INSPIRE Knowledge Base


Geo-Information Community in Coastal LANdscape
Mission and Objectives: 
1) Access to coastal information: to improve the access and the sharing by coastal planners and stakeholders to the geographical information required for the elaboration and the implementation of management programmes, oriented to the ICAM principles and criteria, through the harmonisation of the data from the different involved fields 2) Science based approach: in the above framework, to enhance the scientific value of coastal landscape analysis and planning, by easing the access to good quality data about the natural and human features that, as also pointed out by the European Landscape Convention, characterise the landscape itself. Since the heterogeneity of European coasts, this SDIC chooses to focus on the Mediterranean basin, especially as regards use cases and prototype implementation as test region. This choice, due the plenty of natural and cultural heritage and the high human pressure along the coast, allows to tune methods and tools for other regional applications. Moreover, it is possible to rely on several studies, guide lines, and other management support materials, already available thanks to the work of many international organisations (i.e. UNEP/MAP, Blue Plan, etc.). From this point of view, this SDIC is indeed a good opportunity to start a harmonisation process between EC policies and UNEP, or other international organisations policies, which in the future, could be transferred also to other coastal regions.
Formal Mandate: 
GI-CLAN is a volunteer community of organisations operating in the field of GI and coastal management. They constitute a multidisciplinary team with complementary skills, aiming to co-operate for the actual and operational integration of the relevant components in ICAM initiatives, exploiting the potentialities of GIS tools. The activity of the SDIC is supported by two well launched initiatives where some of its partners are present: 1) ECO-IMAGINE (European Conferences and forum for Integrated coastal MAnagement and Geo-INformation rEsearch MSCF-CT-2003-504444, that could enhance its visibility through a series of conferences and training courses on GI and Integrated Coastal Management and a dedicate web site; 2) Oceans 21 (, whose activity, focused on the Mediterranean, aims to explore the innovative uses of GI for coastal Management. Oceans 21, moreover, is an important contact point with relevant International Organisations (i. e IOC and UGI). These initiatives already running are a further guarantee for the continuity of action of the SDIC and the possibility of enlargement and continue renewal of the community work. Several programmes are taking place for the sustainable development of the Mediterranean basin, such as the Mediterranean Renaissance Programme recently launched by the International Geographical Union. The SDIC is expected to take benefits from them, either in terms of inputs, or in terms of partnership and collaboration. Among the GI-CLAN partners, there are national and international agencies that have declared their interest toward the initiative and their commitment to a proactive participation once the Implementation Rules definition process has started. Such organisations have a wide range of action and they constitute a priority way for the dissemination, at the national and international level, of the INSPIRE provisions. GI-CLAN contents in part 2 have been drafted by mediating the interest fields proposed by each partner organisation. At the general level, a high interest in the harmonisation of the tools for the analysis of an area has been shown, in particular as regards co-ordinate systems, orthoimagery, administrative units, hydrography and elevation. As a matter of fact, most partners are users of this kind of geo-information and express the need of harmonising it, in view of an interdisciplinary elaboration whose outputs could be easily exported and compared. Moreover, many partners, other than those who have already sent their contribution, have committed themselves to register ongoing projects, to implement pilot projects and to make available reference materials drafted from ongoing or concluded projects (reports, data, guidelines, etc.) Finally, by some partners, it has been expressed the wish of including in the INSPIRE initiative some field describing specific marine and coastal themes, such as coastal geographical features, fisheries, marine/coastal policy implementation.
For the implementation of GI-CLAN is needed to efficiently get together the various stakeholders. At that aim it is necessary to operate in two main fields: on one hand to improve communication and co-operation among the scientists and planners involved in the elaboration and implementation of the programme, on the other hand, to increase the awareness of local communities, in order to encourage a proactive participation to management. This twofold action is especially relevant in the field of coastal landscape, meeting point of the natural and human features of a territory, but also an economic resource. Hence the meaning of a SDIC that contributes to the harmonisation of the involved elements, as well as the related spatial information. The management of coastal landscape needs an integrated approach that can be only achieved through a very large GI adoption and improvement of use: it is necessary to support the spreading of improved assessment methods and of best practices, as well as the capability of sharing data. The planned activity can be grouped as: 1) Forum and discussion: in such a context the activities primarily planned are: to put together coastal stakeholders and GI experts in order to better understand the GI requirements for an operational approach to integrated coastal management; to better relate the GI scientific context with the academic research world working in the field of coast and landscape for its diverse physical and human aspects. GI-CLAN can rely on tools either to ensure the visibility of the initiative, or to convene workshops and technical meetings to facilitate the participation of the involved people and collect inputs. In particular ECO-IMAGINE can be as aforesaid a good opportunity to promote the SDIC’s contents and objectives and, at the some time, to enlarge and strengthen the involved community. Moreover, other initiatives in which people supporting GI-CLAN are involved can facilitate and make more proficient the involvement and sharing of initiatives and suggestions, both from the users' and from the experts' world. 2) Scientific assessment and training: to contribute, through the drafting and the diffusion via traditional means and web of tutorial material and best practices, to the elaboration and the dissemination of a GIS based approach. This activity is going to be supported by the Oceans 21 programme, among whose institutional tasks there is to carry out information and dissemination activities on GI and GIS for coastal management with particular regard to the Mediterranean, as well as outreach activities for all stakeholders. In particular, attention will be paid to the use of GI in learning methodologies and educational programmes in integrated coastal management, in methods and techniques. The aim is to match research results with policy makers needs and to start special educational programmes for planners, as well as to support innovative enterprises able to apply integration of GI and GIS into coastal management and natural risk mitigation. 3) Implementation: to implement GIS pilot projects for the inclusion of coastal landscape within ICAM programmes. Coastal landscape is a leading theme both in the ECO-IMAGINE and in the Oceans21 initiatives, so GIS pilot projects in this field could be supported by a wide and consolidated scientific community. This is a warrantee for their success and for achieving an actual innovative value. Specific projects for the target community will be started to favour inside public Administration a special consideration to INSPIRE principles. 4) INSPIRE test-bedding: to assess, through the exploitation of pilot projects, the applicability of the INSPIRE principles to the available coastal Geographical Information. Such projects could be used as test cases or best practices in order to tune up the Implementing Rules for coastal issues.
GI-CLAN involves organisations from many different level. In particular, it includes national research agencies specialised in environmental, coastal and marine issues, as well as in Information Technologies, international organisations involved in the Mediterranean Action Plan, regional/local Authorities, private enterprises operating in the field of Information Technologies applied to natural resources management, non profit scientific organisations.
GI-CLAN includes about 30 partners, from different regions, either European or not: GISIG – Geographical Information Systems International Group (IT); ICCOPS – Landscape, Natural and Cultural Heritage Observatory (IT); UNEP/MAP Priority Action Programme, Regional Activity Centre (HR); The Blue Plan (FR); APAT Agency for the Protection of the Environment and for the Technical Services (IT); ENEA Agency for the New Technologies, the Energy and the Environment (IT); CNR – IMATI Italian National Research Council –Institute for applied mathematics and information technologies (IT); IFREMER - French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea (FR); CEMAGREF - Agricultural and environmental engineering research (FR); ICRAM – National Institute for Scientific and Technological Research applied to the Sea (IT); Centro Internazionale Città d’Acqua / International Centre Cities on Water (IT) Liguria Regional Government (IT); Municipality of Genova (IT); IGP – Portuguese Geographical Institute (PT); FEEM Fondazione ENI Enrico Mattei (IT); EURIMAGE – Multi-Mission Satellite Data (IT); AMGA Mediterranean Gas and Water Society (IT); Epsilon International sa (GR); Hyperspectral Data International (CA); University of Genova (IT); University of Seville (ES); University of Cantabria (ES); University of Nice – Sophia Antipolis (FR); University of Algarve (PT); New University of Lisbon (PT); University of Vilnius (LT); University of Cagliari (IT), University of Molise Region. Moreover, GI-CLAN will be run in collaboration and with the support of MedCoast. In this context it is important to quote that GISIG, ICCOPS and MedCoast are networks/associations of partners and in particular, GISIG and ICCOPS are running together the ICAM-GI (Integrated Coastal Area Management and Geographical Information) sectoral network. We quote that GI-INDEED, a Leonardo da Vinci EU proposal now under evaluation, will, if approved, develop among other training products also a specific module “Use of SDI for coastal zones” dealing with the GI-CLAN issues.

Which role(s) do you foresee for the SDIC in INSPIRE development

  • submit reference material as input to the Drafting Teams
  • yes
  • allocate experts to Drafting Teams
  • yes
  • participate in the review process
  • yes
  • contribute to cost/benefit analysis of the draft Implementing Rules
  • yes
  • implement pilot projects to test/revise/develop the draft Implementing Rules
  • yes
  • collect and describe user requirements related to Environmental policies
  • yes
  • register a project to test/revise/develop the draft Implementing Rules
  • yes
  • contribute to awareness raising and training
  • yes
  • be kept informed
  • yes
    Geographic Domain
    GI-CLAN focuses on the Mediterranean basin. Some “atlantic” partners are included as well that are willing to give their contribution to the development of test cases and the dissemination of reference materials.
    Societal Sector
    GI-CLAN groups many organisations sharing the main field of Integrated Coastal Area Management and working in different, but complementary societal sectors. This proposal mainly applies to strengthen the links between the different actors that operate in the field of geographical information for coastal planning and management. In this view, the “community” gathers representatives of most involved categories, from producers of basic data to GI final users. Since it is actually important to orient the research and the technology to meet the users requirements, GI-CLAN is expected to work to build opportunities for scientists to discuss and disseminate their research work, for GI professionals to get in touch with the state of art of technology and methodologies, for final users to express their need. In this framework, the sharing of experiences, projects, methodologies and outcomes is essential and the milieu of the INSPIRE initiative is expected to create the right environment to make it possible. GI-CLAN would be then a tool for embedding INSPIRE into this specific application field. The planning/management will be the main application sector with particular regard to a user-oriented harmonisation of Geographical Information, that means to facilitate the access by users at different scale.
    Specific Expertise
    Previous Experience relevant for INSPIRE development
    Most of the GI-CLAN partners have a wide experience in co-operation projects in the field of Geographical Information and coastal area management. For this reason they are aware of the need of harmonisation and of the requirements of interoperable geographical information. Some outcomes of their activity in the field will be presented as reference materials as well as some ongoing or starting projects. Among the most important that the partners have indicated there are: CAMPs – Coastal Area Management Programmes; CoLD - Improving Coastal Land Degradation Monitoring in Lebanon and Syria; INVISIP - Information Visualisation for Site Planning; PLAINS - Prototype landscape assessment information system; CRAFT-ACT - Low Cost Location Monitoring System for Freight Containers using GPS Technology; DITTY - Development of an Information Technology Tool for the Management of European Southern Lagoons under the influence of river-basin runoff; AGIL – Support to the integrated management of littoral areas; NOSTRUM – Net for Offshore Sustainable Technologies, Resources and Unse in the Mediterranean Sea; SYSCOLAG – Coastal and Lagoon Systems; Italian Coastal Master Plan; SIGLA – Geographical Information System for Coastal Management; SISADO – Environmental Information System for the Sado River Estuary; GES.S.TER. Sustainable Management of Coastal Areas. Moreover, other projects have been reported on spatial planning, natural resources management, coastal zone management, marine and coastal protected areas, environmental risks, landscape ecology, habitats and species management, remote sensing, aerial/satellite imagery and GIS.
    Environmental application domains
    GI-CLAN environmental application domain is indeed coastal zone management, with particular regard to coastal landscape, meant as the contact point between the natural and human features of a coastal area, and subject to a continuous pressure. Since these two groups of issues have to be considered jointly, the data and the outcomes related with each involved sector should be as interoperable as possible. Presently it is quite uncommon that one organisation is able to collect inside its structures all the required skills, as well as it is authoritative enough to propose as covering the entire workflow of GI in coastal management. GI-CLAN takes the opportunity to set up an actually multidisciplinary team to operate within a harmonising initiative, able to deal with environmental issues in such a comprehensive way. Moreover, the partners can rely on a valuable and authoritative basis to co-ordinate their work and at the same time their diversity becomes a strength point. Within the general domain of coastal zone management, attention focuses on the influence of human activities on the environment, in particular as regards environmental risks analysis, prevention and mitigation, land use, sustainable use of sea and coastal resources, coastal planning and protected areas planning and management.
    Primary Business
    GI-CLAN primary business is to create opportunities to discuss and share knowledge, expertise, needs, methodologies in the field of Geographical Information for the sustainable management of the coastal areas and of their resources. This general objective is pursued through the co-ordinate work of the partners of the SDIC. The specific issues to be dealt, taken from the activity of each participating organisation include data mining and production, analysis of the coastal systems, support to the different steps of Coastal planning and management, dissemination of reference materials, training of experts. This business will be implemented according with the GI-CLAN main activities (see. Step 1, main activities). The target scale of these activities changes according with the specific issues dealt in each of them, from single local communities, up to governmental organisms. Anyway, the variety and the high quality level of the partner organisations, is a warrantee that most of the different issues that concur in coastal management are properly covered. The skills, experience and methodologies of each partner are shared in the Mediterranean basin test case, in order to tune up efficient tools able to be exported to other coastal areas processes. In this framework, the link with INSPIRE and the collaboration with the INSPIRE Drafting Teams is biunique and quite close: on the one hand, the data harmonisation makes possible to compare methodologies and processes, on the other hand, the sharing of the partners’ experiences allows a better definition of the requirements necessary to get spatial information actually shareable and usable at its best. Another important business area of GI-CLAN is education, finalised to train experts able to employ the different features of geographical information in a cross-cutting, multidisciplinary approach to coastal area management. Also in this case, harmonisation plays an essential role, because it stands at the basis of the co-operation among different education and research areas. Even if education is considered operationally oriented, and therefore requiring to all the partners an active role, the Universities that participate in the SDIC would be able to ensure that the given training is included into a recognised educational system.