Recent Submissions

  • ICAN - Best Practice Guide to Engage your Coastal Web Atlas User Community.

    Kopke, Kathrin; Dwyer, Ned (IOC/UNESCOParis, France, 2016)
    The long-term strategic goal of the IODE ICAN (International Coastal Atlas Network) project is to encourage and help facilitate the development of digital atlases of the global coast based on the principle of distributed, high-quality data and information. These atlases can be local, regional, national and international in scale. ICAN aims to achieve this by sharing knowledge and experience among atlas developers in order to find common solutions for coastal web atlas development whilst ensuring maximum relevance and added value for the users.
  • Report of International Coastal Atlas Network Workshop 5: Coastal Atlases as Engines for Coastal & Marine Spatial Planning

    Dwyer, Ned; Kopke, Kathrin; Berman, Marcia; Belpaeme, Kathy; O'Dea, Elizabeth (Liz); Haddad, Tanya; Wright, Dawn J. (Coastal & Marine Research CentreCork, Ireland, 2012)
    From August 31st to November 2nd, 2011, the International Coastal Atlas Network (ICAN) held a workshop on “Coastal Atlases as Engines for Coastal & Marine Spatial Planning”, at the UNESCO IOC/IODE headquarters in Oostende, Belgium. The workshop (aka “ICAN 5”) engaged 43 participants from 15 countries, representing 36 organizations and multiple areas of scientific and technical expertise. This meeting was a follow-up to the successful 2009 workshop on “Formalizing the Network, Engaging the Mediterranean” (aka “ICAN 4”) held in Trieste, Italy, as well as workshops in 2008, 2007 and 2006. ICAN 5 participants discussed the current and future potential of CWAs for coastal and marine spatial planning and explored the subject area in dedicated breakout sessions. A number of opportunities for how CWAs can contribute to the development of CMSP were identified whilst challenges were also highlighted. Since ICAN 5 there have been significant developments with regard to putting ICAN governance on a more stable footing. A decision was taken to request the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO to approve ICAN as an official IODE project. This request was considered and approved at the IOC IODE Officers Meeting in February 2012. Therefore an IODE ICAN Pilot Project has been established. This is a precursor to the establishment of a full IODE ICAN Project which will be proposed to the 22nd session of the IOC Committee on International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange (IODE-XXII) in March 2013. The coming months will see the development of a work plan to be presented at that session. ICAN is entering a very exciting period in this new relationship with IODE and we look forward to seeing you at the 6th International workshop (aka ICAN 6) which will be hosted at the University of Victoria, Canada from June 16th to 18th 2013, just before CoastGIS 2013.
  • Report of International Coastal Atlas Network Workshop 4: Formalizing the Network, Engaging the Mediterranean.

    Wright, Dawn J.; Dwyer, Ned; Kopke, Kathrin; O'Dea, Elizabeth (Liz) (Oregon State UniversityCorvallis, OR, USA, 2010)
    From November 16 to 20, 2009, the International Coastal Atlas Network (ICAN) held a workshop on “Formalizing the Network, Engaging the Mediterranean” at the Adriatico Guest House of the UNESCO International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Trieste, Italy. The workshop (aka “ICAN 4”) engaged 32 participants from 12 countries, representing 26 organizations and multiple areas of scientific and technical expertise. This meeting was a follow-up to the successful 2008 workshop on “Federated Coastal Atlases: Building the Interoperable Approach” (aka “ICAN 3”) held in Copenhagen, Denmark, as well as the 2007 workshop on “Coastal Atlas Interoperability” (aka “ICAN 2” in Corvallis, Oregon, USA) and the 2006 meeting “Potentials and Limitations of Coastal Web Atlases” (aka “ICAN 1” in Cork, Ireland). ICAN 3 continued the momentum by identifying the additional opportunities for partnering on coastal web atlas development throughout Europe, demonstrating the atlas interoperability prototype to the European Environment Agency and its many partners, and initiating the development of a long-term strategy and governance model for ICAN. ICAN 2 examined best practices for achieving interoperability between atlases, and led to the design of a demonstration interoperability prototype using the metadata catalogues of two atlases. ICAN 1 examined state-of-the-art developments in coastal web atlases (CWAs) from Europe and the U.S., shared several case studies and lessons learned, and established key issues and recommendations related to the design, data requirements, technology and institutional capacity needed for these atlases. At the conclusion of ICAN 3 it was abundantly clear that ICAN had grown from a simple idea to the cusp of a formal virtual organization, which had captured the interest of the European Environment Agency (EEA), the European Commission, UNESCO, and several government agencies, companies, non-governmental organizations, and universities. However, much more work needed to be accomplished. Therefore, the activities of ICAN 4 included: - Discussions of final implementation structures for governance (including formal procedures for receiving new members), technical activities, and continued identification of funding opportunities, so that ICAN can formally incorporate as a virtual organization (aka “community of practice”). - Presentations on emerging atlases in European countries (especially the Mediterranean) and beyond that are making themselves relevant through policy, environmental and socio-economic indicator work and related themes. - Continued progress on our ontology and semantic interoperability work, with an eye also toward articulating the benefits of semantic interoperability at a broader scale to non-specialists. In this we look forward to the advice and assistance of MMI and SeaDataNet, as well as to the new NETMAR (Open Service Network for Marine Environmental Data) initiative, which has already developed conceptual framework documents in this area. To this end, we also: -- Held a small “workshop within a workshop” for atlas administrators on how to become a new node in interoperability prototype. -- Initiated strategies on making further improvements to all those nodes (according to the Shared Environmental Information Systems (SEIS) principles of sharing information for multiple purposes, using data and systems that are accessible and interoperable). -- Facilitated further work on partnerships, infrastructure and data exchange formats, all with the overall objective of enabling the nodes to share and communicate with each other, avoid duplication, and streamline information management. - Presentations and discussion of user issues, including better knowledge of our atlas users, their needs, and on continued inventory, assessment, and evaluation of atlases. To this end, we discussed as part of a small “workshop within a workshop” how to improve the functionality of CWAs for general users, especially as the technology continues to change. - Small group meetings on potential funding opportunities on both sides of the Atlantic (European Union, US National Science Foundation and government agencies) in order to continue the work of ICAN. - Initiation of plans for a major ICAN presence at Littoral 2010 in London (European ICAN partners), as well as a standalone ICAN Americas meeting in Wisconsin, USA. In addition, the ICAN workshop took place around a two-day Workshop on Maritime and Coastal Information Systems, organised by the EEA’s Environmental Information and Observation Network (EIONET), which was open to ICAN 4 attendees as well. The main objective of this meeting was to inform the many participating countries of the EIONET National Reference Centre (NRC) network and to allow for a first exchange of views on scope and roles in the new formation for this entity. Four participants of ICAN 4 were invited to give presentations at the EEA/EIONET workshop, which allowed EEA/EIONET to explore collaboration opportunities as a result of ICAN’s emergence. The US National Science Foundation (NSF) had originally awarded support for two ICAN workshops, so there will be a 5th international workshop (aka ICAN 5), at the headquarters of the UNESCO International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange (IODE) in Oostende, Belgium, August 31 to September 2, 2011. IODE will co-host CoastGIS 2011 in Oostende immediately following ICAN 5. Objectives of ICAN 5 will include follow-up activities that we did not have time to accomplish at ICAN 4, including: - Continued progress on our ontology and semantic interoperability work, but with an eye also toward articulating the benefits of semantic interoperability at a broader scale, to non-specialists. - Continued engagement and servicing of users of coastal web atlases, and on continued inventory, assessment, and evaluation of atlases. - Revisiting the main recommendations of the ICAN 1, especially evaluating atlas impact, and developing analysis and decision-support tools in atlases. - Forming proposal teams and submissions to the next available and appropriate NSF and other grant competitions (e.g., NSF Partnerships for International Research and Education, NSF Community-Based Data Interoperability Networks, NOAA, European Framework Program, InterReg, and ESF ). - Exchanging lessons learned in spatial data infrastructure between the US, European INSPIRE and other national and regional efforts. - Continued implementation and improvement of new governance, strategic planning, and technical working groups.
  • Report of International Coastal Atlas Network Workshop 3 on Federated Coastal Atlases: Building on the Interoperable Approach.

    Dywer, Ned; Wright, Dawn J. (Oregon State UniversityCorvallis, OR, USA, 2008)
    From July 7 to 11, 2008, the International Coastal Atlas Network (ICAN) held a workshop on “Federated Atlases: Building on the Interoperable Approach” at the headquarters of the European Environment Agency (EEA) in Copenhagen, Denmark. The workshop (aka “ICAN 3”) engaged 29 participants from 10 countries, representing 25 organizations and multiple areas of scientific and technical expertise. This meeting was a follow-up to the successful 2007 workshop on “Coastal Atlas Interoperability” (aka “ICAN 2”) and the 2006 meeting “Potentials and Limitations of Coastal Web Atlases” (aka “ICAN 1”). These first two workshops examined state-of-the-art developments in coastal web atlases (aka CWAs) from Europe and the U.S., shared several case studies and lessons learned, established key issues and recommendations related to the design, data requirements, technology and institutional capacity needed for these atlases, and examined best practices for achieving interoperability between them, and designed a demonstration interoperability prototype using the metadata catalogues of two atlases. To continue the momentum of ICAN 1 and 2 in identifying the opportunities that exist for increased data sharing in coastal web atlases for coastal management, governance, and conservation, it was the goal of ICAN 3 to: 1. demonstrate the atlas interoperability prototype, report on the lessons learnt and decide on future technical activities; 2. attract and inform a larger group of potential stakeholders of the activity, and promote an exchange of related developments in coastal and ocean information services; and 3. develop a long-term strategy and governance model for ICAN.
  • Report on Coastal Mapping and Informatics Trans-Atlantic Workshop 2: Coastal Atlas Interoperability.

    Wright, Dawn J.; Watson, Stephanie; Bermudez, Luis; Cummins, Valerie; Dwyer, Ned; O'Dea, Liz; Nyerges, Tim; Benoit, Greg; Berman, Marcia; Helly, John; et al. (Oregon State UniversityCorvallis, OR, USA, 2007)
    From July 16 to 20, 2007, international partners in a trans- Atlantic workshop series on coastal mapping and informatics, held a workshop on the campus of Oregon State University entitled “Coastal Atlas Interoperability.” The workshop engaged 27 participants from 6 countries, representing 17 organizations and multiple areas of scientific and technicial expertise. This meeting was a follow-up to a successful first workshop entitled “Potentials and Limitations of Coastal Web Atlases,” hosted by the Coastal and Marine Resources Centre (CMRC) at University College Cork in Ireland in July 2006 (O’Dea et al., 2007). While that first workshop examined state-of-the-art developments in coastal web atlases (CWAs) from the Europe and the U.S., shared several case studies and lessons learned, and established key issues and recommendations related to the design, data requirements, technology and institutional capacity needed for these atlases, the purpose of the second workshop was to examine best practices for achieving interoperability between CWAs. Given that no CWA functions alone as an island, and is often part of a larger universe of resources that is needed for effective marine spatial planning, resource management, and emergency planning, CWAs must build a common approach toward managing and disseminating the coastal data, maps and information that they contain. Workshop participants examined the issue of semantic interoperability (where concepts, terminology, even abbreviations that are shared between two or more individuals, systems, or organizations are understood by all to mean the same thing) and found this to be an important prerequisite for the integrated approach needed when working with a broader network of CWAs. For example, the terminology used to describe similar data can vary between specialties or regions, which can complicate data searches and integration. Use of the word “seabed” in Europe versus use of the word “seafloor” to describe the same feature in North America is a good example of this scenario, as is the interchangeable use of “coastline” versus “shoreline” in both regions. Agreements on content/semantic interoperability can help to eliminate such problems, making searches between disparate, but mutually beneficial, projects feasible. Ontologies provide the mechanism for enabling this, and workshop participants gained hands-on experience with some of the effective tools and approaches for creating ontologies and organizing them in catalogs, as presented by representatives of the Marine Metadata Interoperability (MMI) project. Presenters provided examples from use cases and ontologies based on recent research and the outcomes of the 2005 MMI Advancing Domain Vocabularies workshop (Graybeal et al., 2006). During the workshop a project was outlined to develop a demonstration prototype as a proof-of-concept to inter-relate metadata and other information between two initial CWAs (the Marine Irish Digital Atlas or MIDA, <http://mida.ucc.ie>, and the Oregon Coastal Atlas or OCA, <http://www.coastalatlas.net>). The prototype is in the form of a catalogue services for the Web (CSW), where web map services (WMS) will be registered. It may not be immediately obvious how Oregon and Ireland may need to be interoperable, but these two mature atlas efforts can be used as a testbed for interoperability. Both provide interactive access to spatial data and metadata via web GIS, use similar technologies (open source Minnesota MapServer running on Apache web services), and contain metadata meeting national/international standards (i.e., FGDC and ISO). This proof-of-concept may then be used to make connections within regional partnerships (e.g., the OCA can use lessons learned in developing a regional network of CWAs with Washington and California, while the MIDA can do the same for building and strengthening atlas networks with the UK, Belgium, and other parts of Europe). The prototype is therefore envisioned as a seed application, a template of sorts that can be used by many others and develop further from there. The workshop on “Coastal Atlas Interoperability” is another step toward long-term goals of the trans-Atlantic workshop team to provide recommendations for best practices on all aspects of coastal web mapping, and to develop a cadre of scientists who will play a leadership role in forging international collaborations and technical solutions of value to the participating nations. Toward this end, the technical experts, scientists, decision makers and practitioners of the workshops in Ireland and Oregon have now organized under the (as yet) informal International Coastal Atlas Network (ICAN; see list of participating institutions in Appendix A). The strategic aim of ICAN is to share experiences and to find common solutions to CWA development whilst ensuring maximum relevance and added value for the end users. This is a mutually beneficial international activity with complementary strengths in evidence on both sides of the Atlantic, and with the additional provision of international experience for students and junior researchers. The long-term view is for global level operational interoperability which will evolve as the ICAN community strives 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. We see ICAN participants as playing a leadership role in forging international collaborations of value to the participating nations. A major goal is to help build a functioning digital atlas of the global coast based on the principle of sharing distributed information. We will go about this by organizing a cooperative interoperability and network project to globally integrate locally-maintained coastal atlases as the premier source of spatial reference information about the coastal zone of all coastlines throughout the world. We will do this by developing community-held constraints on mapping and presentation 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 not only on both sides of the Atlantic for the North American and European partners involved, but also has implications for global spatial data infrastructures and Internet mapping projects. Based on the success of the workshop in Oregon, the European Environment Agency will host a third workshop from July 7-9, 2008 in Copenhagen, Denmark, to significantly advance these goals by examining how communities in Europe can use the recommendations and prototype developed thus far to improve their data systems’ interoperability. As a result, ICAN will: 1. exhibit the proof-of-concept conceived of at the Oregon workshop and validate first outcomes, 2. share results to inform and attract a larger population of potential stakeholders of the activity, and 3. develop a long-term strategy for effective governance of ICAN and further applications.
  • Report on Coastal Mapping and Informatics Trans-Atlantic Workshop 1: Potentials and Limitations of Coastal Web Atlases.

    O'Dea, Liz; Cummins, Valerie; Wright, Dawn J.; Dwyer, Ned; Ameztoy, Iban (Oregon State UniversityCorvallis, OR, USA, 2007)
    Executive Summary THE IMPORTANCE OF COASTAL WEB MAPPING Governments, industry sectors, academic institutions and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) have a tremendous stake in the development and management of geospatial data resources. Coastal mapping plays an important role in informing decision makers on issues such as national sovereignty, resource management, maritime safety and hazard assessment. Efforts to improve data accessibility are driven by legislation on topics such as Environmental management, open access of public sector information and data standards and harmonisation. The development of Geographic Information System (GIS) based web mapping products has improved the usability of GISs by non-specialists. This, combined with community needs, has resulted in the growth of a niche group of interactive coastal web atlases (CWAs) around the world, developed to address the needs of the coastal and marine community. The 2006 Green Paper on Future Maritime Policy in the European Union stated: “a veritable Atlas of EU coastal waters… could serve as an instrument for spatial planning” (European Commission 2006, p. 35), illustrating the increasing recognition of the potential of CWAs, even at an international level. TRANS-ATLANTIC WORKSHOPS ON COASTAL MAPPING AND INFORMATICS Funding was obtained through the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Marine RTDI programme in Ireland to organize two trans-Atlantic workshops on coastal mapping and informatics. The first workshop, entitled “Potentials and Limitations of Coastal Web Atlases,” was hosted by the Coastal and Marine Resources Centre (CMRC) at University College Cork in Ireland in July 2006. This workshop brought together key experts from Europe and North America to examine state-of-the-art CWA developments, share lessons learned, determine future needs in mapping and informatics for the coastal practitioner community and identify potential opportunities for collaboration. COASTAL WEB ATLAS FEATURES A coastal web atlas is a collection of digital maps and datasets with supplementary tables, illustrations and information that systematically illustrate the coast, oftentimes with cartographic and decision-support tools, and all of which are accessible via the Internet. Access to the various components can be provided in different ways. The typical CWA contains a number of general features, including: geospatial data and metadata; a map area for data display; a legend and/or layer list; tools to interact with the map and data; data attribute tables; topical information; powerful server and software technologies; and a wellrounded atlas design to meet atlas and user needs. COASTAL WEB ATLAS CASE STUDIES As part of the workshop, a number of representative coastal web atlas case studies from both sides of the Atlantic were presented by developers. This report provides an overview of the case studies, which highlight key aspects of CWA development and operations such as atlas purpose, institutional support, technology and functionality. Those included as case studies are: The UK Coastal and Marine Resource Atlas; De Kustatlas Online, Belgium; The Marine Irish Digital Atlas; The Oregon Coastal Atlas; North Coast Explorer, Oregon; and Mapping Tools for Coastal Management, Virginia. STRENGTHS, WEAKNESSES, OPPORTUNITIES AND THREATS ANALYSIS During the workshop, four working groups were established to identify issues related to atlas design, data, technology and institutional capacity. Each working group focussed its discussion by carrying out a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) Analysis. CONSIDERATIONS FOR ATLAS DEVELOPMENT The design and usability of an atlas are keys to its success. An atlas should clearly communicate its purpose, be visually appealing, be kept as simple as possible, use efficient technology and management systems and have a flexible design to enable growth and change over time. Ultimately its success relies on the atlas users, so efforts should be made regularly to ensure that it meets the needs of those users. An output of the workshop was a list of considerations for atlas design and implementation on topics such as data content and display, metadata, atlas interface, atlas tools, technology, user feedback and support for maintenance and future developments.
  • Bibliography of the International Coastal Atlas Network (ICAN), 2006-2014.

    Wright, Dawn J. (ESRIRedlands, CA, USA, 2015)
    This bibliography contains a mix of references to official ICAN technical reports (dating back to the founding of ICAN in 2006) along with references to many other papers in the published literature, not written by ICAN members but considered helpful to our research and implementation of coastal web atlases. The full-texts of official ICAN documents are now available in OceanDocs, but to obtain full-text of the other papers, please consult your local university or government library, or seek online access directly from the journal so as not to violate journal copyright.
  • Coastal web atlas features.

    O'Dea, Elizabeth; Haddad, Tanya C.; Dunne, Declan; Walsh, Kuuipo; Wright, Dawn J.; Dwyer, Edward (Ned); Cummins, Valerie (IGI-GlobalHershey, PA, USA, 2011)
    A growing number of coastal web atlases (CWAs) for different regions exist around the world. These atlases are developed to meet the needs of a particular organization or audience. Each atlas developer faces the challenge of how best to design a web site that clearly communicates their content in an intuitive way. While most of these CWAs are developed independently of each other, many of them share common features. Interactive maps enable users to visualize data along the coast. A variety of geographic data are presented to inform users about the coastal environment and show professionals what data are available. Atlases include tools and supplemental text for users to learn more about the coast. This chapter provides an overview of common features which are found in existing CWAs.
  • Coastal Informatics: Web Atlas Design and Implementation.

    Wright, Dawn J.; Dwyer, Ned; Cummins, Valerie (IGI-GlobalHershey, PA, USA, 2011)
    The purpose of the book is to present the latest developments in the new field of coastal web atlases and to share best practices and lessons learned, which will in turn help readers to determine future needs in mapping and informatics for the coastal practitioner community and improve spatial thinking in the coastal context. This handbook provides a complete guide to CWA development and implementation including established principles and recommendations for atlas design, data requirements, necessary software technology and institutional capacity, as well as best practices for achieving interoperability between CWAs (where concepts, terminology, and even abbreviations that are shared between two or more atlases are understood by all to mean the same thing). The prime audience for the handbook includes coastal resource managers and consultants, coastal scientists, coastal technologists (e.g., information technologists, GIS specialists, software developers), government researchers, and graduate students. The handbook should be especially valuable to coastal resource managers who need to tackle such topic-based issues (explaining environmental concepts to the public and reaching them with current information has always been a difficult task). It may also be suitable for intermediate, advanced courses in coastal/marine GIS or coastal zone management (i.e., courses toward a related B.Sc., M.Sc. or Ph.D. degree, in the classroom, but also potentially for distance education as well).
  • Exploration in the age of Digital Earth

    Wright, Dawn J. (2007)
    What might the concept of exploration and the notion of discovery mean to geographers and GIS practitioners today? Exploration of our planet through fieldwork and, hence, discovery of new places is still ongoing, but so is the exploration of environmental databases, even information spaces that do not necessarily include spatial data. Therefore, "discovery" of a place does not necessarily mean having to "be there" in the field. Presented in this context are the themes of data sharing and the benefits thereof in the United States and the emergence of cyberinfrastructures (i.e., the use of high-end information technology in day-to-day activities, not just for the occasional supercomputer job), which are taking hold in basic and applied research and also within the realm of digital government. Under the umbrella of cyberinfrastructures, exciting new research topics are being developed in the areas of Web GIS (e.g., modeling, algorithms, data structures, stability, performance, and other computing issues), ontological libraries and semantic interoperability within Web GIS, and networks of data and metadata clearinghouses that are being built with open-specification Web mapping services and Web feature services.
  • Next-generation Digital Earth

    Craglia, Max; Goodchild, Michael F.; Annoni, Alessandro; Camara, Gilberto; Gould, Michael F.; Kuhn, Werner; Mark, David; Masser, Ian; Maguire, David; Liang, Steve; et al. (2008)
    This position paper is the outcome of a joint reflection by a group of international geographic and environmental scientists from government, industry, and academia brought together by the Vespucci Initiative for the Advancement of Geographic Information Science, and the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission. It argues that the vision of Digital Earth put forward by Vice- President Al Gore 10 years ago needs to be re-evaluated in the light of the many developments in the fields of information technology, data infrastructures, and earth observation that have taken place since. It focuses the vision on the nextgeneration Digital Earth and identifies priority research areas to support this vision. The paper is offered as input for discussion among different stakeholder communities with the aim to shape research and policy over the next 5-10 years.
  • The Belgian Coastal Atlas: moving from the classic static atlas to an interactive data-driven atlas.

    Maelfait, Hannelore; Belpaeme, Kathy (2010)
    The Belgian Coastal Atlas was first published in hardback in 2004, with no intention to move towards a web version. The many requests for maps encouraged the developers to launch a web-based atlas in 2005. The interactive-nature of the maps was kept simple and the look of the maps was considered more important than the possibilities that GIS applications offered. Three years on, the Coordination Centre on ICZM would like to move from the more or less static web atlas to an interactive data-driven atlas, where sustainability indicators for the coast play a prominent role. The final product will be a policy supporting tool that will back the ICZM process for a wide range of coastal actors, planners and managers.
  • Transitioning to Free Open Source Software (FOSS) in the Oregon Coastal Atlas.

    Haddad, Tanya (NOAACharleston, SC, USA, 2009)
    In early 2008 the Oregon Coastal Atlas completed a major transition to FOSS (free and open source software). While the previous version of the Coastal Atlas had relied on the open source University of Minnesota Mapserver for its online maps, all other aspects of the website such as content management, informational databases, scripting language and web server software had been non-open source in origin. At present all of these functions have been transitioned to FOSS equivalents. General website content management is now handled by Joomla CMS. Informational databases - including some simple spatial databases - are handled by MySQL. More complex geospatial datasets utilized in online analysis tools are stored in PostGIS. Interactive maps continue to be handled by UMN Mapserver on the server side, with ka-Map or OpenLayers on the client side, depending on the context. In addition, as part of the current process to connect the Oregon Coastal Atlas to the newly emerging International Coastal Atlas Network (ICAN), Web Map Services (WMS) and Web Feature Services (WFS) will be handled by UMN Mapserver, and both metadata and Catalog Services for the Web (CSW) will be handled by GeoNetwork – an open source catalog application to manage spatially referenced resources through the web. This presentation will discuss the background of the Oregon Coastal Atlas, the FOSS packages now in use, lessons learned from this transition, and future goals of the project. For more information on the Oregon Coastal Atlas, please visit http://www.coastalatlas.net.
  • The Washington Coastal Atlas and the International Coastal Atlas Network: Connecting to the ICAN Prototype.

    O'Dea, Liz; Taylor, Kathy; Saul, Dan; Veeck, Darby; Purce, Deborah (NOAACharleston, SC, USA, 2009)
    The Washington Coastal Atlas, first established in 1995, has proven to be a valuable resource to coastal and environmental managers. The Washington Department of Ecology developed the online atlas to assist local governments with their Shoreline Management Planning efforts. Interest and use of the atlas now extends to a broad audience, ranging from policy makers to the general public. Data layers available on the site include biological features such as wetlands and eelgrass beds, and physical features including drift cells and slope stability data. The atlas also includes 60 years of oblique aerial photos to view other shoreline features such as the level of development and presence of any shoreline modification. Coastal management issues do not stop at borders. The Washington Coastal Atlas is joining its neighbor, the Oregon Coastal Atlas, in the International Coastal Atlas Network (ICAN) prototype to illustrate the practical benefits of collaboration and metadata/data sharing for coastal management on a regional and international level. The Washington Coastal Atlas will be the first to join the prototype using ESRI technology, providing a robust demonstration of how Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) Catalog Services for the Web (CSW) and Web Map Services (WMS) are able to connect atlases built on either open source or proprietary software. This talk will present the Washington Coastal Atlas, the steps that will be taken to connect it with the ICAN prototype, and the expected benefits for coastal management in the Pacific Northwest region.
  • Interoperability between coastal web atlases using semantic mediation: a case study of the International Coastal Atlas Network (ICAN).

    Wright, Dawn; Lassoued, Yassine; Dwyer, Ned; Haddad, Tanya; Bermudez, Luis; Dunne, Declan (American Geophysical UnionWashington, DC, 2009)
    Coastal mapping plays an important role in informing marine spatial planning, resource management, maritime safety, hazard assessment and even national sovereignty. As such, there is now a plethora of data/metadata catalogs, pre-made maps, tabular and text information on resource availability and exploitation, and decision-making tools. A recent trend has been to encapsulate these in a special class of web-enabled geographic information systems called a coastal web atlas (CWA). While multiple benefits are derived from tailor-made atlases, there is great value added from the integration of disparate CWAs. CWAs linked to one another can query more successfully to optimize planning and decision-making. If a dataset is missing in one atlas, it may be immediately located in another. Similar datasets in two atlases may be combined to enhance study in either region. But how best to achieve semantic interoperability to mitigate vague data queries, concepts or natural language semantics when retrieving and integrating data and information? We report on the development of a new prototype seeking to interoperate between two initial CWAs: the Marine Irish Digital Atlas (MIDA) and the Oregon Coastal Atlas (OCA). These two mature atlases are used as a testbed for more regional connections, with the intent for the OCA to use lessons learned to develop a regional network of CWAs along the west coast, and for MIDA to do the same in building and strengthening atlas networks with the UK, Belgium, and other parts of Europe. Our prototype uses semantic interoperability via services harmonization and ontology mediation, allowing local atlases to use their own data structures, and vocabularies (ontologies). We use standard technologies such as OGC Web Map Services (WMS) for delivering maps, and OGC Catalogue Service for the Web (CSW) for delivering and querying ISO-19139 metadata. The metadata records of a given CWA use a given ontology of terms called local ontology. Human or machine users formulate their requests using a common ontology of metadata terms, called global ontology. A CSW mediator rewrites the user’s request into CSW requests over local CSWs using their own (local) ontologies, collects the results and sends them back to the user. To extend the system, we have recently added global maritime boundaries and are also considering nearshore ocean observing system data. Ongoing work includes adding WFS, error management, and exception handling, enabling Smart Searches, and writing full documentation. This prototype is a central research project of the new International Coastal Atlas Network (ICAN), a group of 30+ organizations from 14 nations (and growing) dedicated to seeking interoperability approaches to CWAs in support of coastal zone management and the translation of coastal science to coastal decision-making.
  • Introducing the International Coastal Atlas Network

    Wright, Dawn; Dwyer, Ned; Haddad, Tanya; O'Dea, Liz; Hart, David; LaVoi, Tony; Nyerges, Tim; Berman, Marcia; Helly, John (NOAACharleston, SC, USA, 2011)
    The recently released National Ocean Policy, including the Framework for Effective Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning (CMSP), calls for the development of regional data portals and analytical tools to support comprehensive CMSP. Coastal Web atlases (CWAs) are online information resources that can help build collaborative relationships within and across state, regional, national, and international areas to foster more effective management of coastal and ocean resources and activities. The mission of the International Coastal Atlas Network (ICAN) is to share experiences and to find common solutions to CWA development, increasing awareness of the opportunities that exist for coastal and marine data sharing among policy makers and resource managers This special interest meeting will focus on the identification of best practices and lessons learned from the ICAN community, and will identify common elements that can be used from ICAN and other state and regional efforts to build a geospatial technology support network for regional CMSP. Attendees will be asked to share their knowledge of CMSP-related activities in their geographies, brainstorm on how they can work together within regions, and discuss potential opportunities for future collaborations.
  • The International Coastal Atlas Network: an Emerging Spatial Data Infrastructure Initiative.

    Wright, Dawn; Dwyer, Ned; Lassoued, Yassine; Longhorn, Roger; Boucelma, Omar (GSDIRotterdam, The Netherlands, 2009)
    The International Coastal Atlas Network (ICAN) is a newly-founded initiative comprised of a partnership of over 30 organizations from more than a dozen nations. It aims to be a global reference for the development of coastal web atlases (CWAs), which are defined as collections of digital, web-enabled maps and datasets with supplementary tables, illustrations, and information that systematically illustrate the coast, oftentimes with cartographic and decision support tools. These atlases are playing an increasingly important role as elements of spatial data infrastructures at state and national scales, and in assisting regional decision- and policy-making across numerous themes including coastal vulnerability to climate change impacts and population presssures, coastal governance (boundaries, protected areas, etc.), coastal hazards mitigation, marine spatial planning, resource availability and exploitation. Many of these atlases offer discovery, view and download services in line with the INSPIRE Directive. Another strategic aim of ICAN is to take advantage of the expertise of its members to find common solutions to CWA development, and to encourage and facilitate global operational interoperability between CWAs for enhanced data sharing, and the translation of coastal science to coastal decision-making. The paper describes the rationale and development of several products that ICAN has been developing for this purpose, such as user and developer guides, handbooks and articles on best practices, information on standards and web services, expertise and technical support directories, education, outreach materials, and workshops. The long-term goal of ICAN is to enable U.S. national and global-level operational interoperability between CWAs, based on the principle of shared distributed information, which will also provide a basis for rationally-informed discussion, debate and negotiation of sustainable management policies for regional governance. This will evolve as the ICAN community strives to increase awareness of the opportunities that exist for increased coastal and marine data sharing among policy makers, resource managers, and other strategic users of CWAs. The paper describes the experiences of and lessons learned by ICAN participants as they have developed the structure and governance of the organization, partnered with similar initiatives, and played leadership roles in forging international collaborations of value to their participating nations. A major long-term goal is to help build a functioning digital atlas of the worldwide coast.
  • Ontology-based mediation of OGC catalogue service for the Web requests: a virtual solution for integrating coastal web atlases.

    Lassoued, Yassine; Wright, Dawn; Bermudez, Luis; Boucelma, Omar (SpringerBerlin, 2008)
    In recent years significant momentum has occurred in the development of Internet resources for decision makers and scientists interested in the coast. Chief among these has been the development of coastal web atlases (CWAs). While multiple benefits are derived from these tailor-made atlases (e.g., speedy access to multiple sources of coastal data and information), the potential exists to derive added value from the integration of disparate CWAs, to optimize decision making at a variety of levels and across themes. This paper describes the development of a semantic mediator prototype to provide a common access point to coastal data, maps and information from distributed CWAs. The prototype showcases how ontologies and ontology mappings can be used to integrate different heterogeneous and autonomous atlases, using the Open Geospatial Consortium’s Catalogue Services for the Web.
  • Report of International Coastal Atlas Network Workshop 6: Expanding Participation in Coastal Web Atlas Development and Use

    Dwyer, Ned; Kopke, Kathrin (UNESCO/IOC/IODEOostende, Belgium, 2014)
    From June 16th to 17th, 2013, the International Coastal Atlas Network (ICAN) held a workshop on “Expanding Participation in Coastal Web Atlas Development and Use”, at the University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. The workshop (aka “ICAN 6”) engaged 29 participants from 9 countries, representing 22 organizations and multiple areas of scientific and technical expertise. This meeting was a follow-up to the successful 2011 workshop on “Coastal Atlases as Engines for Coastal & Marine Spatial Planning” (aka “ICAN 5”) held in Oostende, Belgium, as well as workshops in 2009, 2008, 2007 and 2006. ICAN 6 provided an opportunity to discuss how the ICAN community could take advantage of now being an IODE project, to share its knowledge and aid capacity building among IOC member states in relation to coastal and marine data management. Moreover, ICAN has seen its membership grow in the last two years and given its extensive membership along the North and South American Pacific coasts it was a great opportunity to hear about atlas developments in those regions. Key activities at the workshop included: exploring the opportunities for ICAN in an IODE context and how to build synergies with other IOC projects; the activities of the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS) project of the IOC were presented as well as IOC’s ICAM programme which highlighted how data management tools developed within ICAN can contribute to the goals of ICAM. Beyond the IOC, activities within the Group on Earth Observations’ (GEO) Coastal Zone Community of Practise (CZCP) are very relevant to ICAN, in particular the objective to develop a global coastal zone information system (CZIS). ICAN can help inform the development of such a CZIS. discussion of coastal atlas training needs and how ICAN members can contribute; in particular the training requirements of the African Coastal and Marine Atlas, and the Caribbean Marine Atlas were discussed. An overview of IODE training activities was presented and linkages on training between ICAN and ICAM related projects (e.g. SPINCAM II) were discussed. ICAN should also take advantage of the OceanTeacher platform developed by IODE. Atlas Stories – presentations from Atlas developers and users from North and South American Pacific coasts and beyond; the ICAN 6 Atlas Stories focused on CWA development around the Western Pacific Rim presenting new activities as well as updating the network on recent upgrades to previously discussed CWAs. The session started with the South American SPINCAM project which is developing atlases across five countries, followed by updates on the Oregon Coastal Atlas and the Washington State Coastal Atlas. Workshop participants also learned about Canada’s CanCoast and ShoreZone and the session concluded with the introduction to SmartAtlas through the African Coastal & Marine Atlas experience. a small “workshop within a workshop” for atlas technical developers on how to become a new node in the ICAN interoperability portal, version 3; The latest version has multilingual search capability, semantic search and the ability to connect directly to map services and display the results in a map. It was agreed that the current interface will be upgraded to HTML5 in the coming period. a small “workshop within a workshop” focussing on Volunteered Geographical Information (VGI) and its implications for coastal atlases; within the EEA, systems have been developed using both crowdsourcing and citizen science approaches. SeaSketch is a software platform intended as an end-to-end mapping solution for marine spatial planning, which allows anyone, regardless of their technical abilities, to sketch prospective management plans and receive analytical feedback on the consequences of their designs. The Marine Regions project aims to develop a standard for georeferenced marine names and there is potential to link it to the ICAN portal. Esri is introducing the concept of a “living Atlas” which is delivered via ArcGIS Online (AGOL). ICAN members can take advantage of this concept by using it to leverage their existing Atlas holdings or by using the platform to build a new Atlas quickly. development of an ICAN work plan for the period 2013-2015; this included plans for developing a communications strategy, a handbook on how atlas developers and users can interact and building synergies with other IOC and non-IOC projects. It also looked at developing a coastal atlas training plan. At its core ICAN supports atlas development and interoprerability approaches, therefore the Technical Committee presented its plans for developments in the next two years. The workshop concluded with the first face-to-face meeting of the new Steering Group, which was put in place after ICAN became an IODE project. This meeting saw two new members join the SG and leaders for the various work plan elements were appointed. Since ICAN 6 there have been developments in relation to the work plan. A revised plan and associated budget request was submitted to the IODE Officers meeting held in March 2014. As IODE has a limited budget and a number of projects to support, not all work plan items will receive funding, however the funding allocated will be of significant assistance to maintain ICAN and help progress its work. ICAN is now on a sound footing as part of the IODE family of projects, although members should continue to seek funding from other sources to advance the key technical activities. This ambitious work plan will require the commitment of all members to ensure that it can be implemented. A priority for 2014 is the redevelopment of the web site in order to make it easier to navigate and more responsive to user needs. Interoperability remains a core activity of ICAN and the technical committee has proposed a number of activities to progress further the developments in this area. A key technical concept which emerged at ICAN 6 was that of an “atlas-in-a-box”. The idea is that a new atlas developer can get started quickly on implementing and publishing a CWA with a minimal amount of technical/programming knowledge. The committee intends to scope the feasibility of such a development based on potential solutions such as SmartAtlas and ArcGIS Online. We would like to thank Rosaline Canessa and her team at the University of Victoria for their warm welcome and excellent hosting of ICAN-6 and we look forward to seeing you at the 7th International workshop (aka ICAN 7) which will be hosted by CSIR at Stellenbosch in South Africa from April 20th to 21st 2015, just before CoastGIS 2015