What if? 2.0 Is:

Easy to Use

What if? 2.0 can incorporates the familiar Windows interface and provides check boxes, options buttons, and data entry boxes for selecting options and entering required data. All model outputs are provided in easy-to-understand maps and tables.


What if? 2.0 is a stand-alone system that works with all versions of ESRI’s ArcGIS, ArcView, and all GIS systems that can utilize shape files. All of the model’s maps can be viewed with any GIS system that works with shape files.


What if? 2.0 is designed to work with the data for communities of any size, anywhere in the world. It has been applied to areas as small as townships and as large as multi-county regions.

What if? 2.0 Can Be Used To:

Generate Suitability Maps

Conduct Suitability Analysis

What if? 2.0 allows users easily and quickly to generate suitability maps and tables reporting the relative suitability of different locations for accommodating future land use demands. The factors that can be considered in the analysis include natural features such as slopes, soils, and scenic vistas and proximity to man-made features such as roads or hazardous waste sites. The suitability analysis results are reported in easy-to-understand maps and tables.

Project Land Use Demand.

What if? 2.0 allows users to project the demand for residential, employment-related, preservation, and local land uses. The demand scenarios are based on user-specified assumptions concerning projected population and employment trends, future population and employment densities, and desired quantities of open space and recreational land. The demand assumptions are converted into the equivalent land use demands and can be viewed in easy-to-understand tables.

Project Future Land Use Patterns

What if? 2.0 projects future land use patterns by allocating the projected land use demands to different locations, based on their relative suitability for these uses and on public policies for guiding future growth. Public policies that can be considered in the model include the implementation of farmland or open-space protection policies, the adoption of land use plans, zoning ordinances and other growth controls, and the construction of new roads or the extension of sewer and water service.

Project Population, Housing and Employment

What if? 2.0 can be used to project the following variables for enumeration districts such as census tracts and block groups, and for user-defined areas such as political jurisdictions, schools districts, and traffic analysis zones (TAZs):

  • Residential population
  • Group quarter population
  • Number of households
  • Number of housing units
  • Employment by sector and by place of work

The projected land use, population, and employment for each sub-area and each projection year can be viewed in easy-to-understand map and reports.

Support Community Decision-making

What if’s easy-to-use interface, logical structure, and easy-to-understand maps and tables allow it to be used and readily understood by planners, stake holders, elected officials, and private citizens.