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Web Atlases & Maps

Web Atlases play a role in supporting coastal and ocean planning and management

COINAtlantic promotes the use of marine atlases for improving access to geospatial information (data with geographic coordinates) like the location of endangered species, overlaid with the location, and even intensity of human activities like fishing and transportation.


Marine Atlases have played key roles in supporting marine planning and management processes that work to address timely response measures and sustainable development such as:

  • Marine Spatial Planning (MSP)

  • Marine Protected Areas (MPA)

  • Large Ocean Management Areas (LOMA)

Up-to-date, reliable, relevant, and easily comparable data available on Web Atlases can help to:

  • visualize conflicting demands on marine space and resources

  • assess new opportunities for use or alternative marine management measures

  • enable better risk management

  • guide proactive management approaches 

  • improve decision-making in the marine environment


Data layer themes commonly found in online marine atlases include:

  • topography

  • bathymetry

  • areas of conservation or other significance

  • human uses like fishing, shipping, energy, mineral extraction, recreation, telecommunications, heritage, military, and socio-economic information (economic and population data) 


Atlas functions – such as measuring or reporting tools – are determine by the kinds of decisions that the Atlas was designed to support, and the technological resources available. (source: Shucksmith et al. 2014)

Canadian Atlases

Canada's Arctic Marine Atlas-
Produced by Oceans North and its partners, provides an overview of the marine mammals, seabirds, fish and other wildlife that thrive in our northern waters – and highlights the importance of a healthy ecosystem for the people who live there.

Climate Atlas of Canada- Combines climate science, mapping and storytelling to bring the global issue of climate change closer to home for Canadians. It is designed to inspire local, regional, and national action that will let us move from risk to resilience.

Coastal Resource Information Management System (CRIMS)- Contains a variety of coast and marine resources, including aquaculture, shoreline classification, selected fisheries information, and offshore oil and gas information.

GeoNB Map Viewer- Provide simple access to important geographic data sets, provide simple tools to interact with geographic data, create awareness of New Brunswick’s geographic data. 

Inuit Siku AtlasThis atlas is meant to be an educational resource for northern schools, youth, and scientists, who wish to better understand Inuit perspectives on the sea ice environment. 

Kitikmeot Place Names Atlas- The Inuit Place Names Atlas crowdsources traditional place names from multiple communities across Nunavut. It allows users to navigate place names alongside audio, video and photosphere documentation of the locations.

Marine Atlas of Pacific Canada- Marine Atlas of Pacific Canada. a product of the British Columbia Marine Conservation Analysis (BCMCA).

Northumberland Strait Saltmarsh Atlas- COINAtlantic created an Atlas with Clean Foundation to inform future restoration work. Several tidal crossings (e.g. roads, dykes, culverts, etc.) were researchers and assessed along the coast of the Northumberland Strait to determine degree of restricted tidal flow and salt marsh health.

Nova Scotia Tidal Energy Atlas- Tidal energy related data for the Bay of Fundy. 

Pacific Coastal Resource Atlas for British Columbia- Designed to streamline the collection and dissemination of marine habitat and fishery resource information for coastal BC. 

Scotian Shelf: An Atlas of Human Activities - Prepared by the Eastern Scotian Shelf Integrated Management (ESSIM) Planning Office to show the extent of human activities and management boundaries related to those activities on the Scotian Shelf. 

The Atlas of Canada- A key source of geographic information the Atlas provides a selection of interactive and historical maps and geographical data available for reference or downloading.

Watershed Reports - World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is has completed the first Canada-wide assessment of the country’s watersheds, focusing on four indicators of river health and seven key threats.

WhaleMap- Last 14 days of sightings, effort, and acoustic detections. 


United States Atlases

Climate Central Coastal Risk Screening Tool- Land projected to be below annual flood level in 2050.
Explore sea level rise and coastal flood threats from around the world by adjusting the controls. 

EARTHDATA- NASA- National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)'s data policy ensures that all NASA data are available fully, openly, and without restrictions.

GIS Geography- One of the largest US map collections available.

Marine Cadastre Ocean Reports- Draw a custom area anywhere in U.S. waters or pick from a predefined list of locations to get instant custom reports, including descriptive infographics and supporting data for offshore planning, permitting, environmental review, public relations, and more.

NERACOOS Hourly Buoy Data- Northeastern Regional Association of Coastal Ocean Observing Systems (NERACOOS) map displays real-time observations from buoys and monitoring stations in the Northeast region.

NOAA Choptank Digital Atlas- Improved the ability to conduct biogeographic assessments focused on risk assessment and conflict resolution by integrating geospatial socio-economic data layers with environmental data.

NOAA Sea Level Rise Viewer- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) shows sea level rise and potential coastal flooding impact areas and relative depth. 

Oregon Coastal Atlas- A multi-group project that has the ambitious goal of being a useful resource for the various audiences that make up the management constituency of the Oregon Coastal Zone.

USGS Water Resources- The United States Geological Survey (USGS) map creates a variety of spatial products from GIS datasets, online maps, decision-support tools, data visualizations, and traditional static maps.

Water Atlas-  explore the comprehensive and user-friendly Florida Water Atlas.

European Atlases

EMODnet Human Activities- the European Marine Observation and Data Network (EMODnet)- Making use of our oceans. 

Ireland's Marine Atlas- Administrative boundaries, protected sites, oil and gas, ocean features, fisheries and aquaculture, marine monitoring, seabed habitats, tourism and leisure, transport, infrastructure, discharge point sources, International Maritime Organization protected areas and current/historical dump sites.

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