ICAN is a project of the International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange Programme

ICAN is a community of practice of organisations who have been meeting since 2006 to scope and implement data interoperability approaches to coastal web atlases (CWAs). In 2013 ICAN became a project of UNESCO IOC´s International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange (IODE) Programme.

ICAN Mission

The mission/strategic aim of the IODE ICAN project is to share experiences and to find common solutions to CWA development (e.g., user and developer guides, handbooks and articles on best practices, information on standards and web services, expertise and technical support directories, education, outreach, and funding opportunities, etc.), while ensuring maximum relevance and added value for the end users.

ICAN members seek to play a leadership role in forging international collaborations of value to the participating nations, thereby optimizing regional governance in coastal zone management. A major goal is to help build a functioning digital atlas of the worldwide coast based on the principle of shared distributed information. The long-term view is for global-level operational interoperability which will evolve as the ICAN project members strive to increase awareness of the opportunities that exist for increased coastal and marine data sharing among policy makers and resource managers as strategic users of a CWA.


Goals and Objectives

The long-term strategic goal of the IODE ICAN project is to encourage and help facilitate the development of digital atlases of the global coast based on the principle of distributed, high-quality data and information. These atlases can be local, regional, national and international in scale. This can be achieved by sharing knowledge and experience among atlas developers in order to find common solutions for coastal web atlas development whilst ensuring maximum relevance and added value for the users. In some cases users may be significantly involved in atlas development itself. In order to reach this goal ICAN has the following objectives:

  • Ensure that ICAN has representation from coastal web atlas development and user groups from across the world.
  • Develop technical and policy guidelines to assist coastal web atlas developers in acquiring data and engaging with data providers. Accordingly, collate and publish a set of best-practise guidelines for the development of coastal web atlases.
  • Highlight the benefits of interoperability and standards based systems to the coastal atlas developer communities.
  • Develop collaborative projects for the sharing of know-how, implementation of technical solutions and demonstration of atlas benefits to users.
  • Align the atlas efforts of the Network partners in order that interoperability can be facilitated.
  • Engage with other relevant international IODE projects and developments as well as relevant activites outside of IODE.
  • Involve representatives of the relevant user communities to help in tailoring coastal web atlases to their needs.

To further these objectives ICAN has identified a range of activities in the areas of technical implementation, atlas assessment, outreach, training, and participation in scholarly communities, and strategic planning and funding.

Stay in Touch!

If you would like to join the IODE ICAN project or be kept apprised of our progress, please feel free to email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or to join the spam-free ICAN_updates mailing list.

Newsletter, Vol, 8, Nr 1 - Now Available!

We are now entering our 8th year publishing the ICAN newsletter. Many thanks to our Editor Andy Sherin!

Please consider preparing an article for the next newsletter that will likely be published in the fall of this year.
Happy New Year!

Photos from CoastGIS 2018

Our friends from CoastGIS 2018 have posted a wonderful gallery of photos, including the recent ICAN mini-workshop:

See how many ICAN members you can spot!