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.
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PowerPoint files, Abstracts, URLs and Windows Media Player Video from Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Potentials and Limitations of Coastal Web Atlases
Case Studies/Showcase of Coastal Atlases

Introduction to Cork Workshop, part 1 (4.6 Mb ppt)

presented by Val Cummins, CMRC
Streaming Video: Val_intro.wmv

Introduction to Cork Workshop, part 2
(5.7 Mb ppt)
presented by Dawn Wright, Oregon State University
Streaming Video: Dawn_intro.wmv

UK Case Study: UK Coastal and Marine Resources Atlas
(615 Kb ppt)
presented by Kevin Colcomb, Counter Pollution and Response Branch of the Maritime and Coast Guard Agency, UK
URLs: |
Abstract:The Coastal and Marine Resource Atlas was commissioned by a consortium of project collaborators from UK public bodies and industry, in recognition of the need to update the 1990 coastal sensitivity maps produced by the Nature Conservancy Council. The Atlas contains environmental and other resource datasets covering the Great Britain coastline and marine areas of the UK Continental Shelf. The Atlas is designed as a web based tool to access a wide range of information on coastal and marine resources. Critically, there is a sustainable mechanism in place by which the atlas will be maintained and updated, ensuring that it remains accurate and fit for purpose.
   The atlas incorporates a series of 100 priority datasets describing important coastal and marine habitats and species, as well as physical geography and relevant infrastructure. This key information will meet the needs of operational staff involved in national coastal and marine contingency planning, pollution incident response and clean up. The atlas also provides a resource for a wider audience of environmental professionals and researchers.
   The atlas was launched as a sub-topic on the UK Defra MAGIC website in November 2005. MAGIC is an ideal host for the atlas because it is already widely known and used by environmental professionals, has an expert data management team in place, and conforms to good practice in the management of geographical information.
Contact Kevin Colcomb for more information.
Streaming Video: K.Colomb.wmv

Belgian Case Study: De Kustatlas Online ("The Coastal Atlas Online")
(10.9 Mb ppt)
presented by Kathy Belpaeme, Coordination Centre for Integrated Coastal Zone Management, BELGIUM
URLs:: |
Abstract:The Co-ordination Centre for Integrated Coastal Zone Management launched De Kustatlas Online on 16th November 2005. This site gives information on several themes and activities on the coast, such as environment and nature, tourism and recreation, industry and business, fisheries and agriculture, culture and heritage and coastal defence.
Where are the nature reserves and wildlife areas on the coast and at sea?
Where are the wooden and stone groins on our coast?
What is the value of fish landings in Belgian harbours since 1950?
Where are the maritime transport routes situated and do they come into
conflict with the windmill parks?

You can find an answer on these questions and many more about the coast on
   The site is unique! The flexibility and interactivity make it possible to produce maps, to export maps for use in presentations or publications, to consult data and GIS files and on the basis of this, to work with coastal data. Due to the relation with the sustainability indicators, the coastal data are put in the picture and a direct relation with coastal management is made possible.
   The website is a result of the book ‘The Coastal Atlas Flanders-Belgium’. This publication was a big success. The formula of an illustrative, but scientifically well-founded book has caught on well with many target groups. There was also much international interest. To meet the demand of students, scientists and governments for maps and data, the Co-ordination Centre decided to make a website. The website is fully available in four languages, so that our coast can also be discovered abroad.
   Now that the book is no longer available in bookshops, the website will become more and more interesting for students, teachers, governments and coastal-lovers. The Coastal Atlas online is an initiative of the Co-ordination Centre for Integrated Coastal Zone Management.
For more information contact Kathy Belpaeme.
Streaming Video: Kathy.wmv

Irish Case Study: The Marine Irish Digital Atlas
(9.2 Mb ppt)
presented by Ned Dwyer, CMRC, University College Cork, IRELAND
Abstract:The Marine Irish Digital Atlas (MIDA) aims to become the most comprehensive online resource for spatial data and information regarding Ireland’s coastal and inshore marine areas. The web-GIS that forms its core currently hosts over 100 data layers from more than 30 different organizations.
   Users can interactively visualise and query these national and island-wide spatial datasets, search metadata to identify data owners, and view descriptive information, imagery and links in the MIDA InfoPort. This talk will present the context in which the atlas was developed and the experience of data and metadata collection, preparation and management. It will also look at atlas functionality and some of the technologies used in the implementation. Finally, MIDA’s participation as a node in the Irish Spatial Data Exchange (ISDE) and atlas development plans will be presented.
   MIDA is currently the only web GIS in Ireland to bring together spatial data from so many organisations, and it has been named a key part of marine infrastructure in Ireland. It is a successful cross-border effort, funded in the Republic of Ireland by the Higher Education Authority under the National Development Plan and in Northern Ireland by the Department of the Environment's Environment and Heritage Service.
For more infomation contact Ned Dwyer, Liz O'Dea or Ciara Herron (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).
Streaming Video: Ned.wmv

Oregon Case Study 1: The Oregon Coastal Atlas
(4.5 Mb ppt)
presented by Dawn Wright, Oregon State University, USA
Abstract: The Oregon Coastal Atlas: Infrastructure for Data Sharing, Spatial Analysis, Resource Decision-Making, and Societal Impact. The Oregon Coastal Atlas, a collaboration of the Oregon Coastal Management Program, Oregon State University and Ecotrust, is an interactive map, data, and metadata portal targeted at coastal managers, scientists, and the general public. The site was developed to meet long-standing needs in the state for improving information retrieval, visualization and interpretation for decision-making relating to the coastal zone. It has the ambitious goal of being a useful resource for the various audiences that make up the management constituency of the Oregon Coastal Zone. The site provides background information for different coastal systems, as well as the expected access to interactive mapping, online geospatial analysis tools, and direct download access to an array of natural resource data sets relating to coastal zone management. Therefore as a portal, the Oregon Coastal Atlas enables users to search and find data sets, but also to understand their original context, and put them to use via online tools in order to solve a spatial problem. This project was primarily funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation and the U.S. National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration's Coastal Services Center.
Streaming Video: Dawn_oregon.wmv

Oregon Case Study 2: The North Coast Explorer
(2.2 Mb ppt)
presented by Renee Davis-Born, Institute for Natural Resources, Oregon State University, USA
URLs: |
Abstract: North Coast Explorer: Information to Help Local Citizens and Policymakers Make Better Decisions about Natural Resources. The North Coast Explorer is an interactive website that provides citizens and policymakers information about Oregon coastal watersheds and the species that inhabit them. The portal was created through a collaboration of the Institute for Natural Resources, OSU Libraries and the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board in response to legislative direction to coordinate data and make natural resource information available to the public. The web portal facilitates access to data and information from a wide variety of sources to citizens and decision-makers actively involved in natural resource use, policy and planning. Through the portal, users can search for and download information, map spatial data, generate statistics about a particular area, and submit information to the portal library. The portal serves as a prototype for other interactive websites focusing on natural resources at the scale of water basins and for the Oregon Explorer, a statewide natural-resources digital library. The Oregon Explorer and its basin portals offer a single access point on the web to Oregon natural resources information, integrating information from many sources by creating a community of users and giving decision-support tools that allow users to analyze information of relevance to specific issues.
Streaming Video: Renee.wmv

Virginia Case Study: Mapping Tools for Coastal Management in Virginia
(25.8 Mb ppt)
presented by Marcia Berman, Virginia Institute for Marine Science, USA
URLs: (main site) (Shoreline Inventory) (Shoreline Managers' Assessment Kit, SMAK) (Wetlands Data Viewer)
Abstract: The state of mapping tools for coastal management in Virginia is best described as “all over the map”. This in part reflects a lack of collaborative effort between and among agencies of the Commonwealth and the academic community, as well as a definitive lag in recognizing the benefits of such applications. Thus far, no coordinated enterprise can call themselves a true “atlas”, however, a review of current products and tools suggest that the development of a coastal atlas is certainly within reach.
   The Center for Coastal Resources Management develops and maintains a digital shoreline inventory and a number of resource mapping applications. These products target local governments primarily, but have a state and regional focus as well. Collectively they encompass a growing electronic toolbox of resources developed to improve the local and regional planning capacity for decision-making. The toolbox potentially provides the foundation for future development of a coastal atlas.
   The Virginia Shoreline Inventory includes maps, tables and GIS data about condition along tidal shoreline in Virginia. It is however, incomplete. Blue Infrastructure delineates essential aquatic resources within Virginia’s coastal zone and uses the ArcIMS technology to reach the widest audience possible. OSCAR, the Oil Spill Clean-up and Response tool provides direction to individuals and agencies called to respond to oil spill clean-up needs. OSCAR is an outgrowth of the national initiative known as the Environmental Sensitivity Index Atlas developed by NOAA for oil spill response. These represent examples of tools developed to enhance management and planning within Virginia’s coastal zone.
   This presentation will review these and other products in the CCRM toolbox and assess whether elements that comprise a coastal atlas are present. Critical components that are missing will be identified. Any current or proposed activities that will move progress forward toward a desired end will be highlighted.
Streaming Video: Marcia.wmv

Introduction to Issue-Specific Working Groups (for Wednesday)(486 Kb ppt)
presented by Liz O'Dea, CMRC


  For our Coasts

Vol, 8, Nr 2 - Now Available!

We are now entering our 9th 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 spring 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!