Benefits of participating in ICAN include:
- Your coastal web atlas (CWA) can be part of and interoperable with a larger universe of resources that is needed for effective marine spatial planning, resource management, and emergency planning.
- Communication channel for CWAs in your own region to enhance collaborative study or spatial planning within a region or nation, where you may already have a mandate, with increased benefit of linking internationally.
- Learn how your CWA can become a framework for discussion of critical resource management and scientific issues in your region.
- Guidance and best practices for your own local CWA development. You have access to a community of experts in the IT, GIS, data management and coastal and marine governance domains.
- Assistance in finding maps, datasets, and related informational resources.
- Potential to exchange and reuse software and technical solutions developed using Open Source solutions.
- Linkage to broader communities such as SeaDataNet and similar “cyberinfrastructures”, along with their accompanying tools, solutions, and best practices.
- Great publicity for your individual CWA via the outreach efforts of ICAN. This can help with promoting your CWA with decision makers.
- Possibility to leverage funding for collaborative projects among ICAN participants
- Participate in teaching and learning activities organised by ICAN or other organisations in the CWA domain.
A major focus within ICAN is also on the benefits of semantic interoperability, and the benefits not only to users, but to data providers.
See this excellent presentation on the benefits of interoperability by Cyndy Chandler of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), which was given at a 2008 Marine Metadata Interoperability (MMI) workshop. [1.8 Mb pdf]
Draft ICAN Benefits of Coastal Web Atlas Interoperability statement (*.doc) that was discussed at ICAN 4, Trieste, Italy, November 2009.