Spatial Representation of future scenarios serves as a valuable input for further analysis such as ecosystem services mapping and valuation. There are four ways to generate a scenario map:

  1. Collective mapping asks stakeholders to draw future scenarios or components on a map, then combines the results to generate a consensus scenario map.
  2. Simulations predict the future based on the land/marine use system, which can be described by a variety of models, such as economic, environmental and agent-based models. 
  3. Rule-based allocation allocates changes spatially based on user-defined transition rules. The rules can come from empirical data (trend-based models), expert judgments or stakeholder perceptions. 
  4. Optimization models can select locations and types of intervention to achieve specific goals and related outcomes. The "ideal" land/marine use plan suggested by optimization modeling can also serve as a scenario.

Based on your project goal, data availability, and budget, you can select one or more approaches to create a scenario map.


Related approaches and tools:

Tools for spatial allocation

Scenario tool for marine planning



Corbett, J. 2009. Good Practice in Participatory Mapping. IFAD

Green, G. M., Grove, J. M., Evans, T. P., & Schweik, C. M. 2002. A review and assessment of land-use change models: dynamics of space, time, and human choice.

NRC (National Research Council). 2013. Advancing Land Change Modeling: Opportunities and Research Requirements. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.

Brown, D., Delgado, A., Moss, R., & Sedano, F. (2015). Need and Options for Subnational Scale Land-Use and Land-Cover Scenarios for the United States.