SPACEA: A Custom-Made GIS Toolbox for Basic Marine Spatial Planning Analyses

International Conference on Computational Science and Its Applications

ICCSA 2020: Computational Science and Its Applications – ICCSA 2020 pp 394-404


Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) requires the analysis of the spatial distribution of marine uses and environmental conditions. Such analyses can be carried out with GIS, but standard GIS programs do not feature a toolbox that combines the most needed functionalities for such analyses. The SPACEA toolbox presented here was created to bundle and adapt existing functionalities in one toolbox. SPACEA consists of several script tools that have been designed to be user-friendly and applicable to different analyses for MSP. This includes the processing of different input layers with regard to marine uses and environmental conditions. The main functionalities of SPACEA are exemplified in a fictional case study in the Baltic Sea, where the tools are applied to find potentially suitable areas for mussel farming. The tools feature a user-friendly interface and more experienced users may also use the provided sample codes to run it from the python window or as a stand-alone script. As such, the tools can be applied by users with different levels of GIS knowledge and experience.

Sea Basin(s): 
September 2020
Application in MSP: 
Applied in a related process
Type of Issue: 
Environment aspects
Type of practice: 
Stage of MSP cycle: 
Analyse spatial aspects

Responsible Entity:


Costs / Funding Source:

The research has been carried out within the BONUS BASMATI project, which has received funding from BONUS (Art. 185), funded jointly by the EU, Innovation Fund Denmark, Swedish Research Council Formas, Academy of Finland, Latvian Ministry of Education and Science, and Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, Germany.

Contact person:

Miriam von Thenen


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