Multi-criteria analysis (MCAS-S)

Box2_SoilsatRisk.pngThe Multi-Criteria Analysis Shell for Spatial Decision Support (MCAS-S) is a tool to view and combine mapped information. MCAS-S can inform spatial decision making and help with stakeholder engagement. MCAS-S is free, powerful, and easy to use. 

MCAS-S projects are: 

  • transparent - you can see all inputs used to meet an objective and how these are combined
  • flexible - you can use MCAS-S to compare options and explore trade-offs. You can use your own data (or ours).
  • fast - immediately see changes to your objective when any input or method changes

Who can use MCAS-S?


MCAS-S is designed for decision-makers. It shows transparently how mapped information can be combined to meet an objective. MCAS-S allows stakeholders to see the effects that their decisions may have. 

MCAS-S makes it easier to analyse spatial information without Geographic Information Systems programming. 

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 Department of Primary Industries, Planning and Environment, the National Environmental Research Plan Landscapes and Policy Hub, and the Australian Collaborative Land Use and Management Program. Funding for version 3.2 was provided by New South Wales Office of Environment and Heritage. Funding for version 3.1 was provided by the National Environmental Research Plan Landscapes and Policy Hub University of Tasmania.

Last reviewed: 23 October 2020
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