Internet-Based Spatial Decision Support Using Open Source Tools

Internet-Based Spatial Decision Support Using Open Source Tools

G. Brent Hall (University of Waterloo, Canada) and Michael G. Leahy (University of Waterloo, Canada)
Copyright: © 2006 |Pages: 26
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-845-1.ch013
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Abstract

In the last half decade, there has been growing interest in the concept of collaborative geographic information systems (GIS) in support of decision making, especially in the context of various domains of planning. This interest has spawned an already substantial literature in what is now becoming popularly known as public participation GIS (PPGIS) or community GIS. A central and general objective of PPGIS is to encourage the use of GIS technology by broadly based and geographically dispersed nonexpert users. In the context of planning decision support, this involves creating software with map-based functionality that is responsive to the needs of user groups that have limited experience with computers and only a rudimentary knowledge of even simple spatial analysis concepts. This functionality should be designed to enable these individuals to communicate and interact with higher level users and agencies on an equal footing so that all participants can be both better informed of each others perspectives and more involved in decision-making processes that involve land and resource use planning and management. This chapter considers the general issue of PPGIS in the context of use of the Internet and the World Wide Web as a means of achieving broad participation and collaboration in decision making among dispersed participants with a diversity of backgrounds and competencies in using spatial concepts and analyses. The chapter also considers the role that open source software tools can play in crafting accessible and highly customizable solutions using an example for assessing the quality of primary-level education in Peru.

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