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Lesson Navigation IconSuitability analyis

Unit Navigation IconDecision support with GIS

LO Navigation IconSuitability analysis with the help of suitability maps

LO Navigation IconSpatial Decision Support Systems (SDSS)

LO Navigation IconDecision Support with multiple criteria

LO Navigation IconDecision support for multiple objectives

LO Navigation IconDerivation of the criteria for suitability analysis

Unit Navigation IconBoolean Overlay

Unit Navigation IconWeighted overlay

Unit Navigation IconDetermining weights

Unit Navigation IconSummary

Unit Navigation IconRecommended Reading

Unit Navigation IconGlossary

Unit Navigation IconBibliography

Unit Navigation IconMetadata

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Decision support with GIS

Geographical information systems can help to aid in decision making in a variety of ways. A first approach is the creation of suitability or hazard maps. They show which locations or areas are particularly well suited for a specific purpose, or those which are specifically threatened by a hazard. Most decision support situations consider multiple decision criteria. For creation of a wolf protection zone, criteria such as vegetation form or density of prey could be considered. However, often the claims of various stakeholders should be taken into consideration before a decision is made. This may lead to conflicting objectives. For example, a mountain valley cannot be both a protected area and a ski resort.
Many aspects of termdecision support with GIS appear for the first time in this unit and are revisited and deepened in the following units.

Learning Objectives

  • You can explain the difference between decision support with multiple criteria and with multiple objectives in your own words.
  • You know the concept of suitability maps and you are able to interpret suitability maps in terms of decision support.
  • You are able to derive and to operationalize criteria from a text for a simple GIS based decision support model.
  • With the help of an example you can identify the limitations of the multi-criteria evaluation (MCE) and the decision support with multi-objective evaluation (MOE)
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