Coastal Explorers


To develop a web based tool for people to plan their coastal activities in the UK.


There are a huge amount of activities that people can take part in on the coastline of the UK, including: coasteering, diving, fossil hunting, gig racing, kite surfing, hang gliding, power-boating, rock climbing, sea kayaking, angling, paddle-boarding, swimming, surfing, walking, windsurfing and many, many more. In terms of walking, the southwest coastal path alone is 1008km!

In order to plan activities around the coastline, people need to gather a large amount of information, including the weather, tides and currents and logistics. Whilst in some areas, this has been done (e.g. Dorset), a wider UK tool does not appear to be available.

The challenge

To develop a web based tool for planning coastal activities in the UK. Whilst mainly for ‘planning’ (where we would assume good internet connectivity), it should be possible to use the output ‘offline’ with maximum functionality for when people are out of range. Ideally, it should be compatible with mobile technology (e.g. smartphones and tablets) although a PC-based option would also be useful and could perhaps offer greater functionality.

As a minimum, the solution should aim to include the following types of datasets:

• Mapping
• Assessment of accessibility (car parks, beach access – steps, slope; beach type – sand, pebbles etc.; beach gradient etc.)
• Tidal data
• Tidal stream information
• Sea, surf and swell
• Weather forecast
• Sea temperature
• Water quality

In addition, the tool could enable users to report observations of flora and fauna, particularly marine life e.g. jellyfish, seals, basking sharks etc. which is of great interest to scientists.

Data Resources

It’s All Over!
Thanks to everyone who helped make FOSS4G 2013 a success!