research give new names to nameless geographical features for the purposes of orientation, logistics, and international scientific cooperation. As of 2014, there are some 19,300 named Antarctic geographical features, including 1,207 features with names given by Bulgaria. Since the Bulgarian Antarctic base is situated in the South Shetland Islands, most of the Bulgarian place names are concentrated in that area too, especially on Livingston Island, Greenwich Island, Robert Island, Snow Island, and Smith Island. However, two early Bulgarian names were given even in 1989 (by the then State Council, a collegial presidency) to geographical features on Alexander Island in relation to field work carried out on that island by the first Bulgarian Antarctic expedition during the 1987/88 season.

Toponymic guidelines[edit]

In 1995 the Commission developed its own Toponymic Guidelines defining the relevant types of geographical features, specific elements of geographical names, inappropriate names, criteria of names approval, language and spelling, and names approval procedures. In particular, the Guidelines introduced the Streamlined System that was subsequently adopted as the official national system for the Romanization of Bulgarian, eventually becoming part of Bulgarian law by way of the 2009 Transliteration Law,[1] and endorsed also by UN [2] in 2012 and by the USA and UK[3] in 2013.

In its practice, the Antarctic Place-names Commission has been giving priority to the following Antarctic geographic areas and features:

  • Areas where the new names would be possibly helpful to potential users: scientists (planning and carrying out field work, publications etc.), cartographers, logisticians, navigators, tourists, mountaineers etc.;
  • Areas with a concentration of notable nameless features;
  • Features of large dimension or otherwise significant geographically;
  • Features actually or potentially important in the course of field work (Bulgarian or by other nations) or other uses (transportation, tourism, search and rescue etc.);
  • Features newly emerged as a result of glacier retreat or disintegration (islands, passages, peninsulas, capes, points, bays, coves).[4]

The Commission only considers for possible naming features that are nameless, well identified and provided with detailed standardized descriptions.

Surveys and mapping[edit]

The work of the Commission is supported by geographical information and mapping resulting from topographic surveys in Antarctica, such as the 1995/96 survey in Livingston Island, and the topographic survey Tangra 2004/05. The Commission published the first Bulgarian topographic map of Livingston Island and Greenwich Island in 2005, and jointly with the Military Topographic Service of the Bulgarian Army, the first detailed topographic map of Smith Island in 2008.

International cooperation[edit]

The Antarctic Place-names Commission cooperates with other national authorities for Antarctic place names, and with the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR). Details of the Bulgarian Antarctic toponyms are published by the Commission’s website, and also by the international Composite Gazetteer of Antarctica maintained by SCAR.

Antarctic names in Bulgaria[edit]

In order to promote Antarctic exploration and the presence of Bulgaria in Antarctica, the Commission encourages Bulgarian municipalities to give relevant Antarctic names to public places. Several squares and streets in Bulgarian settlements are named after Livingston Island, such as Livingston Island Square in Samuil and Kula; Livingston Island Street in Gotse Delchev, Yambol, Petrich, Sofia, Lovech and Vidin;[5][6][7][8] and Antarctica Street in Dzhebel.[9]

See also[edit]

Maps[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ State Gazette # 19, 13 March 2009. (in Bulgarian)
  2. ^ Report on the Current Status of United Nations Romanization Systems for Geographical Names. Compiled by the UNGEGN Working Group on Romanization Systems, February 2013.
  3. ^ Romanization system for Bulgarian: BGN/PCGN 2013 System. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, September 2014.
  4. ^ L. Ivanov. Bulgaria National Report 2014. 2014 SCAR SCAGI Meeting. Auckland, New Zealand, 23 August 2014.
  5. ^ Vidin Info
  6. ^ Gotse Delchev Municipality site
  7. ^ Razgrad News
  8. ^ Gradski Vestnik
  9. ^ Dzhebel Municipality site

External links[edit]