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With Esri ArcMap beginning its descent into retirement, the Digital Shoreline Analysis System (DSAS) version 6.0 was developed as a standalone application that can be used alongside any geographic information system (GIS). 

DSAS interface

DSAS v6.0 is a free, standalone application that calculates shoreline or boundary change over time. The GIS of a user’s choice is used to prepare the data for DSAS. Like previous versions, DSAS v6.0 enables users to calculate rate-of-change statistics from multiple historical shoreline positions. It provides an automated method for establishing measurement transects, performs rate calculations, and provides uncertainties associated with rates of change. 

Why the change? 

The previous versions of DSAS were add-ins to Esri ArcGIS Desktop. ArcMap will reach mature status of life cycle support and be retired in March 2026. As of March 2024, there will no longer be software updates and patches released for Esri ArcGIS Desktop. As a result, the USGS set February 1, 2024, as the USGS End of Life date for ArcMap. In response, DSAS v6.0 was developed as standalone software that can be used with any GIS. 

The DSAS development team worked rapidly to create this standalone application. The mismatch in resource availability and ArcMap end-of-life led to timeline constraints requiring streamlined development in version 6.0 streamlined to meet essential user needs, with basic but reduced functionality from version 5. In later development phases already funded, capabilities from version 5 are planned to be reinstated and further enhancements may be explored. 

DSAS v6.0 infographic

Who uses DSAS? What is it used to do? 

National and state governments, non-profits, and academics worldwide have used DSAS in support of resource management and critical coastal decision-making.  

The software is intended to facilitate the shoreline change-calculation process, as well as provide rate-of-change information and statistical data to establish the reliability of the calculated results.  

The DSAS software is also suitable for any application that calculates positional change over time, such as assessing change of glacier limits in sequential aerial photos, river edge boundaries, or land-cover changes. 


For more information and to view sample DSAS data or download version 6.0, visit the DSAS web page. 

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