Lakebed Alteration Decision Support Tool

UPDATE: 01/2012 Check out our new online tool.


The Lakebed Alteration Decision Support Tool (LADST) is a package of software and data designed to assist resource managers in making siting decisions for lakebed-altering projects in Michigan's waters of the Great Lakes. It is mainly intended to support the siting of offshore wind power generation projects, but its open-ended design allows it to be used for the siting of other types of projects also.

Funding for this project was provided, in part, by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), via Michigan's Coastal Management Program. Personnel for the project are located at the NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, and the Institute for Fisheries Research, which is a cooperative unit of the University of Michigan and Michigan's Department of Natural Resources and Environment.

Current Status

We now have two versions of the decision support tool available. For most users, we recommend that you start by looking at our online tool: click here to go to the online tool. For advanced users who have access to a copy of the commercial ArcGIS Desktop software package, there is also a downloadable version of the LADST. See the download page for more information.

As we prepare more data sets for public distribution, and obtain permission to distribute them, we will include more data sets in this downloadable package. If you have an additional data set that you would like to use in this tool, we would be happy to hear about it. However, our software also allows the user to bring in their own data sets, so you can make use of your own data sets even if we never incorporate them into our downloadable package.

In order to use the software, a copy of the ArcGIS software package (produced by Esri) is required. ArcGIS is very expensive, and we recognize that this limitation puts the current tool out of the reach of some potential users. For this reason, we have developed a second version of our decision support tool, which does not require any software other than a web browser with the Adobe Flash Plug-In.

For users interested in wind farm siting, we recommend looking at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's recent wind data for the Great Lakes. A page with some general information is here. Or, to simply download the data set, go to their download page and follow these instructions: On their download page, provide your contact information, read the disclaimer and indicate your agreement to it, and then click through the following choices to obtain the wind data: GIS Data Technology Specific -> United States -> Wind -> High Resolution -> Great Lakes 90mwindspeed offshore Wind High Resolution.