How to Get Started - LandScale


How to Get Started

See detailed guidance on everything you need to know to get started

Published October 15, 2021 • Updated May 2, 2024

We’ve made it simple for you and your team to begin generating valuable landscape-level insights. Read on to learn how to get started.

Select Your LandScale Experience

When you register on the platform, you’ll select one of two ways to use LandScale. Both experiences include many of the same features and benefits, but there are important differences that will affect how you use the assessment framework and platform and what features are available to you.

The Powered by LandScale experience is for those that want to take advantage of the LandScale platform and assessment guidelines in a flexible way, tailored to their needs. This experience does not include validation, therefore, users are not able to develop a landscape profile, access LandScale’s report builder, or publish results on the platform. However, results may be downloaded in .csv format and used for internal purposes.

The Validated by LandScale experience is for those that wish to create and, optionally, publish a validated LandScale assessment. As a Validated by LandScale user you’ll have greater confidence in your results and have the opportunity to showcase your landscape initiative and assessment to a global audience on the LandScale platform with a profile and landscape report. You can publish a landscape report once one of the assessment milestones — Pillar, Holistic, or Holistic+ — is achieved and validated. This experience also allows you to tailor the assessment to your needs by adding custom indicators and metrics.

Conduct Your Assessment

There are five steps to conduct a LandScale assessment. These steps are generally sequential, but some find it useful to approach steps 2 through 4 iteratively. Instructions and in-depth guidelines are available on the platform to guide you and your team through each step.

Step 1: Preparation

Preparation starts with selecting an assessment team, including an assessment owner, an assessment lead, and assessment specialists who collectively have the subject matter expertise and skills required for conducting the assessment. To help you select or establish an assessment team, we provide a template Terms of Reference. You’ll also document your assessment objectives, make a plan to engage stakeholders throughout the assessment process, define landscape goals, and start (optionally) documenting your landscape partnership. If you selected the Validated by LandScale experience, your landscape profile will be automatically populated with information from step 1.

Step 2: Boundary Selection

In step 2, you’ll confirm your landscape boundary and provide an overview of your landscape. Your landscape should be large enough to capture linkages between different sustainability issues but small enough for results to inform interventions — typically at least 100 sq. km. An optional analysis of adjacent land uses is strongly recommended to define an appropriate boundary and identify any potential limitations of the proposed boundary.

Step 3: Indicator and Metric Selection

You’ll select indicators and metrics in step 3 using the assessment framework and for example, a stakeholder survey. You can optionally set targets and milestones for the selected metrics and create custom and alternate indicators and metrics depending on your unique needs. At the end of this step, you’ll have a list of all landscape-dependent and optional indicators to include in your assessment, documentation of the process used to determine the applicability of the indicators, and a statement explaining the rationale for including your selected landscape-dependent and optional indicators.

Step 4: Data Evaluation & Metric Assessment

In this step, you’ll select and evaluate candidate data sources for the metrics selected in step 3. The process of data procurement may be an iterative one that entails supplementing the initially identified candidate data sources with additional secondary and/or primary data to arrive at the best available set of data resources for the assessment. These data are then processed and analyzed to derive results for each metric and to identify any limitations of each such result. Next, your draft assessment results will be reviewed by the LandScale team and then by local experts to collect targeted feedback on the credibility and accuracy of source data and assessment results.

Step 5: Reporting and Publication of Results

The outputs of all of the prior steps are brought together in step 5 to create a standard report, augmented with additional data analysis, visualization, interpretation, and conclusions. Reports are written in English and prepared for publication as a PDF file. To create the report, the platform compiles inputs from steps 1-4 into a standard outline, so it is important that these prior inputs are provided with publication in mind by making sure they are written in clear and accessible English. LandScale results may be (optionally) published once validation has been completed for one or more of the assessment milestones.

Get Support Along the Way

We’re here to help you throughout your assessment journey. You can access additional help on the platform through:

    • On-demand training modules: These modules cover the entire LandScale assessment process, from an introduction and overview of the platform through the publication of the landscape report. Live, interactive training for individual teams is also available for a fee.


    • Community of Practice: This support allows you to benefit from the experience of other LandScale users. Users may pose questions to the user community and the LandScale team and review questions and answers posted previously. You can also share your knowledge and lessons learned with the community by responding to questions.


    • Technical support: If you have technical issues operating the platform, you can request support through the platform. You can also ask questions about the LandScale assessment process, methods, and requirements and receive responses directly from the LandScale team if you still have questions after accessing the above forms of support.


Ready to get started? Contact us for advice regarding the most suitable LandScale experience for your specific landscape.