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Multi-criteria analysis software with national map layers

20 November, 2009

Tough management decisions about Australia’s natural resource management will be made easier with the release of an innovative toolkit by the Bureau of Rural Sciences (BRS).

“The Natural Resources Mapping Toolkit allows land managers to perform complex spatial data and information analysis without the need for additional specialist software or mapping expertise,” said Dr Kim Ritman, Executive Director, Bureau of Rural Sciences on releasing the report.

“The Toolkit combines a new version of the Multi-Criteria Analysis Shell for Spatial Decision Support System (MCAS-S) tool with ready-to-use national map layers.

 “It provides land managers with environmental, social and economic information to strengthen their decisions and help gauge their potential impact.”

The data layers in the Toolkit are available at one kilometre and five kilometre resolutions with information ranging from rainfall averages across Australia, to land use or fire prevalence, to the condition of vegetation and soil.

BRS’s popular MCAS-S tool was recently used to help prioritise wind erosion investment for the Australian Government’s Caring for our Country program.

“It successfully combined different data layers to produce a national map of the extent and severity of wind erosion,” said Dr Ritman.

“Other programs, including the Australian Government Land and Coast’s Reef Rescue program, have also used the software to determine sites of priority for investment and action.”

The Natural Resources Mapping Toolkit was developed by BRS, the scientific agency within the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, as part of the Australian Collaborative Land Use and Management Program.

The Natural Resources Mapping Toolkit and the MCAS-S tool are available online at www.brs.gov.au/mcass.

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Source: Bureau of Rural Sciences

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