CanVis is a visualization program used to "see" potential impacts from coastal development or sea level rise. Users can download background pictures and insert the objects (hotel, house, marina, or other objects) of their choosing. The software is used by municipalities to brainstorm new ideas and policies, undertake project planning, and make presentations.
- Incorporates docks, buildings, rising waters, and other objects into user photographs to see potential scenarios
- Allows users to quickly brainstorm "what if" scenarios with this easy-to-use tool
- Requires minimal computer knowledge and is easy to use
Stories from the Field
Communicating Coastal Flooding Risks around the Great Lakes
CanVis is helping coastal managers communicate flooding scenarios to shoreline residents in Green Bay.
Planning for Resilient Coastal Communities in New York
The Coastal Inundation Mapping training, Roadmap for Adapting to Coastal Risk approach, and other NOAA resources aided New York partners in mapping and assessing Post-Tropical Cyclone Sandy impacts and planning for long-term recovery and resilience.
Conveying the Visual Impacts of Small Docks and Piers in Massachusetts
CanVis was used to illustrate the visual impacts of docks and piers on ponds.
Revealing the Effects of High-Rise Condominiums on Water Views in Pennsylvania
CanVis was used to illustrate the visual impact of high-rise condominium developments on scenic water vistas.
Illustrating the Aesthetic Impacts of Offshore Wind Turbines in Lake Erie
CanVis was used to show stakeholders how offshore wind turbines would impact Lake Erie vistas.
Visualizing a New Public Recreation Area in South Carolina
Planning commissioners used CanVis to help visualize the benefits of a passive public park.
Illustrating an Improved Community Streetscape in Connecticut
CanVis enabled officials to picture proposed changes to downtown areas.
Picturing Living Shorelines in Maryland
CanVis was used to give residents a clearer picture of how living shorelines look and function.
Bringing Data and Tools to the Restoration Community at a National Conference
Partners unite to put the right Digital Coast data, tools, and training into the hands of communities working to restore vital estuary habitat
Provides quarterly updates and information about CanVis
Using Photorealistic Visualizations
Introduces various visualization types and provides guidance on creating and using photorealistic visualizations
Using CanVis for Visualizations
Provides illustrated step-by-step instructions on using CanVis tools and creating visualizations with your own imagery
Visual Simulation Guide
Provides general guidance on how to plan a simulation project, acquire images, edit an image, and accurately locate and size objects in an image
Height and Horizon Calculations
Provides guidelines on how to estimate the height of a feature or object in CanVis given its distance from the camera and actual height
Shows how to use CanVis software to create believable simulations (Note: software requires Adobe's free Flash Player)
Contains several training videos about the various tools, functions, and applications that the software can complete
Provides an introduction to CanVis and example projects
CanVis visual simulation guide and training videos were created and provided courtesy of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agroforestry Center.
Download CanVis Version 3.0
Coastal Object Libraries
CanVis is provided with libraries (groups of objects) from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agroforestry Center. The NOAA Coastal Services provides additional objects (boats, docks, etc). useful for organizations that manage coastal resources
All files were last updated on October 9, 2009.
- Full Package (.zip, 90.1MB) - Preview
- Alternative Energy (.zip, 25.7KB) - Preview
- Boats (.zip, 8.03B) - Preview
- Coastal Vegetation (.zip, 4.67MB) - Preview
- Commercial - Urban (.zip, 1.96B) - Preview
- Commercial - Water (.zip, 1MB) - Preview
- CSC People (.zip, 3.7MB) - Preview
- Docks, Buoys, and Structures (.zip, 4.27MB) - Preview
- Houses (.zip, 12.7MB) - Preview
- Parks and Urban Areas (.zip, 5.12MB) - Preview
- Satellite and Aerial (.zip, 9.42MB) - Preview
- Symbols (.zip, 4.53KB) - Preview
- Transportation (.zip, 1.55MB) - Preview
- Walls and Buffers (.zip, 37.5MB) - Preview
The NOAA Coastal Services Center has recently developed a program that will automatically load all coastal object libraries into your CanVis application. Using this program means that you will no longer need to load individual libraries manually. Please determine which version of CanVis you have installed on your computer before downloading.
Download Object Libraries Loader for CanVis 3.0 (.exe, 100MB)
Download Object Libraries Loader for CanVis 2.3 or Earlier (.exe, 90.2MB)
IAN Symbol Libraries
The University of Maryland's Integration and Application Network (IAN) has created a library of over 2,000 symbols designed specifically for scientific conceptual diagrams. The NOAA Coastal Services Center has converted all of these symbols into a format which can be used in CanVis and is now available for download. Please determine which version of CanVis you have installed on your computer before downloading.
Download Symbol Libraries Loader for CanVis 3.0 (.exe, 150MB)
For more information about the Integration and Application Network please visit ian.umces.edu.
Ask a question anytime by emailing email@example.com.