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What is the IODE International Coastal Atlas Network (ICAN) Project?

ICAN is a project of the International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange Programme



ICAN is a community of practice of organizations who have been meeting since 2006 to scope and implement data interoperability approaches to coastal web atlases (CWAs). In 2013 ICAN became a project of UNESCO IOC´s International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange (IODE) Programme. The mission/strategic aim of the IODE ICAN project is to share experiences and to find common solutions to CWA development (e.g., user and developer guides, handbooks and articles on best practices, information on standards and web services, expertise and technical support directories, education, outreach, and funding opportunities, etc.), while ensuring maximum relevance and added value for the end users. The long-term view is for global-level operational interoperability which will evolve as the ICAN project members strive to increase awareness of the opportunities that exist for increased coastal and marine data sharing among policy makers and resource managers as strategic users of a CWA. 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. A major goal is to help build a functioning digital atlas of the worldwide coast based on the principle of shared distributed information. We will go about this by organizing a cooperative interoperability network for the integration of locally-maintained CWAs as the premier source of spatial information about coastal zones throughout the world. We will do this by developing community-held constraints on mapping and data distribution conventions to maximize the comparability and reliability of information about our coasts. This is done to provide a basis for rationally-informed discussion, debate and negotiation of sustainable management policies for our societies, nations and people throughout the world. This has tremendous potential to be relevant for global spatial data infrastructures, marine spatial planning and related projects around the world.

View our interoperability prototype at ican2.ucc.ie. Background on this prototype may be found in this American Geophysical Union poster abstract and the Report of Trans-Atlantic Workshop 2 on Coastal Atlas Interoperability.

If you would like to join the IODE ICAN project or be kept apprised of our progress, please feel free to email Marcia Berman or Ned Dwyer, or to join the spam-free ICAN_updates mailing list.

If you a participating institution, please consider putting an ICAN logo and link on your CWA web site! Download this zip file of logos for use on your site. Thanks to Yassine Lassoued of CMRC who designed the logos.

Founding Organizations of the ICAN Initiative:

ICAN is a project of the International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange Programme