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!

¡Únete a nosotros!

The 12th International Symposium for GIS and Computer Cartography for Coastal Zone Management (CoastGIS 2015) will take place in the Western Cape, South Africa, from April 22-24 2015. This event will be held back-to-back with 7th meeting of the International Coastal Atlas Network (ICAN).

The Symposium theme “Rich Data, Poor Data: Geospatial Creativity and Innovation for Managing Changing Coastal Systems” refers to the increasing demand on decision-makers and managers to be aware of changes in the coastal and marine environment.  Not only must there be a much greater emphasis on the measuring of change, but also increasing and creative options for data poor and rich environments alike, to act on the observed changes, which may have either positive or negative societal impacts.  In other words, how can CoastGIS 2015 contribute to the understanding of coastal change, and how can the powerful tools we use, as a scientific and management community; help us make better decisions, especially in data-limited environments?  Can we demonstrate how the excellence, passion and creativity in the various disciplines encompassed by CoastGIS be used to improve the use of science for decision-making relating to coastal management?

Planned sessions include:

  • Analysing and modelling coastal and marine processes
  • Spatial information and observation systems
  • Coastal risk and vulnerability
  • Advances in data visualization
  • Advances in geographical information technologies
  • Decision-support and spatial planning
  • Innovative application of geospatial technologies in coastal environments
  • Coastal mapping and monitoring
  • Coping with data scarcity in coastal and marine management
  • Coastal and marine spatial data infrastructure (SDI)
  • Application of geospatial technologies to support climate change adaptation in coastal regions

Abstract submission for the CoastGIS2015 Symposium is open and instructions on how to submit an extended abstract can be found on the website at The abstract submission deadline is 24 October 2014.  The Symposium venue is the Protea Hotel Breakwater Lodge near the Cape Town waterfront and in the shadow of icon Table Mountain.  The City of Cape has many accommodation options, a vibrant inner-city social scene with numerous restaurants, bars and cafes.

Protea Hotel Breakwater Lodge, Cape Town, South Africa, the conference hotel with the Cape Town Stadium in the background

The CoastGIS2015 local organising committee and international scientific committee would love to welcome you to Cape Town in April 2015.  Please contact Louis Celliers (Esta dirección de correo electrónico está siendo protegida contra los robots de spam. Necesita tener JavaScript habilitado para poder verlo.) for more information.

The conference hotel with Signal Hill in the background. The hotel was once a 19th century prison.


Para nuestras Costas

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!