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Spatial Information Infrastructure for Integrated Coastal and Ocean Management in Canada

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Access to current, comprehensive, and reliable spatial information is necessary for informed decision making in integrated coastal and ocean management. This need is being met through development of a marine spatial information infrastructure that encompasses both technological and institutional responses. This article traces Canada's experience in developing a marine spatial information infrastructure over the last 30 years starting with the compilation of coastal atlases, through the development of geographic information systems, to remote data acquisition instruments and Web mapping portals. Because of the plethora of initiatives, it has been essential to be selected and limit the number and choice of examples. The institutional response has lagged behind that of technological innovation and hinges on understanding users' needs and decision support drivers, sustainability of institutional and individual champions, and, above all, cooperation and collaboration among the broad community of practice.

Keywords: Canada; coastal management; spatial information

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Geography, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada 2: Secretariat of the Atlantic Coastal Zone Information Steering Committee, Dalhousie University, hali, Nova Scotia, Canada 3: Christian J. Stewart Consulting, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada 4: Matrix Group Resources Ltd., Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Publication date: 2007-01-01

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