Best way to create land use scenario maps for use in InVEST

I’m a few months away from my dissertation deadline and was wondering how (preferably the easiest way) to create 3 different land use scenarios for an approximately 30,000 sqm urban plot that is going to be greened (introduction of a natural pond, tree planting and small wetland introduction). I want to be able to plug them into the InVEST ecosystem service assessment models and compare the results. I had read in a user guide that InSEAM is good for this job but the website that you use to access it says to email an address that doesn’t exist.
Any help would be greatly appreciated!

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen the name InSEAM! But I don’t think it would have been that helpful for you … InSEAM was an interactive maping application that allowed you to draw points, lines and polygons collaboratively over the internet. The project was shut down somewhere around 2012 or 2013, though it’s worth noting that the actively-maintained OpenStreetMap project uMap provides similar (and more robust) functionality. InSEAM never did much in the way of scenario generation.

For your case, I think your best tools might be a GIS package and some thought and planning … if you introduce a natural pond in this 30,000 sqm urban plot, what will that look like? How will that affect the topography? How will that be represented in your land-use/land-cover raster and biophysical table? What will the surrounding area look like? If you have a clear idea of the answers to these questions, then you can use your GIS software to represent these characteristics in your spatial inputs.

Anyone else have any thoughts here?


Hi @saf007 -

There’s not really one “best” way to create scenario maps. How you do that will depend on what data you have and what you need to represent in your scenarios. For some initial thoughts, here’s a previous forum post with some points to consider.

~ Stacie