The geomorphological map was printed on a 5-sheet cut-up, that forms part of GNS Science Monograph 27. The digital version available at this website is generated from the same Geographic Information System (GIS) database that was used for the printed map. The central South Island glacial geomorphological (CSIGG) digital dataset documents the distributions of glaciers, glacial moraines, outwash plains, and a range of other landforms. The focus of the map is on landforms rather than on rock types or geological deposits. A geomorphologic map highlights the origins and ages of landforms, and the CSIGG map places particular emphasis on the landforms produced by glaciers and their meltwater rivers.
The printed Monograph 27 text and maps were published and released in 2011. The map legend can be accessed here. The digital dataset, together with metadata and explanatory notes, comprise GNS Science Monograph 27a, published on data disk and released in 2013. Details of the compilation and limitations of the dataset, and explanatory information are available here.
Mapping and interpretation of the geomorphologic features was initiated in the late 1990s, by the late Professor Bjørn G. Andersen (formerly University of Oslo, Norway) and Professor George H. Denton (University of Maine, USA). GNS Science joined the project in February 2001, and a preliminary map compilation was digitised and made available via the GNS Science website in 2003. This original web map, last updated in 2003, can be viewed here. The original map was confined to lowland areas of Westland, and the Mackenzie Basin in Canterbury. Work in the mid-to late 2000s, led by David J.A. Barrell (GNS Science) focused on extending the mapping to connect the western and eastern sectors of the original map, and extend the map to incorporate a much larger area on the eastern side of the Southern Alps.
The CSIGG map has been used as a foundation for dating of glacial landforms, focusing on the use of cosmogenic isotopes. The dating work is documented in a series of paleoclimate research papers, focused on determining the age, and the local to global significance, of the glacial landforms of the central Southern Alps. In some cases, those papers include modifications to the map as published in GNS Science Monograph 27 and 27a, and displayed at this website.