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Role of Coastal/Marine Atlases in Human-centric SDIs

Roger Longhorn

(Submission #153)


Within the framework of the UNESCO IOC IODE International Coastal Atlas Network (ICAN) Project, a coastal web atlas (CWA) is defined as a collection of digital maps and datasets with supplementary tables, illustrations and information that systematically illustrate the coast, often with cartographic and decision support tools, all of which are accessible via the Internet. This presentation examines the role that coastal and marine atlases play in presenting coastal/marine data to decision makers, businesses and citizens within a national spatial data infrastructure programme or initiative.

The International Coastal Atlas Network (ICAN) aims to be a global reference for the development of coastal web atlases and has developed tools to permit digital, online atlases to be created following accepted standards and increased interoperability. A key aim of ICAN 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. Some of the recent achievements of ICAN include the publication of a handbook on how to develop a coastal web atlas and the ongoing development of an interoperability demonstrator showing how CWAs can be linked together into networks of regional (intra-national and international) networks.

Because a coastal atlas can take on many forms other than just a portal into a database as with many SDI-related geoportals, they lend themselves well to engaging with non-technical decision makers and citizens, for example in education and 'story telling', to raise awareness of a wide range of issues relating to the coastal and marine environment.

This presentation briefly presents some of the tools offered for creating interactive and interoperable CWAs and examines how some of the existing coastal/marine atlases that are part of the ICAN Project present information in different formats and how these can impact on the goal of imparting useful information on the state of our coasts and marine regions to non-technical users.


Topic Area:  [1.6] Practical cases of better resource managing such as oceans, forests, roads, housing.
Abstract Type:  Oral Presentation

Additional fields

Comments:   coastal atlas, marine atlas, atlas, geoportal, ICAN, interoperability

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