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The SIIRCEASA consortium consisting of nine Unified National System institutions was created on a basis of an ARC Mechanism C grant of $130,000 for 1994. An additional $100,000 was obtained for 1995 from the new Research Infrastructure (Equipment and Facilities) Program.

Preliminary contacts and arrangements with the Department of Cartography, Institute of Geography, Russian Academy of Sciences (IGRAS) made in 1993 provided enough momentum in early 1994 for ACASIAN to immediately begin initial spatial data generation for the low level administrative boundaries of the entire former Soviet Union. A formal agreement between The Institute of Geography (RAS), ACASIAN (Griffith University) and The Centre for Russian and Euro-Asian Studies (The University of Melbourne) has established the Russian Federation and Former Soviet Republics Geographical Information Systems Project (RFFSR GIS Project) to fulfil the goals of SIIRCEASA.

By early 1997 the first phase of the RFFSR databases containing all of the low-level administrative units (rayon and gorsoviet) contained in the last Soviet census in 1989 will be completed and made available to SIIRCEASA institutions via AARNet. Those data will also be available for licensing for academic research and other purposes from ACASIAN

The RFFSR databases will be extended to cover the 1979 Soviet census, and then the earlier ones (1970 and 1959) as funding allows, in order to create an historical dimension for low-level Soviet administrative boundaries covering the post-war period.

When fully operational, SIIRCEASA database will provide a unique research infrastructure for specialist scholars across a wide range of disciplines at all Australian Universities who are involved in research on what became the 'Commonwealth of Independent States' (CIS) after the collapse of the USSR, and are now often referred to as the 'Newly Independent States' (NIS).

The SIIRCEASA Consortium

Griffith University - Project Leader
The University of Melbourne - Major Partner
Australian Defence Forces Academy
The Australian National University, Faculty of Arts
LaTrobe University
Macquarie University
Monash University
University of New South Wales
University of Sydney

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This page last updated April 18, 1999.