Identifying Factors that Determine Land Use Suitability

We worked with over 75 stakeholders through a series of focus groups in central and southern Maine to identify the driving factors or criteria that most strongly influence land use decisions pertaining to economic development, ecosystem protection, forestry, and agriculture. These stakeholders used their own expertise, both for specific land uses and for specific areas in Maine, to identify these factors. We then gathered approximately 100 spatial datasets to represent the socio-economic and biophysical factors that were identified by the stakeholders. These datasets were derived from publicly available information, much of which is available through the Maine Office of GIS and Maine’s Beginning with Habitat program. Please contact us for details about specific data used in the project.

Example mind map of factors of suitability

We used “mind maps” with our stakeholders to identify suitability factors for different land uses.