Tools that show the connection between people and their environment

EcoServ GIS maps

To manage the environment as an asset, we need practical ways to turn the principles into action. These ways need to work in our profession or our employer. They need to work for the local community, our client, or the location that we care about.

Different words are used to describe these ways: guidance, methods, tools and toolkits. See our guidance page for links to resources that help us learn more generally about how to manage the environment as an asset in our work area.

Tools help us get a practical job done. We think there are basically two types:

  1. Analytical tools - things that process data and information that describe the environment as an asset and the benefits that flow from it.
  2. Method tools - things that set out the steps we need to take as we work, but don't themselves analyse data and information.

Tool Assessor

Tool Assessor is a new part of the Ecosystems Knowledge Network website that provides information about analytical tools.  

How you can use Tool Assessor:

  • read profiles of analytical tools - there are currently 12 tool profiles
  • use the search function - identify tools that meet particular needs
  • provide comments on tools if you have used them - help us grow our user community so people can learn from each other

Go to Tool Assessor.  

Examples of these tools include:

  • EcoServ-GIS, an open-source software application for mapping ecosystem services (things that the natural environment does for people) at the county and landscape scale. 
  • InVEST, a set of open-source software models used to map and value the goods and services from the natural environment.
  • The Natural Capital Planning Tool, developed for Birmingham by consultant CEEP, the UK Business Council for Sustainable Development and Birmingham City Council.

Method tools

These tools provide help and guidance on how to go about managing your local environment. Examples include: