ICAN is a project of UNESCO IOC´s IODE Programme, and 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 and marine spatial planning.


We live on a blue planet, with oceans and seas covering more than 70 per cent of the Earth’s surface. Oceans feed us, regulate our climate, and generate most of the oxygen we breathe. Some 37 per cent of the world's population lives within 100 km of the coast. (UNEP)


CWAs are "...collections of digital maps and datasets with supplementary tables, illustrations, & information that systematically illustrate the coast, oftentimes with cartographic & decision support tools, all of which are accessible via the Internet."  O'Dea et al., 2007


Membership in ICAN is open to all interested parties who agree to the mission & objectives of ICAN, including those with an operational coastal web atlas, as well as those hoping to design and build a coastal web atlas in the future.
Join us!

Join us!

July 16-20, 2007: Coastal Atlas Interoperability (main program, July 17-19), Corvallis, Oregon, USA

In this follow-up workshop to the Cork gathering in 2006, expert delegates examined a variety of experiences in coastal mapping to build a common approach to managing and disseminating coastal data, maps and information, including steps toward an agreement on initial common ontologies and controlled vocabularies. The purpose of these is to facilitate better database searches between atlases in Europe and North America. Final recommendations will be made available online to the research community. Presenters included Luis Bermudez and Stephanie Watson of the Marine Metadata Interoperability project.

Major goals of this workshop included:
- 1 Gaining an understanding of controlled vocabularies (CVs)
- 1.1 Introduction to CVs and ontologies
- 1.2 Hands on experience with common tools constructing and mapping vocabularies
- 2 Start developing our own CVs
- 2.1 Ireland
- 2.1.1 Present an Irish coastal CV in an ontology.
- 2.2 Oregon
- 2.2.1 Present an Oregon coastal CV in an ontology.
- 3 Make Oregon and Irish vocabularies interoperable
- 3.1 Approach - mapping themes together
- 3.2 Approach mapping them to a central ontology (less intrusive)
- 4 Linking with broader networks (e.g., international coastal atlas network)
- 4.1 Start developing an international coastal atlas ontology.
Super encompassing ontology for Ireland and Oregon
- 4.2 Align Irish coastal atlas with the international coastal atlas ontology
- 4.3 Align Oregon coastal atlas with the international coastal atlas ontology
- 5 Enough to write proposal to go further
- 5.1 Guarantee that participants understand:
- 5.1.1 What controlled vocabularies are
- 5.1.2 What ontologies are
- 5.1.3 How they solve semantic interoperability issues
- 5.1.4 Tools that exist
- 5.1.5 How to use the created mappings

ICAN 2 Program

ICAN 2 Participants

ICAN 2 Presentations - Introduction

ICAN 2 Presentations - Posters and Demonstrations

ICAN 2 Presentations - Controlled Vocabularies and Ontologies

ICAN 2 Discussion

ICAN 2 Biological Data Integration and Arc Marine

ICAN 2 Coastal Zone 2007 Panel Presentations

Organizers and Sponsors


  For our Coasts

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!