David Hart
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Wisconsin Sea grantThe University of Wisconsin’s Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute and the Cartography Lab at the University of Wisconsin-Madison are conducting a two-phase evaluation to identify best practices and future directions for the design and use of coastal web atlases. Preliminary results of this research will be presented at the Social Coast Forum in Charleston, South Carolina in February 2020.

Phase I

The first phase involves a comparative analysis of coastal web atlases in the United States Atlases from Indiana, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin will be reviewed by their interface design, usability, map representations and data services. The analysis is organized by the broad categories of maps, tools, catalog and learning resources, where:

  • Maps are defined as: “Web maps which allow users to view coastal topics as presentational items and lack advanced analysis through exploration.”
  • Tools are defined as: “Web maps and other tools which have advanced analysis and/or exploration features to guide decisions about coastal management.”
  • Catalogs are defined as “Collections of data and/or media which is often accessed through an exploratory interface.”
  • Learning resources are defined as: “Mostly textual information and/or story maps about a particular coastal topic which aim to educate the user on the topic.”

The only maps, tools, catalogs and learning resources included for review are those linked from the home page or other affiliated pages of the state coastal web atlases.

Phase II

The second phase is a survey that will be sent to representative users of the same 10 state coastal web atlases beginning in November 2019. The survey will track the same four broad categories of the comparative analysis (maps, tools, catalog and learning resources) and will ask questions about user experiences, values, and opinions regarding these resources.

Insights from both the comparative analysis and user survey will be used to improve the design of the Wisconsin Coastal Atlas. Results should be relevant to developers of other coastal web atlases and could be used more broadly to guide the design and use of geospatial information and maps for coastal management. For more information about this study, contact David Hart with Wisconsin Sea Grant at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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!