Infoscience

Student project

Natural capital data visualization to promote sustainable decision making

In order to develop approaches to manage environmental assets sustainably and take nature more into account in major decisions, natural capital assessments reveal the specific benefits provided by nature. Effective communication, including clear visualization of natural capital assessments results, is crucial to influence decision-makers (make informed and sound decisions). . However, no methodology guidance document yet exists to support analysts in synthesizing their results, and tools are scattered. The present work aims to fill this gap. First, it gathers the existing knowledge on design strategies for displaying complex information through a literature review and surveying analysts in the field. Complex information refers here to the specificities of natural capital data, i.e typically multiple versions of spatial data, pertaining to several objectives and scenarios, accounting for uncertainty. Secondly, this work scopes the gaps in the field by analyzing and prioritizing the visualization needs, through a survey and interviews. These lead to the development of a toolbox to guide analysts in their task of communicating natural capital information. Furthermore, an innovative tool to display natural capital results, combining knowledge from previous points in the form of a user-friendly, ready-to-use (prototype of a) web application is suggested. In an interactive dashboard combining multiple linked views, this tool allows visualization of tradeoffs between objectives, comparison of scenarios and assessment of uncertainty.

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