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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COINAtlantic Announces the Sydney Harbour Atlas

COINAtlantic has released  version 1 of an Atlas for the harbour of Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada. The Atlas is built on a customized version of COINAtlantic’s Search Utility and displays map layers served from several OGC compliant web mapping services including COINAtlantic’s own WMS service of the data stored in the OBIS Canada Information  Publication Tool, and other web mapping services provided by the Province of Nova Scotia and the Government of Canada. The Atlas is intended to display spatial data relevant to an urbanized coastal ecosystem.

The Atlas can viewed at:

Sample map from the Sydney Harbour Atlas with a partial legend

COINAtlantic introduces a new version of its GeoContent Generator (CGG)

The CGG is a web-based tool for capturing basic metadata on an organization, project, publication or data set, links it to a spatial entity (i.e. polygon, line, or point), creates a KML file and facilitates its discovery on the internet by the Google search engine. The new version replaces the sequential process with a tab based interface that allows the user to easily move back and forth through the steps. It also makes more prominent the spatial entity capture step with the map always visible in the interface.

The new interface for the COINAtlantic GeoContent Generator (CGG) showing an example entry for the publication State of the Scotian Shelf Report: Emerging Issues. The map on the left of the interface shows the polygon that will be included in the resulting KML for the Scotian Shelf taken from the library of biogeographic boundaries included with the CGG

Other enhancements include the capability of entering a specific latitude and longitude coordinate as the spatial entity and uploading photographs to be included in the KML file. The CGG was designed to provide small organizations with a capability of making their data and information more visible on the internet. The CGG works together with the COINAtlantic Search Utility (CSU) that searches the internet for WMS and KML spatial data resources, including the KML’s built with the CGG and displays these resources on an interactive map. The CGG is available at and the  CSU at

An example of a CGG produced KML for the Moose River Restoration Project—Moose River Feasibility Study for the Clean Annapolis River Project in Nova Scotia showing in the COINAtlantic CSU map. The blue polygon is the Annapolis River watershed from the CGG library

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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!