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The IMCORE project ran from 2008 to 2011 and was funded under the EU Interreg IVB programme.

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Practical tips for following the IMCORE approach to planning to adapt to coastal climate change 

Scenario Visualization: Approaches and technologies

This presentation gives an introduction to scenario visualization, drawing particular attention to the trade-off between the technical sophistication of a visualization technique and its flexibility in responding to stakeholder input.


vis approac overview pre

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TOOL REVIEW: ''This was particularly effective when presented in tandem with other global, national and regional narrative scenarios''

Stefan Gray
Scenario, visualization
Overview of scenario strengths; outline of visualization techniques; brief discussion of strengths/weaknesses of each in responding to dynamic stakeholder content.
Last update
20th October 2009
Partner's experiences in using this tool

This presentation serverd as an introduction to the various options for using visualisation tools. From the most simple and less costly to more sophisticated and expensive options.

Most partners used geographical information systems and two 3D visualization tools were tested, one in the Gulf of Morbihan and one in Cork Harbour.

Other information:
Recommended external resources:
Will Lynn's visualization work, Aberdeen ECN's GIS
Assess if this resource is right for you?
Scale independent, but limited to use by English speakers

Reviewed by: Gethin While, Cardiff University

1. Why did you use this tool and what for?

We used the visualization tool to stimulate and provoke stakeholders' consideration and debate at early and middle stages of the 10 step IMCORE scenario building process, with particular emphasis on the representation of the effects of the physical impacts of climate change on coastal social and economic systems. This was particularly effective when presented in tandem with other global, national and regional narrative scenarios detailing varieties of adaptation planning response relevant to the Severn Estuary study site.

2. What changes resulted from using this tool?

The visualization tool was useful because it highlighted a wide range of likely and complex inter-relating impacts and adaptation responses possible in various scenario contexts to stakeholders who hitherto had had very limited exposure to such sophisticated and high quality materials as well as the basic principles behind adopting visualization approaches. It involved greater imaginative and creative input from the stakeholders and also oriented them to different and more direct ways or media to describe and disseminate scenarios developed in later phases of the projects too.

3. What worked well and what would you have done differently?

The materials in the tool was especially effective when they incorporated northern hemisphere-looking or actual locales familiar to the stakeholders (the less game-like the better) and the subtleties of coastal response in familiar terrain. They did scope the applications of the approach from the more basic 2D to the more complex visualizations systematically and realistically.

A few live demonstrations of the interactive or online products referenced in the visualization guide would have been helpful and perhaps some rudimentary training for ourselves and key stakeholders in navigating and modifying them to our own scenario building process. The more hi-tech visualizations become obsolete very quickly so a few online benchmarking resources would be good so we can keep abreast of what is the latest and best.

4. Did you tailor this tool in any way to meet your specific needs?

The visualization guide was sequenced very logically from basic principles through to refined products and their relative psychological efficiency and was easy to follow and present.

5. Was it cost-effective? In terms of economic cost but also in terms of human resources and time.

Yes the tool was cost effective as an introduction to the visualization possibilities available and generated aspiration and more active visioning by the stakeholders which they could achieve appropriately within the budgets they possessed. It did also reveal the great amounts of resource and continuous refinement need to make the more advanced visualization tools succeed, which was a corrective to what the stakeholders had hitherto felt it was in their capacity to acquire or manage within their share of the project in the Severn Estuary as local authorities.

6. Tips or recommendations to practitioners considering using this tool.

This guide is a great primer to the theory and practice of visualization tools for climate change adaptation, during the various stages of scenario development and dissemination. It gives a clear overview of what is available and what can be achieved by different levels of resourcing and commitment, providing a valuable first stage orientation to what stakeholders might venture to attempt.

This learning portal brings together the results and lessons learned from the IMCORE project. This project was funded under the Interreg IVB programme from 2008 to 2011.

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