The African Coastal and Marine Atlas ( was initiated as a continental-scale online resource of public-domain geospatial data. The project was designed to identify, collect and organize data sets into an atlas of biophysical themes, including: basemaps, geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, biosphere and the human and built environment. A second aim was to provide training to increase the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and spatial data products for the dissemination of appropriate, timely and relevant information. The inventory of data sets in the atlas is also a useful indicator of gaps, either in the knowledge base or the availability of the data in the public domain. The Coastal and Marine Atlases currently have more than 3,500 maps for different features from the coastal areas of 20 countries. Five regional atlases have also been developed for the Large Marine Ecosystem regions as follows: Agulhas and Somali Current, Benguela Current, Canary Current, Guinea Current, and the Mediterranean and Red Sea regions. The national and regional atlases can be accessed at: , while the related metadata is available at: The initial continental maps and data sets can be accessed at: