Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) needs computerised tools that can aid in analysing and defining the current and future conditions in the marine environment, as well as to produce intelligible visualisations, and facilitate discussion between planners, stakeholders, and decision makers. While several decision support tools have been developed for MSP, reports of their use in MSP processes is limited. One of the central goals of the BONUS BASMATI project is to develop the Baltic Explorer, an interactive web-based Spatial Decision Support System (SDSS) for MSP in the Baltic Sea.
During the development of the Baltic Explorer, the focus will be on issues in functionality, flexibility, accessibility, transparency, and usability of SDSSs in MSP, with the aim to produce a system that will be used in real MSP processes. The key functionality of the Baltic Explorer will be tools for data explo-ration, impact assessment, as well as co-location and suitability analysis. In addition, the system will include a browser-based intuitive, easy-to-use, touch-screen interface that is specifically designed for collaborative settings, and that will facilitate discussion between different actors in MSP.
The Baltic Explorer will be tested in the three BONUS BASMATI case studies. Yet the system will re-main flexible, providing tools that can be utilized in other planning scenarios in the future. At the end of the project, the Baltic Explorer will be published as free and open source software. The development process of the Baltic Explorer will adopt agile software development practices and principles, iteratively adapting to emerging new needs of MSP and its actors during the BONUS BASMATI project.