Multi-criteria analysis (MCAS-S)


Box2_SoilsatRisk.pngThe Multi-Criteria Analysis Shell for Spatial Decision Support (MCAS-S) is a freely available software tool developed by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences that brings the multi-criteria analysis (MCA) process into the decision-makers' realm. It is an easy-to-use, flexible tool that promotes: 

  • insightful desktop combination and study of different types of mapped information
  • understanding of the relationships between the decision-making process and the available spatial data
  • interactive 'live-update' and mapping of alternative project scenarios

GIS (geographic information systems) programming is not required, removing the usual technical obstacles to non-GIS users.

​​Who can use MCAS-S?

Managers, policy-makers and land management researchers at the national, state and local level involved in land resource evaluation and decision-making will find MCAS-S a helpful tool, particularly those working with spatial data with limited GIS support.

MCAS-S can assist in participatory processes and workshops to explore varying approaches to spatial data management and information arrangement. Stakeholders can see the potential impacts that their decisions may make.

Get Started

  1. Download MCAS-S

  2. Learn the basics from the Quick Start Guide

  3. Start your analysis with ready to use Australian National Map Layers for MCAS - map layers include climate, soil, vegetation, and economic information

  4. Contact ABARES for information on general or customised training sessions

What has it been used for?

MCAS-S is the latest of several MCA decision aids used in the Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources​ policy environment since the early 1990s. MCAS-S has been used at the international, national, regional and catchment scale fo​r:​

ABARES would like to acknowledge the input of the MCAS-S development partnership members including Barry Consulting, New South Wales Office of Environment and Heritage, the National Environmental Research Plan Landscapes and Policy Hub, and the Australian Collaborative Land Use and Management Program. Funding for version 3.1 was provided by the National Environmental Research Plan Landscapes and Policy Hub University of Tasmania.  


Last reviewed:
13 Nov 2017