Good questions. I think the sample data is a bit misleading in this case. My understanding is that any datasets used for the spatially explicit criteria should mirror those used as the stressor layers, in terms of their geometries.
So I would suggest starting with your stressor layers, which can be points, lines, polygons, or rasters, and just making a copy of the ones you want to use as a spatially explicit criteria layer. And then add the necessary
ratings column to the attribute table and populate it with values.
For example, in terms if the sample data, I would expect
spatially_explicit_layers/softbottom_DocksWharvesMarinas_intensity_rating.shp to be identical to
stressor_layers/DocksWharvesMarinas.shp, except for the
ratings column in the table.
We’ll update the sample data accordingly for the next release.