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!

ICAN Activities Endorsed by IODE Committee

ICAN Steering Group members Ned Dwyer, Dawn Wright,  Lucy Scott and Linda Pikula demonstrated the strong commitment of ICAN to IODE at the   IODE-XXIII meeting held from 17-20 March 2015 in Bruges, Belgium. This biannual meeting was attended by representatives of all IODE projects, delegates from the National Oceanographic Data Centres of IOC member countries and observer projects. The proposed ICAN work plan and budget proposal for 2016-2017 was accepted by the Committee underlining that ICAN activities are of great relevance to  IODE members.

Other IODE projects presented during the meeting and of particular interest to ICAN include OceanDocs and Ocean Data Practices.  OceanDocs (  is  an e-repository of scientific publications related to marine science and oceanography which  ICAN should take advantage of for its own holdings. The Ocean Data Practices   service ( which  is aimed at promoting the use of common methodologies in ocean data and information management and improved interoperability between these systems could also be a mechanism ICAN could use to disseminate its own best-practice guides.

ICAN at CoastGIS 2013

For the second time ICAN and CoastGIS were held in the same venue one meeting after the other. CoastGIS 2013, the 11th International Symposium for GIS and Computer Cartography for Coastal Zone Management was held immediately after ICAN 6 as ICAN 5 was held  before CoastGIS 2011 in Ostende, Belgium.

Participants in the CoastGIS LiDAR Data Accessibility workshop with ICAN participant and
co-founder of the CoastGIS series Darius Bartlett (third from the right)

Many ICAN 6 participants stayed on in Victoria to contribute to the CoastGIS conference. Rosaline Canessa and Andrew Sherin, CoastGIS 2013 Co-chairs, were ICAN 6 participants. Andrew delivered three papers, and a poster and organized the workshop on “LiDAR Data Accessibility” at CoastGIS. As Adam mentioned in ICAN Technicalities, David Hart and Tanya Haddad presented a workshop entitled “Interoperable Web Services for Adaptive Coastal Management”

Dawn Wright, ICAN co-founder and Steering Group member, prepared a video keynote presentation for CoastGIS “Everyone Loves a Story, Even Policy Makers”  that is viewable on the CoastGIS website

Dr. Rosaline Canessa, Department of Geography, University of Victoria and Co-Chair, CoastGIS 2013

Other ICAN 6 participants that presented at CoastGIS 2103 included Andy Lanier, Robert Branton, Caroline García Valencia, Andrus Meiner, William McClintock, Julian Pizarro, Kathrin Kopke, Lucy Scott, Tanya Haddad, Todd Hallenback, Liz O’Dea, Ned Dwyer, Yassine Lassoued, Simon Claus, and Silvia Sartor.

A session on Coastal Atlases at CoastGIS 2013 included presentations on the African Coastal and Marine Atlas, the Oregon Coastal Atlas, the Washington Coastal Atlas, Tools and Best Practices for Coastal Web Maps and SmartAtlas.

ICAN 7 will be held in conjunction with CoastGIS 2015 that is planned to be held in South Africa tentatively in April 2015.

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!