Geographic information systems are largely used in different levels of administration and planning where geo-referenced information is a crucial factor behind analysis and determination of different decision-making scenarios. The potential of these systems is increasingly being perceived as a support to facilitate public participation in planning processes.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Decision Support Systems: A specific class of information systems designed to support decision-makers at any level in an organization. More specifically, decision support systems are the set of technology-enabled systems that support organization processes, and help decision makers to compile useful information in order to identify and solve problems and make decisions.
E-Government: Refers to the use by government agencies of information technologies (such as the Internet, wireless devices or other communications systems) to support government operations, engage citizens, and provide government information and services.
Georeferenced Information: Any information about a place, an object, or process with a corresponding geographic location or area.
Public Participatory Geographic Information Systems: Systems that incorporate conventional methods of public participation with geographical information technologies (namely GIS, i.e., geographic information systems), facilitating the communication between government agencies, and social communities.
Geographic Information Systems: A specific class of information systems designed to capture, storage, model, manipulate, retrieve, analyze, and display all forms of geographically referenced data and information.
Knowledge Communities: Structures of social interactions aiming at the generation and disclosure of knowledge. More specifically, knowledge communities are groups of people who share a special interest for a given topic, and who collaborate to deepen their understanding of that topic through ongoing learning and knowledge sharing.
Virtual Communities: Social groups communicating or interacting with each other by means of information technologies, typically the Internet, rather than face to face. Virtual communities are also known as online communities or mediated communities.