MIDAS – SeaPlan is a marine spatial decision support system for Massachusetts that is being developed at Boston University. Its underlying modeling framework is MIMES (Multi-scale Integrated Model of Ecosystem Services) that enables dynamic spatial modeling. When completed, MIDAS-SeaPlan will demonstrate a suite of scenarios involving human use tradeoffs to help inform marine spatial planning. The basic motivation of our approach is to promote collaborative spatial decision making with the overall goals of enhancing understanding, education about marine resources and use, and promoting marine stewardship in the long term.
MIDAS serves as a graphic end-user interface between MIMES, a complex dynamic research model, and the questions and needs of local managers and stakeholders. Given the complexities and computational requirements of MIMES, MIMES and MIDAS are coupled in such a way that a user can select a limited number of specific probes to explore and analyze the modeling scenarios and tradeoffs.
MIDAS User Interface
The MIDAS user interface consists of a series of screens, which are designed to help the user to explore spatial data (data view) and analyze trade-offs (model view). MIDAS is continuing evolving and the final product will resemble the images provided here, but there are likely to be differences.
Motivation Screen: Here the user selects a motivation that best describes his/her interest. The program has the capability to pre-select GIS layers based on the selected motivation.
Explore (GIS) Screen: This screen introduces the viewer to the study area and the many ecological, environmental, and social attributes related to its marine resources. There are over 80 GIS data layers, which are sorted based on motivation (preset by experts). Users have the capability to add/remove layers from the ones pre-selected by the program.
Analyze Screen: Allows the user to model marine uses and tradeoffs in the study area. Tradeoffs and scenarios to choose from include a baseline (business as usual), construction of wind farms, and development of a forage fish (sand lance) fishery. This screen shows the outputs from MIMES in the form of maps, tables, process flows and weights, and dynamical relationships.
Collaborate Screen: Enables the user to specify a specific scenario as well as to share or collaborate within a community to add to the increasing knowledge base in MIDAS.
This tool is presently under development; results will be available in late 2012.