Discovery Software, STEMgis, Temporal GIS

CoastRanger MS

Review – CoastRanger MS


Instruction/Technical Documentation

Very clear instructions given on the basic workings of the CoastRanger MS program. Details relating to the functions of the program are outlined simply offering users good information of the workings and ultimate aims of the program. The documentation provided with the document goes on to discuss the technical constraints of the program. This highlights to users the limitations and broader assumptions made intrinsically within the program.

Quick Start Tutorial

The program includes a quick start video tutorial. This tutorial was very useful and effective in outlining the basic features of the program. This short tutorial video gives all the information required for a user to run the program successfully.

Example Tutorials

As part of the documentation included with the program there are a series of four example tutorials. These tutorials recommend aims for the user to meet whilst also meeting the economic and social needs of the ‘population’ as outlined in the program. The example tutorials display the various management approaches available at the coastline, allowing users to get an overview of the effect of the management approaches on the coastal processes.

The tutorials highlight the issues relating to applying various management approaches at various locations of coastline. They also successfully display the impact of the various management approaches on different types of coastline. The program highlights the impact of applying a management approach in one location on the coastline and the effect it can have on the provision of sediment supply to other coastal locations.


Although the program proved to run successfully, there were some issues encountered –

  • Installation onto Agency computers proved to be an issue as the DirectX and TrueVision 3D drivers required administrative powers to install, therefore the program could not be run without the full installation of these program components.
  • When running, the program had some issues relating to the 3D graphics, with texture and colour of the 3D view being lost intermittently when the flood plain maps were displayed, it is not known whether this is a common problem or whether this is just an issue relating to the computer on which the program was run.


As an educational tool I believe that this program is successful in achieving its aims of explaining the various consequences that various management approaches have on coastal processes. I believe the program is suitable for use in informing the public affected by the implementation of coastal management approaches. The program is also successful in highlighting the need to balance the social needs of a population as well as the need to provide coastal management approaches.

I also feel the program will be of particular use in the academic arena. As a recently qualified Civil Engineer I believe the program would have offered great benefits during my university career, particularly due to the level of work relating to many coastal processes undertaken as part of the degree process.

John Greenway
Civil Engineer
Environment Agency, UK

In reponse to John's comments above we can confirm that these issues are result of low specification graphics cards. CoastRanger MS requires a minimum specification of:

Windows XP/2003/Vista, Pentium 450MHz, 512Mb RAM, 400Mb hard disk space, 128Mb video card with hardware support for DirectX 8.1 or above. Increased performance will be noticed on more powerful systems. To view the documents associated with CoastRanger MS you will need Adobe Acrobate Reader (Version 5 or later), PowerPoint Viewer (Version '97 or later) and Adobe Flash Player (Version 9 or later).



Kevin Morris:

Nigel Pontee:

Inovation Fund: