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iCoast - How we're showing off Dorset coastal tourism with web mapping

iCoast screenshot

Take a look around iCoast

Come on in...

On their first visit a welcome screen points visitors towards some of the features they can use.

Pick your passion

You can view activity information by clicking an activity icon from the row of custom-designed coloured icons along the bottom of the map.

Dig a bit deeper

Find details of the activity location by clicking the pin.

This opens a popup with information which can be fully customised by Dorset Coast Forum. It can optionally include images, website details and text information etc. All these details are drawn from a database managed by DCF.

Dorset Coast Forum required an online mapping solution to enable tourists and residents to explore the many recreational opportunities along the coastline. One Bright Space created iCoast to show off their information with custom web maps.

They had a large amount of detailed GIS data (over 110 different mapping layers). This called for an online resource to be designed and produced to present all this to the public in an engaging, interesting easy to use way. It would also promote smaller coastal businesses and disseminate safety and environmental information.

Central to the project was the creation of an interface which showed visitors the information they were interested in without overwhelming them with details. It must be familiar enough to be intuitive, while offering a new way of exploring all that the Dorset coast has to offer.

Designed base mapping

We developed a custom base map which was optimised to show enhanced coastal information using UKHO sea depth datasets provided through our partnership with OceanWise. This was aligned with Ordnance Survey's latest Vector Map District data. We designed and implemented the visuals for this base map as well as a full range of custom-made icons and layer styles to give an attractive and very clear presentation of the wide range of information available.

Also provided are traditional OS 1:25000 maps and aerial photography.

Enabling management of content

Dorset Coast Forum also needed to be able to manage the website content themselves, both to enable the effective addition of large amounts of activity information, and to ensure future changes can be made quickly and efficiently. To enable this we developed a tool to allow them to upload files from MapInfo which the system them adjusts and adapts for the web and all data is kept in a geospatial database.

Live time-based information is also provided for weather forecast and tide times, with tidal current flow speed and direction overlaid onto the map to help with passage planning.

GIS Infrastructure

The system is build on Open Standards tools (including GeoServer and PostGIS) based on a Spatial Data Infrastructure making location data at the heart of the system.

The systems architecture used for this system can be horizontally deployed over a cloud and will display near-linear scalability with any future expanded hardware provision.


This future feature will allow visitors to see panoramic photos taken along the coast from the sea, showing where on the map the photo's view is currently showing.

Add extra optional layers

Get further information relating to your chosen activity, with the option to turn on or off extra layers on the map. Shown below is the Walking section, where extra options include different types of path and info on where dogs are allowed on beaches.

Visitors can thereby control exactly which information they want to see, avoiding bombarding them with too much detail that may not interest them.

Tides and currents

Useful for local residents as well as tourists planning a holiday, iCoast provides tidal information for key locations around the Dorset coast.

Save and share your favourites with your Kitbag

Every map pin has the option to be added to your Kitbag - a personal collection of places you want to remember.

You can share the contents of your kitbag on Facebook, or print a list of all the information and pictures of your stored places.

Want your own 'iCoast'?

If you like what you see, get in touch with us to discuss how One Bright Space could work with you to show off your area to its very best with advanced integrated web mapping.

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