ICAN Workshop 3 and EEA Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, July 2008

Submitted by dawn on 21 October 2008 - 1:11am

Over recent years, there has been significant development in various countries worldwide of national and regional coastal atlases based on web-enabled geographic information systems (GISs). These internet-based resources (also known as coastal web atlases) are of great value to decision makers, scientists and anyone interested in coastal environmental issues.

Experts gathered this summer to influence the further development of such atlases at the third international coastal mapping and informatics workshop and European conference, scheduled back-to-back on 7-11 July 2008 at the European Environment Agency (EEA) in Copenhagen, Denmark. The technical workshop was organized by the emerging International Coastal Atlas Network(ICAN), and followed the transatlantic workshops “Potentials and Limitations of Coastal Web Atlases” (University College Cork, Ireland, 2006) and “Coastal Atlas Interoperability” (Oregon State University, USA, 2007). The EEA coastal atlas conference followed the workshop and had the objective to inform EEA partners about the development of coastal atlases.

At the workshop in Cork, a number of coastal web atlases from North America and Europe were presented and various issues related to their development were discussed. At the second workshop in Oregon, expert participants learned how to use controlled vocabularies and ontologies in order to build a common approach to managing and disseminating coastal data, maps and information. This workshop stimulated the development of a demonstration (proof-of-concept) prototype to inter-relate metadata and other information between two coastal web atlases (the Marine Irish Digital Atlas or MIDA) and the Oregon Coastal Atlas or OCA). The prototype uses Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) standards, namely Catalogue Services for the Web (CSW), with registered Web Map Services (WMS). The proof-of-concept demonstration may be useful for informing the development of an Atlas of the Seas for the European Union and regional networks of coastal web atlases.

The ICAN workshop on 7-9 and 11 July 2008 focused on:

1. exhibiting the atlas interoperability proof-of-concept, in development since summer 2007, and validating first outcomes;

2. informing and attracting a larger population of potential stakeholders of the activity, and promoting an exchange of related developments in coastal and ocean information services;

3. developing a long-term strategy for effective governance of ICAN and design of further applications.

Participants included ICAN representatives from relevant institutions developing coastal atlases and networks in Belgium, Ireland, South Africa, UK, USA, and beyond (including the emerging Caribbean Marine Atlas and the African Marine Atlas).

Further information and updates of relevant materials can be found on the workshop series web site: workshop1.science.oregonstate.edu, where presentations and findings of previous workshops have been published.

The ICAN workshop was co-chaired by Dr. Ned Dwyer of the Coastal and Marine Resources Centre, Ireland, and Prof. Dawn Wright of Oregon State University, USA.

EEA/EIONET Press Release on ICAN 3


The EEA conference on 9-10 July 2008 enabled European coastal experts to explore opportunities that are becoming available as a result of ICAN work, and allowed for support and contributions to the respective work in Europe. This conference comes at an opportune moment and is of significant relevance as important policy decisions and developments took place in Europe in 2007 regarding the management of coastal, marine and maritime resources. These will shape the design, functioning and sharing of coastal and marine information services in the coming years. To this end, the EEA has initiated, together with the member countries, the regional seas Conventions and the European Commission, several activities that will benefit greatly from the realisation of coastal/marine mapping projects. The EEA conference was led by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Head of the Spatial Analysis Group at the EEA.

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Newsletter, Vol 6 No1 - Now Available!

Join us in Santa Marta, Colombia!

The ICAN 8 workshop: Coastal Web Atlases – Enhancing Ocean Literacy, Santa Marta, Colombia, 11-12 September 2017 will explore how a coastal web atlas (CWA) can contribute to and support ocean literacy initiatives and will examine the role of CWAs in advancing ocean literacy with different audiences. Ocean literacy is the understanding of the ocean's influence on you and your influence on the ocean