GIS and Multicriteria Decision Analysis: Bibliography, 1990-2004

Jacek Malczewski

Department of Geography, University of Western Ontario

London, Ontario N6A 5C2, Canada




Aerts J. C. J. H., E. Eisinger, G. B. M. Heuvelink and T. J. Stewart (2003) Using linear integer programming for multi-site land-use allocation, Geographical Analysis, 35(2): 148-169.

Abstract Research in the area of spatial decision support (SDS) and resource allocation has recently generated increased attention for integrating optimization techniques with GIS. In this paper we address the use of spatial optimization techniques for solving multi-site land-use allocation (MLUA) problems, where MLUA refers to the optimal allocation of multiple sites of different land uses to an area. We solve an MLUA problem using four different integer programs (IP), of which three are linear integer programs. The IPs are formulated for a raster-based GIS environment and are designed to minimize development costs and to maximize compactness of the allocated land use. The preference for either minimizing costs or maximizing compactness has been made operational by including a weighting factor. The IPs are evaluated on their speed and their efficacy for handling large databases. All four IPs yielded the optimal solution within a reasonable amount of time, for an area of 8 x 8 cells. The fastest model was successfully applied to a case study involving an area of 30 x 30 cells. The case study demonstrates the practical use of linear IPs for spatial decision support issues.


Aerts J. C. J. H. and G. B. M. Heuvelink (2002) Using simulated annealing for resource allocation, International Journal of Geographical Information Science 16(6):571 - 587.

Abstract Many resource allocation issues, such as land use- or irrigation planning, require input from extensive spatial databases and involve complex decisionmaking problems. Spatial decision support systems (SDSS) are designed to make these issues more transparent and to support the design and evaluation of resource allocation alternatives. Recent developments in this field focus on the design of allocation plans that utilise mathematical optimisation techniques. These techniques, often referred to as multi-criteria decision-making (MCDM) techniques, run into numerical problems when faced with the high dimensionality encountered in spatial applications. In this paper we demonstrate how simulated annealing, a heuristic algorithm, can be used to solve high-dimensional non-linear optimisation problems for multi-site land use allocation (MLUA) problems. The optimisation model both minimises development costs and maximises spatial compactness of the land use. Compactness is achieved by adding a non-linear neighbourhood objective to the objective function. The method is successfully applied to a case study in Galicia, Spain, using an SDSS for supporting the restoration of a former mining area with new land use.


Agrell P. J., A. Stam and G. W. Fischer (2004) Interactive multiobjective agro-ecological land use planning: The Bungoma region in Kenya, European Journal of Operational Research 158(1): 194-217.

Abstract  The development of a third world country requires a conscious balance between different planning and policy issues, such as population growth rate, gross national income, self-reliance and long-term sustainable ecological development. This paper reports on a cross-disciplinary project to design a decision support system (DSS) that aims to assist government policy makers in planning the regional agricultural development of the Bungoma region in Kenya. The DSS is based on the agro-ecological zones (AEZ) model, a previously developed non-interactive optimization model that provides an agro-ecological and economic assessment of various types of land uses, including cash-crops, food production, grazing, forestation and farming. This work extends the decision analytic scope of the AEZ model to explicitly incorporate a multicriteria optimization formulation that facilitates a direct trade-off analysis between the various decision criteria within a user-interactive decision support modeling framework. The DSS uses in-depth information about the Bungoma region, extracted from a large-scale FAO database on Kenya that includes information on various climatic and soil characteristics (e.g., thermal and moisture regime, soil type, slope class) and socio-economic data (e.g., projected growth rate and product demand patterns) for 90000 agro-ecological cells. At each stage of the analysis, our system offers the decision maker several alternative planning strategies with different suggested land uses for over 100 different types of crops, fuel wood and livestock land utilization types for evaluation, allowing the decision maker to take into account trade-offs between a number of planning and policy criteria, including food output, net revenue, gross value of output, self-sufficiency, production costs, arable land use and degree of erosion. Furthermore, the DSS facilitates a direct assessment of the stability of each solution with respect to the food output and erosion in any particular cell and for any given climatic scenario. Through a Geographic Information System (GIS) interface, the AEZ system can depict proposed solutions graphically within a PC environment. A PC spreadsheet implementation of our multicriteria DSS is illustrated with real data from the Bungoma district and an expert decision maker.


Aguilar-Manjarrez J. and L.G. Ross (1995) Geographical information system (GIS) environmental models for aquaculture development in Sinaloa State, Mexico, Aquaculture International 3(2): 103-115.

Abstract This paper describes the use of a geographical information system (GIS) to construct environmental models for land-based aquaculture development in the State of Sinaloa, Mexico. Based on the source data, submodels were created focusing on three different themes: general environmental issues, water resources and water quality. Models enabled multicriteria and multiobjective decision making concerning site selection and location. In assessing site considerations these general models identified wider resource management options and solved conflicts of land allocation and land use between aquaculture and agriculture. Smaller-scale, more specific models enabled more detailed studies on environmental issues.


Ahmad I., S. Azhar and P. Lukauskis (2004) Development of a decision support system using data warehousing to assist builders/developers in site selection Automation in Construction 13(4): 525-542.
Abstract Site selection process depends on a number of spatial and business-related factors, making it a complex decision-making task. It is common for the decision makers to use their subjective judgment and gut feelings based on their experience in selecting the most appropriate site for development. The reason is that data for site selection originate from varied sources and are not organized in a format that decision makers can readily use to derive any meaningful information. One possible solution of this problem is to develop a decision support system (DSS) to help retrieve data from different databases and information sources and analyze them in order to provide useful and explicit information. Based on this concept, a DSS is presented in this paper as an aid to builders/developers in site selection for residential housing development. The prototype DSS is developed using data warehousing technology, which is a fairly recent database management technique. It is an improved approach for integrating data from multiple, often very large, distributed, heterogeneous databases and other information sources. Data warehousing is based on online analytical processing (OLAP) concept. The OLAP analyzes data using special data warehousing schemas and enables users to view data using any combination of variables. The users can also generate data trends over a period of time to make any forecasts. First reviewed in this paper are the concepts of data warehousing, OLAP and advantages of the data warehouse over traditional databases in the context of decision making. Next, a step-by-step methodology is presented to illustrate the different stages of the prototype DSS development. The DSS design is illustrated with particular emphasis on the development of data warehousing schemas and analytical processing techniques. The prototype DSS has been developed with input and refined with feedback obtained from selected local builder/developer companies. Finally, the application of the prototype DSS for selecting the most appropriate residential site for development from among a list of several available sites is presented.


Ananda J. and  G. Herath (2002) Assessment of wilderness quality using the Analytic Hierarchy Process, Tourism Economics  8(2): 189-206.
Abstract Wilderness is a unique environmental resource that provides a multitude of use and non-use benefits. The use and management of wilderness depend on the assessment of wilderness quality. Current wilderness assessment in Australia is based on two broad criteria, the remoteness and naturalness of the wilderness, determined using geographic information systems. This paper discusses a complementary assessment method using the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP). The AHP can be used to incorporate additional criteria, such as social and cultural criteria, to improve the quality of wilderness assessment. It provides a flexible and compatible method for large-scale wilderness assessments with multiple criteria. The weighting factors for the different criteria can be obtained from expert panels and focus groups.


Andrienko N. and G. Andrienko (2001) Intelligent support for geographic data analysis and decision making in the Web, Journal of Geographic Information and Decision Analysis 5(2): 115-128.

Abstract In our software system Descartes we have implemented a wide range of interactive map-based tools intended to support exploratory analysis of spatial data and decision-making in a geographic context. The tools can be accessed through the Web and, hence, could potentially serve a broad user community. However, the novelty of the tools makes them difficult to understand and use. The users need instructions that could also be provided over the Web. Preferably, the system should recommend appropriate instruments and assist in applying them according to particular user’s goals. This was the rationale for developing an intelligent guidance subsystem within Descartes. The paper describes the implementation of the guidance subsystem. A special emphasis is made put on the decision support facilities of Descartes and on how the guidance subsystem can help users in utilising them.


Andrienko N. and G. Andrienko (2003) Informed spatial decisions through coordinated views, Information Visualization 2(4): 270 - 285.

Abstract According to a commonly accepted view, the process of decision making comprises three major phases: intelligence (situation analysis and problem recognition), design (finding possible variants of problem solution), and choice (evaluation of the options and selection of the most appropriate ones). It is widely recognised that exploratory data visualisation is very helpful during the first phase of the decision-making process, while the other phases require different software tools. In particular, the choice phase is typically supported by various computational methods that find appropriate trade-offs among multiple conflicting criteria taking into account user-specified priorities. Visualisation plays a limited role: in the best case, it is used to represent the final results of the computations. We argue that conscious, well-substantiated choice requires a more extensive use of exploratory visualisation facilities, which need to be properly coordinated with the computational multicriteria decision support methods. Extremely important is a high degree of user interactivity, which allows the user to probe the robustness and quality of computationally derived solutions. We suggest several mechanisms for linking and coordinating visual exploratory tools with two types of computational methods differing in the sort of output they produce. We demonstrate the use of this dynamic link with an example of a real spatially related decision problem.


Angioni S.,  S. Cinus, F. M. Rinaldi and R. W. Calvo (2000) A decision support for interventions planning aimed at flood damages prevention, PIK Report 65(2):534-545.

Abstract This paper describes the framework of a multicriteria Decision Support System (DSS) for the planning of flood protection interventions. All the structural interventions for the prevention and mitigation of critical events on environmental heritage and the related socio-economical impacts are analyzed. This analysis produces the classification of interventions based both on an up-to-date bibliography and new legislation. Having defined the decision problem, the methodology suggests the possible alternatives and a set of criteria for the evaluation. For every established alternative, numbers (quantitative approach) or assessments (qualitative approach) are assigned to each single criterion. The multicriteria analysis is realised according to the pairwise comparison approach and allows the use of information affected by different types and degrees of uncertainty. Using the pairwise comparison technique the system generates a ranking of alternatives. The application described is based on interaction with mathematical simulation models of effects due to critical events and on thematic maps produced using a Geographical Information System (GIS) based approach (map of the potential flooded areas, map of damages, environmental map, etc.).


Antoine J., G. Fischer, and M. Makowski  (1997) Multiple criteria land use analysis Applied Mathematics and Computation 83(2-3): 195-215.
Abstract Since the early 1980s, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) have been collaborating on expanding FAO's Agro-Ecological Zones (AEZ) methodology of land resources appraisal by incorporating decision support tools for optimizing the use of land resources. Initially, these tools consisted of the application of linear optimization techniques for analyzing land-use scenarios with regard to single objective functions, such as maximizing argicultural production or minimizing the cost of production under specific physical environmental and socio-economic conditions and constraints. Often, the specification of a single objective function does not adequately reflect the preferences of decision-makers, which are of a multiobjective nature in many practical problems dealing with resources. Multicriteria optimization approaches address problem definitions and solutions in a more realistic way and have recently been applied by FAO and IIASA in a land resources appraisal study in Kenya. In this study, optimization techniques coupled with multicriteria decision analysis (MCDA) techniques, using the Aspiration-Reservation Based Decision Support (ARBDS) approach, have been used to analyze various land use scenarios, considering simultaneously several objectives such as maximizing revenues from crop and livestock production, maximizing district self-reliance in agricultural production, minimizing costs of production and environmental damages from erosion. The main users of the new tool being developed, which combines AEZ and MCDA, are expected to be natural resources analysts and managers, land-use planners, ecologists, environmentalists, economists at national and regional levels, and agricultural extensionists at the local scale.


Arampatzis G, C. T. KiranoudisP. Scaloubacas and  D. Assimacopoulos  (2004) A GIS-based decision support system for planning urban transportation policies, European Journal of Operational Research 152(2): 465-475.

Abstract A decision support system (DSS) integrated in a geographical information system (GIS) for the analysis and evaluation of different transport policies is presented. The objective of the tool is to assist transport administrators to enhance the efficiency of the transportation supply while improving environmental and energy indicators. The DDS works on three levels. The first performs the transport network analysis, the second assesses the energy consumption and pollutant emissions and the third evaluates the several policies selected. Road traffic is simulated using a deterministic, multi-modal traffic assignment model with capacity constraints. The model allows the estimation of traffic flow patterns within each link of the road network starting from the knowledge of the network characteristics and traffic demand. multi-criteria analysis, where decision is based upon judging over appropriate weighted criteria, is adopted. Models are integrated in a GIS environment, where decision is based upon judging over appropriate weighted criteria, is adopted.


Armstrong M.P., P.J. Densham, P. Lolonis and  G. Rushton (1992) Cartographic displays to support locational decision-making, Cartography and Geographic Cartography and Geographic Information Systems 19(3): 154-164.


Armstrong M. P., N. Xiao and  D. A. Bennett (2003) Using genetic algorithms to create multicriteria class intervals for choropleth maps, Annals of the Association of American Geographers 93(3): 595-623.

Abstract During the past three decades a large body of research has investigated the problem of specifying class intervals for choropleth maps. This work, however, has focused almost exclusively on placing observations in quasi-continuous data distributions into ordinal bins along the number line. All enumeration units that fall into each bin are then assigned an areal symbol that is used to create the choropleth map. The geographical characteristics of the data are only indirectly considered by such approaches to classification. In this article, we design, implement, and evaluate a new approach to classification that places class-interval selection into a multicriteria framework. In this framework, we consider not only number–line relationships, but also the area covered by each class, the fragmentation of the resulting classifications, and the degree to which they are spatially autocorrelated. This task is accomplished through the use of a genetic algorithm that creates optimal classifications with respect to multiple criteria. These results can be evaluated and a selection of one or more classifications can be made based on the goals of the cartographer. An interactive software tool to support classification decisions is also designed and described.


Ayalew L., H. Yamagishi and N. Ugawa  (2004) Landslide susceptibility mapping using GIS-based weighted linear combination, the case in Tsugawa area of Agano River, Niigata Prefecture, Japan,  Landslides 1(1): 73 – 81.

Abstract  A spatial database of 791 landslides is analyzed using GIS to map landslide susceptibility in Tsugawa area of Agano River. Data from six landslide-controlling parameters namely lithology, slope gradient, aspect, elevation, and plan and profile curvatures are coded and inserted into the GIS. Later, an index-based approach is adopted both to put the various classes of the six parameters in order of their significance to the process of landsliding and weigh the impact of one parameter against another. Applying primary and secondary-level weights, a continuous scale of numerical indices is obtained with which the study area is divided into five classes of landslide susceptibility. Slope gradient and elevation are found to be important to delineate flatlands that will in no way be subjected to slope failure. The area which is at high scale of susceptibility lies on mid-slope mountains where relatively weak rocks such as sandstone, mudstone and tuff are outcropping as one unit.


Aziz J.J., M. LingH. S. RifaiC. J. Newelland J. R. Gonzales (2003) MAROS: A decision support system for optimizing monitoring plans, Ground Water 41(3):355-368.

Abstract The Monitoring and Remediation Optimization System (MAROS), a decision-support software, was developed to assist in formulating cost-effective ground water long-term monitoring plans. MAROS optimizes an existing ground water monitoring program using both temporal and spatial data analyses to determine the general monitoring system category and the locations and frequency of sampling for future compliance monitoring at the site. The objective of the MAROS optimization is to minimize monitoring locations in the sampling network and reduce sampling frequency without significant loss of information, ensuring adequate future characterization of the contaminant plume. The interpretive trend analysis approach recommends the general monitoring system category for a site based on plume stability and site-specific hydrogeologic information. Plume stability is characterized using primary lines of evidence (i.e., Mann-Kendall analysis and linear regression analysis) based on concentration trends, and secondary lines of evidence based on modeling results and empirical data. The sampling optimization approach, consisting of a two-dimensional spatial sampling reduction method (Delaunay method) and a temporal sampling analysis method (Modified CES method), provides detailed sampling location and frequency results. The Delaunay method is designed to identify and eliminate redundant sampling locations without causing significant information loss in characterizing the plume. The Modified CES method determines the optimal sampling frequency for a sampling location based on the direction, magnitude, and uncertainty in its concentration trend. MAROS addresses a variety of ground water contaminants (fuels, solvents, and metals), allows import of various data formats, and is designed for continual modification of long-term monitoring plans as the plume or site conditions change over time. Estimating ground… Iron Mountain is located in the West Shasta Mining District in California. An investigation of the generation of acid rock drainage and metals loading to Boulder Creek at Iron Mountain was conducted. As part of that investigation, a hydrograph separation technique was used to determine the contribution of ground water to total flow in Boulder Creek.During high-flow storm events in the winter months, peak flow in Boulder Creek can exceed 22.7 m3/sec, and comprises surface runoff, interflow, and ground water discharge. A hydrograph separation technique was used to estimate ground water discharge into Boulder Creek during high-flow conditions. Total ground water discharge to the creek approaches 0.31 m3/sec during the high-flow season. The hydrograph separation technique combined with an extensive field data set provided reasonable estimates of ground water discharge. These estimates are useful for other investigations, such as determining a corresponding metals load from the metal-rich ground water found at Iron Mountain and thus contributing to remedial alternatives.


Baban S. M. J. and J. Flannagan (1998) Developing and implementing GIS-assisted constraints criteria for planning landfill sites in the UK, Planning Practice & Research 13(2): 139-151.

This article does not have an abstract


Bailey D., A. Goonetilleke, and D.Campbell (2003) A new fuzzy multicriteria evaluation method for group site selection in GIS, Journal of Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis 12(6): 337- 347.

Abstract Selecting sites for future developments at Brisbane Airport (Australia) is often a multiple criteria group site selection problem. Such problems involve a group of individuals evaluating a set of alternative sites on the basis of multiple criteria. This paper presents an application of a new fuzzy algorithm for finding and exploring potential solutions to these problems in a raster Geographical Information System (GIS) environment. Linguistic assessments from decision-makers are represented as triangular fuzzy numbers (TFN’s), which are adjusted for uncertainty in the source data and its relationship to suitability by using an approach based on type-2 fuzzy sets. The first aggregation of inputs is a compensatory one based on fuzzy multi-attribute decision-making (MADM) theory. An adjusted aggregation then factors in conflicts, risks and uncertainties to enable a variety of compensatory and non-compensatory outcomes to be generated based on decision-maker preferences. The algorithm was implemented in ArcView GIS as part of an ongoing collaborative project with Brisbane Airport. This paper outlines the fuzzy algorithm and its use in site selection for a recycling facility on the airport site. 


Baja S., D. M. Chapman, D. Dragovich (2002) Using GIS-based continuous methods for assessing agricultural land-use potential in sloping areas, Environment and Planning B 29(1): 3 – 20.

Abstract The dynamic nature of land qualities both in space and in time suggests that, whatever the stages of the development of an area, it is always crucial to assess land qualities in terms of their potential and suitability for specific kinds of land use on a sustainable basis. In this paper we demonstrate an integrated method of biophysical land-suitability assessment, which combines two basic land-evaluation principles: allowing trade-offs among evaluation criteria, and a limiting condition approach. Decision criteria consist mainly of biophysical parameters, based on internal and external groups of land properties. Internal variables include various physical and chemical characteristics of soils, whereas external variables are those of topographic attributes. A fuzzy set methodology was employed to calculate values of a membership function, MF (0 <= MF <= 1.0), of each land variable. These fuzzy membership values were then combined to produce land-suitability indices, LSIs (0 <= LSIs <= 1.0), which can be used to assess the potential of land for a nominated land-use type. The analysis procedure implements a convex combination, which permits trade-offs between criteria of the same group, and a multiplicative function, which takes no account of compensation between groups (internal and external variables). A limiting condition approach is also incorporated in this system to resolve shortcomings found when using a convex combination technique alone. The results show that LSIs are consistent with categorical classes generated from applying the well-established method based on the Food and Agriculture Organisation framework for land evaluation. However, the LSIs, as derived from a cell-by-cell operation, produce more detailed subdivisions of land in terms of their potential for a given purpose. The main advantages of using this model include: (1) it minimises subjectivity in the evaluation procedure; (2) it takes into account the combined effects of the factors considered, while preserving information on biophysical constraints for a given purpose; and (3) it is amenable to further computer-based applications, especially for use in geographical information systems.


Balling R. J., J. T. Taber, M. R. Brown, and K. Day (1999) Multiobjective urban planning using a genetic algorithm, Journal of Urban Planning and Development 125(2):86-99.

Abstract A genetic algorithm was used to search for optimal future land-use and transportation plans for a high-growth city. Millions of plans were considered. Constraints were imposed to ensure affordable housing for future residents. Objectives included the minimization of traffic congestion, the minimization of costs, and the minimization of change from the status quo. The genetic algorithm provides planners and decision makers with a set of optimal plans known as the Pareto set. The value of each plan in the Pareto set depends on the relative importance that decision makers place on the various objectives.


Banai, R. (1993)  Fuzziness in geographical information systems: Contribution from the analytic hierarchy process, International Journal of Geographical Information Science  7 (4): 315-329.

Abstract Recent developments in geographical information systems have drawn upon concepts of fuzzy set theory and multi-criteria methodology. In this paper we argue that there is a method, Saaty's Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP), that is compatible with both these research directions. The contributions of the AHP are highlighted in the light of recent developments in GIS, with particular attention to the concept of fuzzy set theory. An example of a GIS application is provided to show how the AHP can deal operationally with fuzziness, factor diversity and complexity in problems of land evaluation involving the location of a public facility.


Banai, R. (1998) Transit-oriented development suitability analysis by the analytic hierarchy process and a geographic information system: a prototype procedure, Journal of Public Transportation, 2(1): 143-65.


Banai, R. (2000) Transit station area land use/site assessment with multiple criteria: an integrated GIS-expert system prototype, Journal of Public Transportation, 3(1):95-110.


Bantayan, N.C and I. D. Bishop (1998) Linking objective and subjective modelling for landuse decision-making, Landscape and Urban Planning 43(1-3): 35-48.

Abstract This paper describes a landuse modelling approach developed for the Makiling Forest Reserve in the Philippines. The process includes application of the analytical hierarchy process (AHP) but extends this approach to include objective process based modelling - in the form of the universal soil loss equation (USLE) - in the subjectively oriented framework of AHP. A geographic information system was used for data assembly and to define decision zones and a PC based interface developed to accommodate interactive application of the AHP and USLE models. Having successfully combined the objective and subjective elements for evaluation of landuse alternatives, the paper explores the options for landuse allocation based on the suitability assessments of a participating decision group.


Barredo J. I., A. Benavides, J. Hervás and C. J. van Westen (2000) Comparing heuristic landslide hazard assessment techniques using GIS in the Tirajana basin, Gran Canaria Island, Spain, International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation  2(1): 9-2.  
Abstract As part of the EU Environment and Climate Programme's RUNOUT project dealing with the modelling of large-volume landslides, a GIS database was compiled and used to generate mass movement hazard maps at a medium scale (1:25,000) in a high-relief area in central Gran Canaria Island, Spain. The Barranco de Tirajana study area is a 49 km2 large depression that is semi-oval in plan, 11 km long and 6.5 km wide. Its base presents a very irregular topography and it is almost completely enclosed by large rock scarps, up to 350 m high, with total altitude differences reaching 1600 m from the lowest part of the Barranco de Tirajana river to the upper scarps. The Barranco de Tirajana depression is composed of a series of large landslide masses, derived from gravitational sliding of lava flow and volcanic breccia sequences. The landslides are believed to have originated during intensive erosive periods during the Quaternary, as a consequence of the rapid deepening of the central ravine. These primary large landslide bodies have undergone a number of reactivation episodes, from the Middle Pleistocene to the present, as well as retrogressive enlargement of the depression. Currently the most active processes are rockfalls, and reactivation of the landslide toe areas, due to further undercutting by the streams. In order to evaluate the present mass movement hazard, a GIS-based study was carried out using two different types of knowledge-driven approaches: a direct method and an indirect method. In the direct method very detailed geomorphological mapping was carried out, using uniquely coded polygons, which were evaluated one-by-one by an expert to assess the type and degree of hazard. The indirect method followed an indexing approach. Parameters including slope angle, landslide activity, landslide phases, material, proximity to drainage channels and reservoirs, and land use change were combined using multi-criteria evaluation techniques.


Basnet B. B., A. A. Apan and S. R. Raine  (2001) Selecting suitable sites for animal waste application using a raster GIS, Environmental Management 28(4): 519–531.

Abstract Rapid growth of intensive animal industries in southeast Queensland, Australia, has led to large volumes of animal waste production, which posses serious environmental problems in the Murray Darling Basin (MDB). This study presents a method of selecting sites for the safe application of animal waste as fertiliser to agricultural land. A site suitability map for the Westbrook subcatchment within the MDB was created using a geographic information system (GIS)-based weighted linear combination (WLC) model. The factors affecting the suitability of a site for animal waste application were selected, and digital data sets derived from up to 1:50,000 scale maps were acquired. After initial preprocessing, digital data sets were clipped to the size of the delineated subcatchment boundary producing input factors. These input factors were weighted using the analytical hierarchy process (AHP) that employed an objectives-oriented comparison (OOC) technique to formulate the pairwise comparison matrix. The OOC technique, which is capable of deriving factor weight independently, formulated the weight derivation process by making it more logical and systematic. The factor attributes were classified into multiple classes and weighted using the AHP. The effects of the number of input factors and factor weighting on the areal extent and the degree of site suitability were examined. Due to the presence of large nonagricultural and residential areas in the subcatchment, only 16% of the area was found suitable for animal waste application. The areal extent resulting from this site suitability assessment was found to be dependent on the areal constraints imposed on each input factor, while the degree of suitability was principally a function of the weight distribution between the factors.


Basnet B. B., A. A. Apan and S. R. Raine (2002) Geographic information system based manure application plan,  Journal of Environmental Management, 64(2):  99-113.

Abstract A geographic information system (GIS) based manure application plan has been developed for the site-specific application of animal waste to agricultural fields in the Westbrook sub-catchment of the Murray-Darling Basin, south-east Queensland, Australia. Sites suitable for animal waste application were identified using a GIS based weighted linear combination (WLC) model. The degree of land suitability for animal waste application was determined using a range of social, economic, environmental, and agricultural factors. As eutrophication and toxic blue-green algae blooms are a known problem in the catchment, the manure application rates were limited to the rate of crop phosphorus removal. Maximum manure application rate was calculated spatially by taking the crop nutrient (P2O5) and the manure nutrient (P2O5) content into account. The environmental suitability of the fields receiving animal waste was considered in prescribing the final application rate of solid and liquid manures generated by local animal production facilities. The degree of site suitability of the agricultural fields was also used to suggest manure management practices to minimise the socio-environmental risks and increase the nutrient use efficiency of the applied manure. The amount of ammonium nitrogen (NH4-N) that would be added to the soil by satisfying the P2O5 requirement using manure sources was also calculated and an applied NH4-N map was created. This map could be used to assist farmers identify additional nitrogen requirements after manure application.


Bayliss J., A. Helyar, J. T. Lee and S. Thompson (2003) A multi-criteria targeting approach to neutral grassland conservation, Journal of Environmental Management, 67(2): 145-160.

Abstract Resources for creating and managing rare habitats are limited, and a targeting approach aimed at identifying the most viable sites for habitat conservation is therefore desirable. This study developed a multi-criteria targeting approach to site conservation for two rare grassland types, based on a suite of biotic and abiotic factors managed within a Geographical Information System. A number of biotic and abiotic criteria were assessed to evaluate the biodiversity status of grassland sites. Biotic factors included species diversity, species richness and species rarity; and abiotic factors included patch area, position in the ecological unit and the influence of surrounding land use. Each criterion was given equal weighting and a final biodiversity value for each patch was calculated; the patch with the highest cumulative rank score was deemed the patch with the greatest biodiversity. Each site was then examined in relation to agricultural land under the existing management prescriptions of the Upper Thames Tributaries Environmentally Sensitive Area (UTTESA). Sites identified with high biodiversity potential, but currently not included under management prescriptions, were targeted for future inclusion in the ESA scheme. The targeting approach demonstrated how the national Lowland Meadows habitat action plan creation target of 500 ha could be achieved in the UTTESA. The fact that this target figure was so easily attained within this study area highlighted the possible underestimation of national habitat creation targets.


Beedasy J. and D. Whyatt (1999) Diverting the tourists: A spatial decision-support system for tourism planning on a developing island Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation 3-4, 163-174.

Abstract Mauritius is a small island (1865 km2) in the Indian Ocean. Tourism is the third largest economic sector of the country, after manufacturing and agriculture. A limitation of space and the island's vulnerable ecosystem warrants a rational approach to tourism development. The main problems so far have been to manipulate and integrate all the factors affecting tourism planning and to match spatial data with their relevant attributes. A Spatial Decision Support System (SDSS) for sustainable tourism planning is therefore proposed. The proposed SDSS design would include a GIS as its core component. A first GIS model has already been constructed with available data. Supporting decision-making in a spatial context is implicit in the use of GIS. However the analytical capability of the GIS has to be enhanced to solve semi-structured problems, where subjective judgements come into play. The second part of the paper deals with the choice, implementation and customisation of a relevant model to develop a specialised SDSS. Different types of models and techniques are discussed, in particular a comparison of compensatory and non-compensatory approaches to multicriteria evaluation (MCE). It is concluded that compensatory multicriteria evaluation techniques increase the scope of the present GIS model as a decision-support tool. This approach gives the user or decision-maker the flexibility to change the importance of each criterion depending on relevant objectives.


Bender A., A. Din, P. Favarger, M. Hoesli and J. Laakso (1997) An analysis of perceptions concerning the environmental quality of housing in Geneva, Urban Studies 34(3): 503-513.

Abstract The aim of this paper is to gain a better understanding of the characteristics related to the environment of single-family houses in the greater Geneva area. An Analytical Hierarch y Process (AHP) methodology is applied to the data collected by means of a questionnaire which was sent to 850 owners of houses in Geneva. The pairwise comparisons are done with eight criteria . For the 28 comparisons, the standard levels of preferences are used, but with a multiplicative scale rather than the standard linear scale. The results show that distance to a green area and quietness of the area are the two most important factors. Another finding is that the proximity of shopping centres and schools is not as important as in other countries.


Bender A. R., A. Din, M. Hoesli and S. Brocher (2000) Environmental preferences of homeowners: further evidence using the AHP method, Journal of Property Investment and Finance 18(4):. 445–455.

Abstract A comparative study of perceptions concerning the environmental quality of residential real estate in Switzerland based on empirical data collected in three different linguistic regions is presented. Responses by homeowners in the Geneva, Zurich and Lugano areas to questionnaires involving pairwise preference criteria are analysed in the framework of the analytic hierarchy process (AHP). Eight different environmental quality criteria are used and responses are categorised in terms of indicators concerning the personal situation of the homeowner. The results show that environmental preference levels across the three cities are in the 7-18 per cent range. It appears that perceptions are similar for four of the eight criteria, whereas notable differences exist for the other criteria. Some possible interpretations of these results are given. Finally, possible extensions to this study are discussed, in particular how the approach could be integrated in a more detailed spatial analysis of socio-economic data in the framework of geographic information systems.


Bennett D. A., G. A. Wade, and M. P. Armstrong (1999) Exploring the solution space of semi-structured geographical problems using genetic algorithms, Transactions in GIS 3(1): 51 - 71.

Abstract Semi-structured geographical problems are often addressed by groups of decision-makers. Each group member is likely to have a specific set of objectives that they wish to address and a unique perspective on the way in which the problem should be solved. The solution to such problems often requires consensus building and compromise among decision-makers as they attempt to optimize their own criteria. The set of criteria adopted by a particular decision-maker constrains the set of solutions he/she will deem acceptable. Compromise among multiple decision-makers can occur at the intersection of these constrained solution sets. Knowledge about the criteria space, the solution space, and the relation between the two is often incomplete for semi-structured problems. New tools are needed to explore, analyze, and visualize the solution space of a problem with respect to multiple analytical models and criteria. In this research we explore the utility of genetic algorithms as an effective means to: (1) search the solution space of geographical problems; (2) visualize the spatial ramifications of alternative criteria spaces; and (3) identify compromise solutions.


Bennett D. A., N. Xiao and M. P. Armstrong (2004) Exploring the geographic consequences of public policies using evolutionary algorithms, Annals of the Association of American Geographers 94(4): 827-847.

Abstract Public policies with geographical consequences are often difficult to analyze because they affect multiple stakeholders with competing objectives. While such problems fall conceptually into the domain of multiobjective evaluation, associated analytical techniques often search for a single optimum solution. Within the context of geographical problems, optimality often means different things to different stakeholders and, thus, an optimum optimorum may not exist. In this article, we present a new technique based on an evolutionary algorithm (EA) that produces a large number of optimal and near-optimal solutions to a large class of land management problems. As implemented for this article, solutions represent landscape patterns that produce services that meet stakeholder needs to varying degrees. The construction of curves that illustrate the trade-offs among various services given limited resources is central to this approach. Decision makers can use these curves to help find solutions that strike a balance among conflicting objectives and, thus, meet stakeholder needs. To provide context to this work we consider the impact of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Conservation Reserve Program on rural landscapes. Three objectives are assumed: (1) maximize farm income, (2) maximize environmental quality, (3) minimize public investment in conservation programs; the first two are viewed as services desired by stakeholders. Analytical and visualization tools are developed to reduce the burden associated with exploring the large number of solutions that are produced by this technique. The results illustrate that the EA-based approach can produce results equal to and significantly more diverse than conventional integer programming techniques.


Berry P. and A. Pistocchi (2003) A multicriterial geographical approach for the environmental impact assessment of open-pit quarries, International Journal of Surface Mining, Reclamation and Environment 17(4): 213-226.

Abstract The paper shows an application of distribute modeling techniques using a GIS package, together with multicriteria analysis (MCA) for decision support, in the environmental impact assessment of a surface quarry in Tuscany. A comparison is made with more traditional techniques widely in use, such as matricial lumped judgements, thus highlighting the advantages of coupling a geographical approach with MCA in order to minimize the bias due to subjective evaluation.


Bettinger P.,  J. Sessions and K. Boston (1997) Using tabu search to schedule timber harvests subject to spatial wildlife goals for big game, Ecological Modelling 94: 111 – 123.

Abstract An algorithm was developed that uses Tabu search to schedule timber harvests subject to even-flow of timber volume harvested, adjacency constraints, and spatial wildlife habitat quality goals. A subroutine within the algorithm senses the size of contiguous cover blocks in order to evaluate the wildlife habitat quality goals. The wildlife habitat quality goals consist of (1) maintaining at least 80% of the forage area within 200 m of a hiding or thermal patch at least 3 ha in size, and (2) maintaining 80% of the forage area within 300 m of a hiding or thermal patch at least 17 ha in size. To illustrate the procedure, feasible harvest plans for a three-period planning horizon were developed. Two scenarios were examined: (1) units 0–39 years old were considered forage, and there was no minimum harvest age for timbered units, and (2) units 0–9 years old were considered forage with a minimum harvest age of 50 years for timbered units. The second wildlife habitat quality goal was found to be the most limiting in both scenarios, while the first wildlife goal was at a minimum for only one of the three periods in the case study. The results of the first scenario showed that the second wildlife goal was at the minimum level for all three periods when the algorithm has reached a steady-state area of locating solutions. The second scenario resulted in a much more spatially and temporally constrained set of results, where all solutions met the wildlife goals, yet a steady state was not reached and harvest levels eventually deviated widely from an even-flow perspective. We demonstrate that an algorithm can be developed to simultaneously evaluate these types of spatial wildlife goals which do not have a predictable response to decision choices.


Biermann S. M.  (1997) The strategic identification of suitable land for low income residential development,  South African Geographical Journal 79(3): 188-194.

Abstract The rapid urbanisation of South African cities and initiatives to restructure these cities present tremendous challenges to those reponsible for managing urban growth. The challenge to accommodate this fast expanding population on well located land, with access to urban opportunities is considerable. The strategic identification and assessment of suitable land for low income residential development is a priority in addressing the housing needs of the low income urban population. Moreover, this assesment cannot be a protracted procedure with the threat of land invasion being a practical reality and the urgent need to deliver land, being a political reality. Decision makers are required to identify and release land on a large scale, in a short time period, with limited resources. Data are either not available to inform the decision, or, as is the situation in the current case study, are available but from different sources, in different formats, at different levels of detail and accuracy and need to be interpreted and applied. The aim of this paper is to describe a methodology for assessing the suitability of land for low income housing using existing available data, but integrating the data in such a manner as to provide useful decision making information for urban managers. Geographic Information System (GIS) technology together with Multicriteria Evaluation is used to integrate a wide range of multi-discplinary data. Land suitability is defined by a set of subjectively determined suitability criteria derived from current policy direction, in consulation with relevant stakeholders. Criteria are quantified, the scores standardised to a comparable basis and relatively weighted.


Biermann S. and M. Landré (2002) The utilisation of engineering services bulk infrastructure components in integrated development planning, Development Southern Africa 19(2): 329 – 355.

Abstract In practice, infrastructure planning has generally tended to follow land-use planning, with infrastructure costs seeming to play no role in the generation of land-use strategies. To address this problem, a bulk infrastructure cost model has been developed to provide a tool for planners to ensure the incorporation of bulk infrastructure capacity and cost considerations into the early, land suitability assessment phase of the integrated development planning process. The output of the model is in the form of potential cost contours, which facilitates the relative comparison of infrastructure costs for different density scenarios. Bulk engineering services infrastructure relating to water, sanitation and electricity has been included in the model. The theoretical underpinning of the model is threshold analysis, and the three essential elements are threshold, density and cost. They are incorporated into the model through capacity analysis. The set density levels convert into the number of additional person units required which, in turn, is translated into infrastructure capacity demand. Existing infrastructure network and facility design capacities are compared with the current utilisation of infrastructure in order to quantify the capacity supply situation. The comparison of capacity demand with capacity supply determines whether or not additional infrastructure is required. If infrastructure is required, the required infrastructure investment is calculated. The resulting relative costs are mapped and incorporated into a wider land suitability assessment model. Infrastructure costs vary with location according to local land use, geotechnical, environmental and built conditions, making the role of the geographic information system in the model appropriate and important.


Bojórquez-Tapia L. A., L. P. Brower, G. Castilleja, S. Sánchez-Colón, M. Hernández, W. Calvert, S. Díaz, P. Gómez-Priego, G.  Alcantar, E. D. Melgarejo, M. J. Solares, L. Gutiérrez and M. D. Juárez (2003) Mapping expert knowledge: Redesigning the monarch butterfly biosphere reserve, Conservation Biology 17(2): 367 -379.

Abstract Expert consultation has been used to fill the information gaps that hamper conservation planning and nature reserve design. The use of expert knowledge in conservation planning is difficult, however, because it is subjective, biased, and value-laden. Decision theory provides a systematic and comprehensive means for addressing experts' subjective-and sometimes contradictory-judgments in the design of nature reserves. Thus, the experts can separate the objective criteria from the subjective components of decision making that place value on those criteria. When linked to a geographic information system ( GIS), these techniques foster consensus among experts by allowing the exploration of alternative designs in an iterative way. We used such a decision-analysis approach to redesign the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve ( MBBR ) in central Mexico. We examined three reserve scenarios to identify the optimal overwintering habitats considering (1) an area equivalent to the previously defined boundaries of the core zone of the MBBR ( 4500 ha ); (2) an area equivalent to the previously defined boundaries of the whole MBBR ( 16,000 ha ); and (3) the maximum possible extent for a new core zone. This last scenario produced an area of 21,727 ha. These results were transferred to the GIS to create the respective nominal maps that were presented to the environmental authorities, who selected the third scenario for the core zone of the new MBBR. Our results allowed us to locate the prime overwintering habitats precisely and to delimit a core area for the reserve that would minimize the inclusion of forest stands valuable to local loggers.


Bojorquez-Tapia, L.A., H. de la Cueva, S. Diaz, D. Melgarejo, G. Alcantar, M.  Jose Solares, G.  Grobet, and G.  Cruz-Bello (2004) Environmental conflicts and nature reserves: redesigning Sierra San Pedro Martir National Park, Mexico, Conservation Biological 117(2): 111–126.

Abstract Nature reserves can be considered a land-use category that competes with other land-uses for territory. Therefore, one fundamental goal in conservation planning is to arrive at nature reserve designs that protect the most valuable lands for conservation, and avoid the inclusion of tracts of land valuable for other stakeholders. However, the complexity of conservation issues, the urgency for protecting critical biodiversity components and the lack of data have forced planners to rely on expert knowledge and public participation for designing nature reserves. Handling expert and public knowledge is challenging because it can be subjective, biased, value laden, context specific, and ambiguous. Here, we present a land suitability assessment (LSA) approach for designing the Sierra San Pedro Mártir National Park, Baja California, Mexico. The LSA allowed us the optimal configuration SSPM in terms of delimitation (inclusion of the most valuable biological resources) and zoning (segregation of incompatible land-uses).


Bojorquez-Tapia L. A., S. Diaz-Mondragon and E. Ezcurra (2001) GIS-based approach for participatory decision making and land suitability assessment, International Journal of Geographical Information Science 15(2): 129-151.

Abstract  The objective of this paper is to present a GIS-based multivariate application for land suitability assessment with a public participation base. The approach takes into account the issues and concerns of the stakeholders, and employs a multivariate statistical procedure for classifying land units into land suitability groups, according to sectoral interests. Sets of spatial algorithms are incorporated into a GIS database to identify such groups. A participatory planning workshop was carried out to define the set of environmental attributes that determine the land-use pattern, in conformity with the interests, objectives, and values of the stakeholders. The approach allows experts to interpret the information generated by the stakeholders under methodologically rigorous conditions, with a minimum of spatial data, and with relatively low cognitive processing level demanded to the representatives of socioeconomic sectors, interest groups, and authorities.


Bojorquez-Tapia L.A., L. Juarez and G. Cruz-Bello (2002) Integrating fuzzy logic, optimization, and GIS for ecological impact assessments, Environmental Management 30 (3): 418-433.

Abstract Appraisal of ecological impacts has been problematic because of the behavior of ecological system and the responses of these systems to human intervention are far from fully understood. While it has been relatively easy to itemize the potential ecological impacts, it has been difficult to arrive at accurate predictions of how these impacts affect populations, communities, or ecosystems. Furthermore, the spatial heterogeneity of ecological systems has been overlooked because its examination is practically impossible through matrix techniques, the most commonly used impact assessment approach. Besides, the public has become increasingly aware of the importance of the EIA in decision-making and thus the interpretation of impact significance is complicated further by the different value judgments of stakeholders. Moreover, impact assessments are carried out with a minimum of data, high uncertainty, and poor conceptual understanding. Hence, the evaluation of ecological impacts entails the integration of subjective and often conflicting judgments from a variety of experts and stakeholders. The purpose of this paper is to present an environmental impact assessment approach based on the integration fuzzy logic, geographical information systems and optimization techniques. This approach enables environmental analysts to deal with the intrinsic imprecision and ambiguity associated with the judgments of experts and stakeholders, the description of ecological systems, and the prediction of ecological impacts. The application of this approach is illustrated through an example, which shows how consensus about impact mitigation can be attained within a conflict resolution framework.


Bong C. W.  and Y. C. Wang (2004) A multiobjective hybrid metaheuristic approach for GIS-based spatial zoning model, Journal of Mathematical Modelling and Algorithms 3: 245–261.

Abstract This paper presents a multiobjective hybrid metaheuristic approach for an intelligent spatial zoning model in order to draw territory line for geographical or spatial zone for the purpose of space control. The model employs a Geographic Information System (GIS) and uses multiobjective combinatorial optimization techniques as its components. The proposed hybrid metaheuristic consists of the symbiosis between tabu search and scatter search method and it is used heuristically to generate non-dominated alternatives. The approach works with a set of current solution, which through manipulation of weights are optimized towards the non-dominated frontier while at the same time, seek to disperse over the frontier by a strategic oscillation concept. The general procedure and its algorithms are given as well as its implementation in the GIS environment. The computation has resulted in tremendous improvements in spatial zoning.


Bowerman R., B. Hall and P. Calamai (1995) A multi-objective optimization approach to urban school bus routing: Formulation and solution method, Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice 29(2): 107-123.

Abstract This article introduces a multi-objective approach to modeling the urban school bus routing problem and describes an algorithm for generating a solution to this problem. Because school bus transportation services are provided through the public sector, the service must be evaluated by both efficiency and equity measures. The proposed technique first groups students into clusters using a multi-objective districting algorithm and then generates a school bus route and the bus stops for each cluster using a combination of a set covering algorithm and a traveling salesman problem algorithm. Numerical results are reported using test data from Wellington County, Ontario.


Boyland M., J. Nelson, and F. L. Bunnell (2004) Creating land allocation zones for forest management: a simulated annealing approach, Canadian Journal of Forest Research 34(8): 1669-1682.

Abstract This paper describes the Zone Allocation Model (ZAM) that uses the simulated annealing algorithm to create forest management zones. ZAM partitions the landscape into the Timber, Habitat, and Old Growth zones by allocating small land tiles into contiguous areas. The zone allocation process is guided by landscape-level targets and size and shape objectives. An ecological representation objective proportionally distributes all ecosystem types into each of the three zones. Priority objectives control allocation of identified lands that are targeted for specific zones. All objectives are combined within an objective function, with a penalty-weighting system specifying relative importance of each objective. The ZAM model found 1.7%–4.4% of theoretical optimum scores from small to large problems, respectively. A demonstration on a 1.2 ×106–ha landscape from coastal British Columbia illustrates the iterative exploration of compromises between objectives that leads to informed zone allocation decisions.


Brakewood, L. H. and   D. Grasso (2000) Floating spatial domain averaging in surface soil remediation, Environmental Science and Technology 34 (18): 3837-3842.

Abstract Cleanup plans for contaminated surface soil are frequently developed with the goal of ensuring that regulatory criteria for risk exposure are met after remediation. Currently, some of the plans for Superfund sites are based on the premise that a concentration equal to the average goal or based on a confidence level expression of the concentration measurements is not to he exceeded (NTE). However, in cases of widespread low-level contamination, the NTE constraint may result in lowering risk well below the regulatory criteria and substantially increasing remediation costs. Alternative methods based on spatial averaging are developed and explored in this paper. Floating spatial domain averaging (FSDA) is a multi-criteria decisionmaking tool in which concentrations or risk factors are averaged over domains that represent exposure areas. The domains are variable in space. The averaging domain floats over the surface in increments representative of the sample or cells spatially interpolated raster units. This allows for the incorporation of domain-wide topological information into the averaging operation around each cell. Floating domain averaging can be done manually or with the aid of geographical information systems (GIS). Additional marginal cost or cleanup objectives can be incorporated into the model and linear programming solutions used as a multi-objective decision-making tool.


Brody S. D.,  W. Highfield, S. Arlikatti, D. H. Bierling, R. M. Ismailova, L. Lee and R. Butzler (2004) Conflict on the coast: Using geographic information systems to map potential environmental disputes in Matagorda Bay, Texas, Environmental Management  34(1): 11 – 25.

Abstract  The sustainable management of coastal natural resources inevitably involves identifying stakeholder conflicts and developing planning processes that prevent these conflicts from becoming intractable disputes. This study links environmental conflict to specific areas within a large ecological system. Specifically, we use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to map potentially competing stakeholder values associated with establishing protected areas in Matagorda Bay, Texas. By overlaying multiple values associated with a range of stakeholders across space, we are able to identify hotspots of potential conflict as well as areas of opportunity for maximizing joint gains. Mapping stakeholder conflict is an approach to proactively locate potential controversy in response to a specific environmental management proposal and guide decision makers in crafting planning processes that mitigate the possibility of intractable disputes and facilitate the implementation of sustainable coastal policies. Results indicate that under different management scenarios, protected area proposals will generate more conflict in specific areas. Most notably, regulated uses would produce the greatest degree of conflict on or near shore, particularly at the mouth of the Colorado River. Additionally, of all the management scenarios evaluated, the prohibition of coastal structural development would generate the overall highest level of conflict within the Bay. Based on the results, we discuss the policy implications for environmental managers and provide guidance for future research on location-based conflict management within the coastal margin.


Brookes, C. J. (1997) A parameterized region-growing programme for site allocation on raster suitability maps, International Journal of  Geographical Information Systems 11(4): 375 - 396.

Abstract In assigning suitability scores to individual cells suitability maps do not solve the question of optimally locating regions of a particular size, shape and orientation. This paper describes a parameterized region-growing (PRG) programme for locating sites with particular spatial characteristics on raster suitability maps. PRG is an heuristic which trades off underlying cell suitability and region suitability to locate near optimal regions. The size, boundary configuration, elongation and orientation of an ideal shape are specified by a set of parameters which control a shape growing programme. Two simulations show how parameterized region-growing can locate wildlife reserves with different spatial characteristics.


Brookes, C. J. (1998) A genetic algorithm for locating optimal sites on raster suitability maps, Transactions in GIS 2: 201–212.


Brookes, C. J. (2001) A genetic algorithm for designing optimal patch configurations in GIS, International Journal of  Geographical Information Systems 15(6): 539-559.

Abstract Optimal patch design is a generic problem in which the objective is to find the best configuration of patches subject to multiple criteria. It is a hard problem in spatial geometry relevant to numerous applications in spatial planning and analysis. GIS packages do not have optimal patch design functions and there has been very little research in this area. This paper describes a computer system for solving optimal patch design problems in raster GIS. The method uses a genetic algorithm search heuristic combined with a region-growing programme that generates alternative patch configurations. The version described here solves multiple patch problems and was developed from an earlier version for designing single patches. In tests on a hypothetical planning problem the multi-patch version was found to be more efficient, but less effective, than the single patch version. The last part of the paper discusses outstanding issues regarding the applicability usability and external validity of the system and suggests ideas for further research.


Burnside N. G. , R. F. Smith and S. Waite (2002) Habitat suitability modelling for calcareous grassland restoration on the South Downs, United Kingdom, Journal of Environmental Management 65(2): 209- 221

Abstract The South Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, UK, is an internationally and nationally important landscape, which contains a significant proportion (28%) of the southeast of England's calcareous grassland resource. The traditional calcareous grassland habitats characteristic of the downland landscape have suffered significant losses since the Second World War, and the remaining sites are small, fragmented and confined to the more marginal areas, often steeper slopes. The re-creation and restoration of these species rich grasslands has become a central aim of national and regional conservation organisations, however, the methods and mechanism by which restoration sites could be identified has not been clarified. The purpose of this work was to study the landscape characteristics of the calcareous grassland systems, and by use of GIS -based modelling approaches identify those sites on the downland most suited to the re-establishment and expansion of calcareous grasslands. Using a weighted scoring approach, a GIS -based Habitat Suitability Model is developed for use as a tool to support strategic landscape evaluation and to provide a method of identifying sites for targeted restoration. The approach models the relationship between specific grassland communities and topographic variables, and is applied to the South Downs landscape in order to predict the nature of grassland communities likely to result from restoration efforts at specific sites.


Burton, C. L. and M. S. Rosenbaum (2003) Decision support to assist environmental sedimentology modelling Environmental Geology 43 (4): 457-465.

Abstract Attention is drawn to the importance of spatial aspects when adopting a modelling approach to predict the likely character of sediment. This requires an understanding of the processes controlling transport, deposition and remobilization, singly and in combination. The advantages of incorporating expert systems are examined alongside recently developed GIS techniques utilising multiple criteria and fuzzy sets.


Burton C., M. Rosenbaum, R. Stevens (2002) Sedimentological considerations for predictive modelling, Bulletin of Engineering Geology and the Environment, 61(2): 129 – 136.
Abstract Predicting the trends in siltation within an estuary from the record of siltation is of relevance to harbour management. Sampling and profiling within Göteborg Harbour has revealed a highly dynamic environment; the estuary is a zone not only of accumulation but also of cleansing and release. An evaluation of GIS modelling approaches to prediction is presented, incorporating multiple criteria applied to spatial prediction; zinc concentration within the near-surface sediment profile is used for illustrative purposes.


Buzolic J., N. Mladineo and S.  Knezic (2002) Decision support system for disaster communications in Dalmatia, International Journal of Emergency Management  1(2): 191-201.
Abstract Taking into account that Dalmatia (Croatian region), due to its natural characteristics, is exposed to the dangers caused by natural or other catastrophes, within the DPPI (Disaster Preparation and Prevention Initiative) a project for telecommunications and information support during emergency situations is conceptualised. Within the project a decision support system (DSS) is developed. The objective of the DSS is to support decision processes in the phases of preparation, prevention and planning of a protection system from natural and other catastrophes, as well as in phases throughout interventions during an emergency situation in the telecommunications segment. The basic module of such a conceptualised DSS is the GIS (Geographical Information System) of the area covered by the project with all necessary data about the region. Using a combination of GIS and multicriteria methods, according to dominant natural catastrophes such as earthquakes, floods, weather, wildfires and others, data about the vulnerability of the telecommunications system are generated. Other modules of the DSS contains alternative plans of the telecommunications system functioning during natural catastrophes, based on system vulnerability, such as: automatic use of optic fibre rings and SDH equipment, as well as physical intervention in the system on planned positions (positioning of mobile GSM and other stations, and other alternative solutions through a fixed telecommunications network) and logistic operations such as giving priority to certain users, changing area code numbers, establishment of alternative routes, etc



Can A. (1992) Residential quality assessment: alternative approaches using GIS, The Annals of Regional Science 23(1): 97-110.

Abstract This paper focuses on the construction of residential quality scores as a preliminary step towards defining neighborhoods in urban areas. Two issues have been addressed: (1) the effect of spatial scale in the delineation of boundaries, and (2) variations in the assessment of residential quality when alternative methods are used. The spatial analysis undertaken in this research is integrated into a vector-based GIS environment to facilitate information exchange as well as the generation of topological information. The City of Syracuse (NY) is selected as the study area.


Carlsson M. (1999) A method for integrated planning of timber production and biodiversity: a case study, Canadian Journal of Forest Research 29(8): 1183-1191.

Abstract  A stepwise planning method is presented that supports decision making on a long-term basis by forest managers with both timber production and biodiversity objectives. An information set was generated that provides a range of solutions, which were illustrated by production possibility frontiers and future landscape development. Steps involved in generating such an information set included clarification of objectives, derivation of indicators related to the objectives, formulation of a linear program, construction of a stand projection model, generation of alternatives, and repeated generation of solutions using the linear program. An example is provided in which the method is applied to a forest management area to illustrate its function. The forest management area covered 18 000 ha. Based on forest conditions at the time it was decided to establish reserve networks, maintain the area of old forest, and increase the area of broad-leaved forest, and also use these criteria as indicators of biodiversity. The method should meet some of the demands involved in the complex problem of integrating timber production and biodiversity objectives. Principles to realize decision-makers values are discussed to exemplify how the method can be used in conjunction with such principles.



Carver S. J. (1991) Integrating multi-criteria evaluation with geographical information systems International Journal of Geographical Information Systems 5(3): 321-339

Abstract The integration of multi-criteria evaluation (MCE) techniques with GIS is forwarded as providing the user with the means to evaluate various alternatives on the basis of multiple and conflicting criteria and objectives. An example application based on the search for suitable sites for the disposal of radioactive waste in the UK using the Arc/Info GIS is included. The potential use of a combined GIS-MCE approach in the development of spatial decision support systems is considered.


Carver S. (1991) Site search and multicriteria evaluation Planning Outlook 34(1): 27-36.

Abstract Geographic information systems (GIS) are potentially powerful collections of tools which planners can use in the manipulation and analysis of spatial information. One traditional area of interest in this context is site search. Here, the functionality of GIS is, however, limited to certain deterministic analyses which serve merely as a computerised automation of the manual sieve mapping approach. The integration of multicriteria evaluation (MCE) techniques with GIS, is forwarded as a means of providing the user with the means to evaluate sites identified by sieve mapping techniques on the basis of multiple and conflicting criteria and objectives. An example application based on the search for suitable radioactive waste disposal sites in Britian using the Arc/Info GIS is included. The potential use of a combined GIS/MCE approach in the development of spatial decision support systems (SDSS) is considered.


Carver S., A. Evans and R. Kingston (2004) Developing and testing an online tool for teaching GIS concepts applied to spatial decision-making, Journal of Geography in Higher Education 28(3): 425-438

Abstract The development and testing of a Web-based GIS e-learning resource is described. This focuses on the application of GIS for siting a nuclear waste disposal facility and the associated principles of spatial decision-making using Boolean and weighted overlay methods. Initial student experiences in using the system are analysed as part of a research project on teaching GIS concepts to large numbers of students with little or no prior GIS experience. Some general thoughts on the utility of Web-based GIS for learning and teaching are presented. Results from the first cohort of 167 undergraduate/postgraduate geography students using the system indicate that students find it easy to use, a useful aid to learning about the issues involved, and a thought-provoking exercise in Internet-based democracy.


Ceballos-Silva, A. and J. Lopez-Blanco (2003) Delineation of suitable areas for crops using a multi-criteria evaluation approach and land use/cover mapping: a case study in Central Mexico, Agricultural Systems  77(2): 117-136.

Abstract  The application of a Multi-Criteria Evaluation (MCE) approach to identify suitable areas for the production of maize and potato crops in Central Mexico is presented. Maize and potato are the most important crops in the Rural Development District of Toluca (RDDT). Climate, relief and soil databases were used to integrate GIS raster coverages. Relevant criteria for crops and suitability levels were defined. This information was used to obtain the criteria maps, which in turn were used as input into the MCE algorithm. Several decision support procedures in the Idrisi GIS environment were applied to obtain the suitability maps for each crop. A 1996 Landsat TM image was processed using GIS capabilities by means of a supervised classification to obtain a land use/cover map. These land use/cover and the suitability maps were crossing to identify differences and similarities between the present landuse in the suitable areas for the maize and potato crops.


Ceballos-Silva A. and J. López-Blanco (2003) Evaluating biophysical variables to identify suitable areas for oat in Central Mexico: a multi-criteria and GIS approach, Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment  95(1): 371-377.

Abstract Evaluation of biophysical variables is usually a first step in land use analysis. A multi-criteria evaluation (MCE) approach, within a GIS environment, was used to identify suitable areas for oat (Avena sativa L.) crop production in Central Mexico. Relevant environment-components such as climate, soil, and topography at different spatial and temporal resolutions were considered. Fuzzy membership function was used to generate standardized factor maps. According to the weight-eigen vectors, the results indicated that the most important variables affecting the growth of an oat crop were precipitation, altitude and soil depth. This research provided information at regional level that could be used by farmers to select crop pattern and suitability. The results of this research identified 6663 ha with a high suitability level, which represent 57% more than the territory presently being used for oat cultivation, under rain-fed agriculture in Central Mexico.


Chang, N. B. and  Y. L. Wei (1999) Strategic planning of recycling drop-off stations and collection network by multiobjective programming, Environmental Management 24(2): 247-263.

Abstract Effective planning of solid-waste recycling programs is a substantial challenge to the current solid-waste management systems in Taiwan. Due to the rapid depletion of landfill space and the continuing delay in construction programs of municipal incinerators, solid-waste management strategies have to be reorganized in light of the success of recycling, recovery, and reuse of secondary materials. One of these efforts is how to effectively allocate recycling drop-off stations of appropriate size and how to design efficient collection-vehicle routing and scheduling programs in the solid waste collection network. This management strategy is particularly important in the privatized system with recycling containers and material recovery facilities (MRFs) owned by one agency. This research seeks multiobjective evaluation of the trade-off between the number and size of drop-off stations, the population covered in the service network, the average walking distance to dropoff stations by the population, and the distance traveled by collection vehicles. it also illustrates the use of the multiobjective nonlinear mixed integer programming model to achieve such goals that are solved by the genetic algorithms (GA) in a geographical information system (GIS) platform. The case study shows the application potential of such a methodology in the city of Kaohsiung in Taiwan.


Chang N-B., H. Y. Lu, and Y. L. Wei (1997) GIS Technology for vehicle routing and scheduling in solid waste collection systems,  Journal of Environmental Engineering 123(9): 901-910.

Abstract Rapid improvements in the hardware and software for geographic information system (GIS) have enhanced its potential for solving various types of engineering and management problems. This study develops a multiobjective, mixed-integer programming model for collection vehicle routing and scheduling for solid waster management systems synthesized within a GIS environment. The integration of the mathematical programming model and the GIS were demonstrated through application to a specific site in Taiwan. The proposed interactive design using GIS allows a decision maker to analyze many waste collection alternatives before selecting a final operational scenario. Such a system also has potential application in many other environmental planning and management problems.


Chang N-B.  and Y. L. Wei (1999) Strategic planning of recycling drop-off stations and collection network by multiobjective programming, Environmental Management 24(2):  247–263.

Abstract Effective planning of solid-waste recycling programs is a substantial challenge to the current solid-waste management systems in Taiwan. Due to the rapid depletion of landfill space and the continuing delay in construction programs of municipal incinerators, solid-waste management strategies have to be reorganized in light of the success of recycling, recovery, and reuse of secondary materials. One of these efforts is how to effectively allocate recycling drop-off stations of appropriate size and how to design efficient collection-vehicle routing and scheduling programs in the solid waste collection network. This management strategy is particularly important in the privatized system with recycling containers and material recovery facilities (MRFs) owned by one agency. This research seeks multiobjective evaluation of the trade-off between the number and size of drop-off stations, the population covered in the service network, the average walking distance to dropoff stations by the population, and the distance traveled by collection vehicles. It also illustrates the use of the multiobjective nonlinear mixed integer programming model to achieve such goals that are solved by the genetic algorithms (GA) in a geographical information system (GIS) platform. The case study shows the application potential of such a methodology in the city of Kaohsiung in Taiwan.


Charnpratheep K., Q. Zhou and B.Garner (1997) Preliminary landfill  site screening using fuzzy geographical information systems, Waste Management & Research 15(2) 197-215.

Abstract This paper explores the prospect of coupling fuzzy set theory and the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) into a raster-based geographical information system (GIS) for the preliminary screening of landfill sites in Thailand. The theory of linguistic variable is used to represent imprecision of spatial data and human cognition over the criteria used for the screening process. Proximity of geographic objects, slope and elevation are criteria used for this investigation. The priority weights reflecting the preferences on the screening criteria, accounting for seventeen map layers, are derived by the method of the AHP. The general method of GIS intersection based on binary logic is conducted to compare with the fuzzy min-operator intersection and the proposed convex combination model. The results show that the first method, in relation to the fuzzy methods, fails to recognize 35.6% of the study area as potential areas for waste disposal. The proposed convex combination model has advantage over the fuzzy min-operator intersection with respect to the ability to integrate criteria's preferences into the screening process. It also yields agreeable results with the recommendations from previous study in the same area.


Chen H. W. and N-B. Chang (1998) Water pollution control in the river basin by fuzzy genetic algorithm-based multiobjective programming modeling, Water Science and Technology 37(8): 55–63.
Abstract Designing water quality management strategies is often complicated by the difficulty in simultaneously considering large amounts of relevant data, applicable submodels, competing objectives, unquantifiable factors, nonlinear characteristics, and uncertainty during parameterization. Mathematical optimization techniques offer promise in identifying optimal or satisfactory strategies that may be used as benchmarks for decision making. Newer optimization techniques such as genetic algorithm (GA) and fuzzy mathematical programming make the search for optimal control strategies in an uncertain environment more feasible. Using a probabilistic search procedure that emulates Darwinian natural selection, GAs allow multicriteria decision making with respect to both nonlinear feature and fuzzy characteristics to be incorporated directly into the optimization process and generate trade-off curves between cost and environmental quality while identifying good control strategies. This paper verifies such a discovery by a case study of water quality control in the Tseng-Wen river basin in Taiwan.



Chen K., R. Blong and C. Jacobson (2001) MCE-RISK: integrating multicriteria evaluation and GIS for risk decision-making in natural hazards, Environmental Modelling & Software 16(4): 387-397.
During the past two decades there have been a wide range of applications for decision-making linking multicriteria evaluation (MCE) and geographic information systems (GIS). However, limited literature reports the development of MCE-GIS software, and the comparison of various MCE-GIS approaches. This paper introduces an MCE-GIS program called MCE-RISK for risk-based decision-making. It consists of a series of modules for data standardisation, weighting, MCE-GIS methods, and sensitivity analysis. The program incorporates different MCE-GIS methods, including weighted linear combination (WLC), the technique for order preference by similarity to ideal solution (TOPSIS), and compromise programming (CP), enabling comparisons between different methods for the same decision problem to be made. An example of decision-making for determining priority areas for a bushfire hazard reduction burning is examined. After implementing the alternative MCE-GIS methods, and comparing final outputs and the computational difficulty involved in the analysis, WLC is recommended. Some caveats on using MCE-GIS methods are also discussed. Although the development of MCE-RISK and its application reported in this paper are specific to risk-based decision-making in natural hazards, the program can be used for other environmental decision applications, such as environmental impact assessment and land-use planning.


Chen K., R. Blong and C. Jacobson  (2003) Towards an integrated approach to natural hazards risk assessment using GIS: With reference to bushfires, Environmental Management  31 (4): 546-560.

Abstract This paper develops a GIS-based integrated approach to risk assessment in natural hazards, with reference to bushfires. The challenges for undertaking this approach have three components: data integration, risk assessment tasks, and risk decision-making. First, data integration in GIS is a fundamental step for subsequent risk assessment tasks and risk decision-making. A series of spatial data integration issues within GIS such as geographical scales and data models are addressed. Particularly, the integration of both physical environmental data and socioeconomic data is examined with an example linking remotely sensed data and areal census data in GIS. Second, specific risk assessment tasks, such as hazard behavior simulation and vulnerability assessment, should be undertaken in order to understand complex hazard risks and provide support for risk decision-making. For risk assessment tasks involving heterogeneous data sources, the selection of spatial analysis units is important. Third, risk decision-making concerns spatial preferences and/or patterns, and a multicriteria evaluation (MCE)-GIS typology for risk decision-making is presented that incorporates three perspectives: spatial data types, data models, and methods development. Both conventional VICE methods and artificial intelligence-based methods with GIS are identified to facilitate spatial risk decision-making in a rational and interpretable way. Finally, the paper concludes that the integrated approach can be used to assist risk management of natural hazards, in theory and in practice.


Cheng M-Y. and G-L. Chang (2001) Automating utility route design and planning through GIS, Automation in Construction 10(4): 507-516.
Abstract In trench construction, one of the tasks for engineers is to select a suitable route to minimize construction cost and obstructions. This paper discusses the development of a Geographic Information Systems (GIS)-based system to automate the process of routing and design of an underground power supply system. In the system, surface and underground utilities are represented in several coverages. Using network analysis, the system determines the optimal paths for routing the utilities. Through database queries and spatial operations, the construction conflict points between the basic coverages and the selected route are not only identified, but a reallocation schedule is also determined.


Cheng M-Y. and J. T. O'Connor (1994) Site layout of construction temporary facilities using an enhanced-geographic information system (GIS), Automation in Construction 3(1): 11-19.

Abstract This paper focuses on developing an automated site layout system for temporary construction facilities. The site layout of temporary facilities (TF) is an important preplanning task that can either enhance or adversely affect construction productivity. An efficient TF layout can significantly reduce construction conflicts and improve project efficiency. In this research, the system, ArcSite, was developed to assist the project manager in identifying suitable areas to locate TFs. ArcSite is comprised of a Geographic Information system (GIS) integrated with a database management system (DBMS). The system includes the knowledge specific to construction site layout, TF databases, Arc/Info databases, and GIS geoprocessing system. In the development of the system, industry rules of thumb and the state of the art in layout modeling were reviewed and compiled in a systematic form. ArcSite uses the concept of Searching by Elimination to generate the potential sites for each TF. A heuristic algorithm was developed to model the process of human decision-making and to identify the spatial relationships between the different data layers which represent the site geographies. Through both qualitative and quantitative modeling of facility relationships, an objective function for calculating the Proximity Index (PI) was used to determine the optimal site of each TF. The primary features of the system are as follows: (1) integrate construction schedule and design information to layout TFs for both short term and long term usage, (2) allow for the use of the permanent facility (PF) as the TF and reallocation of space over time, (3) automatically generate potential sites for each TF, (4) identify optimal site, and (5) locate the TF within the optimal site. ArcSite improves site planning efficiency by integrating spatial and thematic information into a single environment. Also, compared with current methods, ArcSite significantly improves the computational effort and increases the data accuracy and consistency. Therefore, this study achieves the goal of developing an automated information system to enhance the TF layout design.


Cho J. H., K. Seok Sung and  S. Ryong Ha (2004) A river water quality management model for optimising regional wastewater treatment using a genetic algorithm, Journal of Environmental Management, 73(3): 229-242.

Abstract To achieve water quality goals and wastewater treatment cost optimisation in a river basin, a water quality management model has been developed through the integration of a genetic algorithm (GA) and a mathematical water quality model. The developed model has been applied to the Youngsan River, where water quality has decreased due to heavy pollutant loads from Kwangju City and surrounding areas. Pollution source, land use, geographic features and measured water quality data of the river basin were incorporated into the Arc/View geographic information system database. With the database, the management model calculated treatment type and treatment cost for each wastewater treatment plant in the river basin. Until now, wastewater treatment policy for polluted rivers in Korea has been, first of all, to construct secondary treatment plants for untreated areas, and secondarily, to construct advanced treatment plants for the river sections whose water quality is impaired and for which the water quality goal of the Ministry of Environment is not met. Four scenarios that do not use the GA were proposed and they were compared with the results of the management model using the GA. It became clear that the results based on the GA were much better than those for the other four scenarios from the viewpoint of the achievement of water quality goals and cost optimisation.


Church R. L., R. A. Gerrard, M. Gilpin and P. Stine (2003) Constructing cell-based habitat patches useful in conservation planning, Annals of the Association of American Geographers 93 (4): 814-827.

Abstract Given a raster of environmental or habitat values representing a landscape, we construct agglomerations of contiguous cells that constitute habitat "patches." This land-allocation problem has received inadequate attention in the academic literature and cannot be solved with commercial GIS packages. In our method, each patch begins from an initial "seed" cell and continues to accrete neighboring cells until it reaches a desired total habitat value. This may be interpreted as reaching sufficient biological value to create a territory viable for the reproduction and survival of some demographic unit of a species (e.g., mating pair, social group). This article presents a new method for generating/identifying feasible patches. Depending on the type and variety of habitat and on user-selected parameters, patches can vary substantially in shape and size. A patch or territory alone would not be considered sufficient for conserving a species. The eventual use of the patches is as candidates for land units to be selected in order to form a reserve system. Patches should be very useful for conservation-reserve planning, because they build ecological knowledge directly into the spatial units that would be considered as building blocks for a reserve system. We present results of our patch-building heuristic method for planning data from California.


Church R. L., S. R. Loban and K. Lombard (1992) An interface for exploring spatial alternatives for a corridor location problem, Computers and Geosciences 18 (8): 1095-1105.
Abstract The location of corridors or fights-of-way across a landscape for the purpose of siting a facility such as a power transmission line has been the subject of much research. Many different computerized models have been developed to address this design and layout problem. Any environmental review usually requires that alternative routes be considered. Thus, the value of a model can be measured not only in terms of determining a good solution but in supporting the search for good alternatives as well. Such problems have been posed as multiobjective programming models. This paper presents a novel user interface that is designed to help explore possible alternative corridors. This new interface allows for exploration in terms of both objective space and decision space and could be modified for other spatial decision-making problems as well.


Church R. L., A. T. Murray, M. A. Figueroa and K. H. Barber (2000) Support system development for forest ecosystem management, European Journal of Operational Research 121(2): 247-258.

Abstract This paper discusses issues and requirements associated with the development of a spatial decision support system for the USDA Forest Service. A system was developed which integrates optimization based management planning models using map based representations of the spatial area being analyzed. This system was designed to address the decidedly hierarchical planning environment of the USDA Forest Service through the presentation of management alternatives in various forms, including impact visualization. This paper details some of the features of the developed spatial decision support system and demonstrates how optimization models are currently being made more informative through the presentation of results and further integrated within the planning structure of the USDA Forest Service.


Clevenger, A. P.,  J. Wierzchowski, B. Chruszcz and K. Gunson (2002) GIS-Generated, Expert-Based Models for Identifying Wildlife Habitat Linkages and Planning Mitigation Passages, Conservation Biology, 16(2): 503-514.

Abstract We developed three black bear (Ursus americanus) habitat models in the context of a geographic information system to identify linkage areas across a major transportation corridor. One model was based on empirical habitat data, and the other two (opinion- and literature-based) were based on expert information developed in a multicriteria decision-making process. We validated the performance of the models with an independent data set. Four classes of highway linkage zones were generated. Class 3 linkages were the most accurate for mapping cross-highway movement. Our tests showed that the model based on expert literature most closely approximated the empirical model, both in the results of statistical tests and the description of the class 3 linkages. In addition, the expert literature-based model was consistently more similar to the empirical model than either of two seasonal, expert opinion-based models. Among the expert models, the literature-based model had the strongest correlation with the empirical model. Expert-opinion models were less in agreement with the empirical model. The poor performance of the expert-opinion model may be explained by an overestimation of the importance of riparian habitat by experts compared with the literature. A small portion of the empirical data to test the models was from the pre-berry season and may have affected how well the model predicted linkage areas. Our empirical and expert models represent useful tools for resource and transportation planners charged with determining the location of mitigation passages for wildlife when baseline information is lacking and when time constraints do not allow for data collection before construction.


Conine A., W-N. Xiang, J. Young and D. Whitley (2004) Planning for multi-purpose greenways in Concord, North Carolina, Landscape and Urban Planning 68: 271-287.
Abstract Small towns across the southern Piedmont of North Carolina are experiencing rapid growth and encroachment from larger neighboring municipalities. Many of these communities are confronted with the tough issue of preserving the quality of the environment, while at the same time allowing development to occur. Greenways are an excellent mechanism that balances needs for both conservation and growth. Once considered to be just a vegetated linear area for preventative purposes, greenways have evolved into a resource that can meet the public's needs for recreation, environmental protection, and alternative transportation. There has also been a shift of focus in greenway planning: from a single-objective paradigm of environmental protection or natural conservation to a multi-objective process that allocates greenways as a resource to satisfy the public's demands for all three benefits. However, these exciting developments bring a serious challenge to greenway planners: how to delineate future greenway corridors so that all the many functions are properly incorporated and the potential benefits are maximized?

In this paper we demonstrate, through a project for the City of Concord, North Carolina, that such a challenge can be met by using a systematic approach to greenway planning. With this approach, we identified future greenway corridors within the City of Concord that best serve the multiple objectives of environmental protection, recreation, and alternate transportation. These alternative greenway scenarios will later be used by the local communities, public officials, and planners as an information basis in their pursuit of a well-connected and balanced land development in the city. It is hoped that the results will be integrated into the city's comprehensive land use plan.

Coutinho-Rodriques, J., J. Current, J. Climaco, and S. Ratick (1997) Interactive spatial decision-support system for multiobjective hazardous materials location-routing problems.  Transportation Research Record, 1602, 101–109.

Cova T. J. and R. L. Church (2000) Contiguity constraints for single-region site search problems, Geographical Analysis 32 (4): 306-329.

Abstract This paper proposes an explicit set of constraints as a general approach to the contiguity problem in site search modeling. Site search models address the challenging problem of identifying the best area in a study region for a particular land use, given. that there are no candidate sites. Criteria that commonly arise in a search include a site's area, suitability, cost, shape, and proximity to surrounding geographic features. An unsolved problem in this modeling arena is the identification of a general set of mathematical programming constraints that can guarantee a contiguous solution (site)for any 0-1 Integer-programming site search formulation. The constraints proposed herein address this problem, and we evaluate their efficacy and efficiency in the context of a regular and irregular tessellation of geographic space. An especially efficient constraint form is derived from a more general form and similarly evaluated. The results demonstrate that the proposed constraints represent a viable, general approach to the contiguity problem.


Cromley, R.G.  (1994) A comparison of suitability mapping and multiobjective programming techniques for performing spatial searches, The Pennsylvania Geographer, 32(1): 37-46.

Abstract Because the decision making methodologies found in geographic information systems and spatial decision support systems come from somewhat different analytical traditions, it is necessary to examine the underlying structure of suitability mapping and multiobjective programming techniques to determine how compatible these techniques are for solving classes of locational problems. Suitability mapping comes from a land use planning and a cartographic tradition and generally uses a tessellation data model. Its decision unit is a unit of space such as a grid cell. Multiobjective programming was developed in operations research and uses a vector data model to define its decision unit as an entity existing in space. While there are differences, some major similarities can be identified. Both techniques were developed to solve problems that have multiple, conflicting objectives. Objectives are handled differently, but both can use a scaling, weighting or prioritizing scheme to compress disparate objectives into single objectives to be optimized.


Cromley R. G. and D. M. Hanink (1999) Coupling land use allocation models with raster GIS, Journal of Geographical Systems 1:137-153.

Abstract As geographic information systems (GIS) have moved from information storage and retrieval operations towards more decision support functions, there is a need for more integration of spatial analytical modules that can assist in locational decisions. This paper presents a methodology for coupling land use allocation models with a raster GIS. For raster systems, the integration of any decision module has been limited by the size of raster datasets that may contain hundreds of thousands of pixels. Therefore, decision heuristics have been used rather than exact methods such as mathematical programming models. For the problem of land use allocation, the special structure of the generalized assignment problem is used here to handle large scale datasets. The advantage of the mathematical programming approach is the additional information associated with the dual variables and opportunity costs that can be used in subsequent sensitivity analyses.


Cromley R. G. and D. M. Hanink (2003) Scale-independent land-use allocation modeling in raster GIS, Cartography and Geographic Information Science, 30(4): 343-350.

Abstract A common application of raster-based geographic information systems (GIS) is as an aid in multi-criteria, multi-objective land-use decision problems. However, as the cell resolution increases by reducing cell size, the number of rows and columns in the raster representation also increases. The size of raster representations of land-use problems is often a determining factor in the type of methodology used in solving such problems. Previous land-use allocation models integrated with a raster GIS have used either decision heuristics or exact methods based on linear programming models. The former is fairly scale independent but produces only approximate answers, whereas the latter produces optimal solutions but remains more scale dependent. This paper presents a specialized dual simplex method adapted to the generalized assignment problem that can be used to solve large-scale land-use allocation problems. The dual approach only requires that information for one pixel be stored at a time thus allowing the solution of problems based on any size raster database.


Dai F. C., C. F. Lee and X. H. Zhang (2001) GIS-based geo-environmental evaluation for urban land-use planning: a case study, Engineering Geology, 61(4): 257-271.
Abstract A geo-environmental evaluation for urban land-use planning often requires a large amount of spatial information. Geographic information systems (GIS) are capable of managing large amounts of spatially related information, providing the ability to integrate multiple layers of information and to derive additional information. A GIS-aid to the geo-environmental evaluation for urban land-use planning is illustrated for the urban area of Lanzhou City and its vicinity in Northwest China. This evaluation incorporates topography, surficial and bedrock geology, groundwater conditions, and historic geologic hazards. Urban land-use is categorized according to the types of land-use and projects planned, such as high-rise building, multi-storey building, low-rise building, waste disposal, and natural conservation. Multi-criteria analysis is performed to evaluate development suitability of the geo-environment for each category, according to appropriately measured and weighted factors. A suitability map for each category is developed using an algorithm that combines factors in weighted linear combinations. It is demonstrated that the GIS methodology has high functionality for geo-environmental assessment.


Dai J. J., S. Lorenzato and D. M. Rocke (2004) A knowledge-based model of watershed assessment for sediment, Environmental Modelling & Software 19(4): 423-433.

Abstract A watershed is a complex ecosystem. Assessment of watershed condition entails consideration of numerous issues and factors. The problem is complex, the issues are not well defined, and data are often lacking. These characteristics suggest that a knowledge-based approximate reasoning approach is especially useful for watershed assessment. This paper describes a knowledge base for watershed assessment for sediment (WAS). The knowledge base is designed for protection of fish habitat and control of excessive sediment, and is evaluated in the Ecosystem Management Decision Support (EMDS) system. The WAS model allows experts from diverse fields to contribute to an integrated assessment of watershed condition. As a decision support tool, the model provides a means to assemble key pieces of information and reasoning that support land use or regulatory decisions, and to communicate among diverse audiences the basis for those decisions. The paper also presents an application of the model to assess the condition of a coastal watershed in northern California.


de Araújo, C. C.  and A. B. Macedo (2002) Multicriteria geologic data analysis for mineral favorability mapping: Application to a metal sulphide mineralized area, Ribeira Valley Metallogenic Province, Brazil, Natural Resources Research, 11(1): 29-43.

Abstract GIS techniques have been used in the evaluation of favorability for base-metal mineralization in an area comprising the Cerro Azul and Apiaí quadrangles (SG.22-X-B-IV and V, scale 1:100.000), Ribeira Valley, São Paulo and Paraná States, Brazil. Methods have been employed for selection and weighting of prospective variables when applying GIS techniques to a digital database consisting of geological, geochemical and airborne geophysics, and mineral occurrence information. The exploration variable selection and analysis were based on two mineralization models: (1) Panelas type, vein-type carbonate hosted, and (2) Perau type, sedimentary-exhalative. The overlay was performed by weighted linear combination (WLC) and order weighted average (OWA) methods. Both methods proved suitable for the study area, yielding similar results. The ordered weighted averaging analysis provided the best results, with favorability maps showing a large number of classes occupying relatively minor areas. In comparison, the weighted linear combination analysis produced more coherent results but without details for minor areas. The prospective parameters obtained are considered suitable for both Perau and Panelas types. Both methods are inexpensive, and are suitable for selection of prospective areas during geological surveys in areas similar to the studied one.


Del Furia L. and A. Nardini (2001) Assessment of the water-users satisfaction in the Po basin: A synthetic index approach  Journal of Geographic Information and Decision Analysis 5(1): 32- 48.

Abstract The Autorità di Bacino del fiume Po (Po River Basin Authority) is the institution responsible for water and land resources planning in the Po River basin in Italy. The Authority’s project “Water Resource Balance” of the Progetto Po (Piano di Bacino del Fiume Po – SP 3.1 Bilancio delle risorse idriche) aims at evaluating of the 'usability' of water resources and of the satisfaction of water ‘users’ (in its broadest sense). A couple of ad hoc evaluation indices are developed. In particular, the user satisfaction 'S index' is described in this paper. Its key features are that: (i) it is based on some of the natural attributes which directly determine user satisfaction as the user experiences it, even if these attributes have an incommensurable nature; (ii) it is completely defined when the answers to specific questions are provided by the users themselves; (iii) it fulfils the property of internal coherence as well as other properties relevant to evaluation indices in general; iv) it is implemented in an ACCESS interface with a commercial GIS (ArcView); (v) it is suited for coupling with a water resources simulation model; and (vi) it is a simpler and more flexible surrogate than classic economic assessment based on the willingness to pay. This paper presents the criteria on which the index was designed, its mathematical structure and some of the results obtained for the case of the Po River basin.


Dey P. K. (2002) An integrated assessment model for cross-country pipelines Environmental Impact Assessment Review 22(6): 703-721.
Abstract The cross-country petroleum pipelines are environmentally sensitive because they traverse through varied terrain covering crop fields, forests, rivers, populated areas, desert, hills and offshore. Any malfunction of these pipelines may cause devastating effect on the environment. Hence, the pipeline operators plan and design pipelines projects with sufficient consideration of environment and social aspects along with the technological alternatives. Traditionally, in project appraisal, optimum technical alternative is selected using financial analysis. Impact assessments (IA) are then carried out to justify the selection and subsequent statutory approval. However, the IAs often suggest alternative sites and/or alternate technology and implementation methodology, resulting in revision of entire technical and financial analysis. This study addresses the above issues by developing an integrated framework for project feasibility analysis with the application of analytic hierarchy process (AHP), a multiple attribute decision-making technique. The model considers technical analysis (TA), socioeconomic IA (SEIA) and environmental IA (EIA) in an integrated framework to select the best project from a few alternative feasible projects. Subsequent financial analysis then justifies the selection. The entire methodology has been explained here through a case application on cross-country petroleum pipeline project in India.


Din A., M. Hoesli and A. Bender (2001) Environmental variables and real estate prices, Urban Studies 38(11): 1989–2000.

Abstract The aim of this paper is to compare various real estate valuation models and the manner in which they take into account environmental variables. The reference model is taken to be a standard linear regression model including ordinal variables to measure environmental quality. This type of model is widely used. It is .first compared with linear models which incorporate environmental quality notes extracted from the urban habitat database of a geographic information system (GIS) which has been developed recently for Geneva, Switzerland. We also incorporate these quality notes in a single input parameter, a so-called geo-index. The price indices constructed in this way are quite similar to the more traditional hedonic model. We additionally . find that artificial neural network (ANN) models, which are non-linear per se, exhibit a similar general form of the price indices, but that the detailed price behaviours of different models feature notable differences depending on the input choice of environmental variables.


Dragan M., E. Feoli, M. Fernetti and W. Zerihun (2003) Application of a spatial decision support system (SDSS) to reduce soil erosion in northern Ethiopia Environmental Modelling & Software 18(10): 861-868
Abstract A spatial decision support system (SDSS) based on multi-criteria and multi-objective decision analysis is applied in a case study in Ethiopia to reduce soil erosion on the basis of reallocation of crops according to their capacity to protect the soil. The case study is carried out in the Adwa district. The SDSS has been implemented using the widespread GIS software IDRISI 32 (release 2) and with the direct involvement of local stakeholders in defining factors and constraints. These are based on land cover-land use, altitude, potential erosion, proximity to roads, water and the relative soil protective capacity of each crop species. A reduction of soil loss from an average of 4.5 t ha-1 yr-1 to values below the risk threshold of soil degradation (1 t ha-1 yr-1) would be achieved through the application of the SDSS results. The biggest impediment to the reallocation exercise, however, is the shortage of cultivable land suitable for cultivation.


Dutta, D.,  A. Das Gupta and  V. Ramnarong (1998) Design and optimization of a ground water monitoring system using GIS and multicriteria decision analysis, Ground Water Monitoring and Remediation,  18 (1): 139-147.

Abstract A GIS-based methodology has been developed to design a ground water monitoring system and implemented for a selected area in Mae-Klong River Basin, Thailand. A multicriteria decision-making analysis has been performed to optimize the network system based on major criteria which govern the monitoring network design such as minimization of cost of construction, reduction of kriging standard deviations, etc. The methodology developed in this study is a new approach to designing monitoring networks which can be used for any site considering site-specific aspects. It makes it possible to choose the best monitoring network from various alternatives based on the prioritization of decision factors.



Eastman J. R., W. G. Jin, P. Kyem, and J. Toledano (1995) Raster procedures for multicriteria multiobjective decisions, Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing, 61 (5): 539-547.

Abstract Decisions about the allocation of land typically involve the evaluation of multiple criteria according to several, often conflicting, objectives. With the advent of GIS, we now have the opportunity for a more explicitly reasoned environmental decision making process. However, GIS has been slow to develop decision support tools, more typically relying on procedures outside the GIS software. In this paper the issues of multi-criteria/multi- objective decision making are discussed, along with an exploration of a new set of decision support tools appropriate for the large data-handling needs of roster GIS. A case study is used to illustrate these tools as developed for the IDRISI geographic analysis software system.

El-Awar, F. A., M. K. Makke, R. A. Zurayk, R. H. Mohtar (2000)  A hydro-spatial hierarchical method for siting water harvesting reservoirs in dry areas, Applied Engineering in Agriculture 16 (4): 395-404.

Abstract Water availability is the main limiting factor in dry-land agriculture, throughout arid and semi-arid regions, due to low annual rainfall depth and its non-uniform temporal and spatial distribution. Water harvesting has been used for thousands of years to supplement scarce water resources in dry areas. Surface reservoirs are used to collect and store precipitation surface runoff so that stored water can be used for supplemental irrigation during long dry seasons. This article presents Hydro-Spatial AHP, a method for siting small water harvesting reservoirs. This method is used to rank potential sites for such reservoirs based on a Reservoir Suitability Index (RSI) determined for each one of these sites. The RSI is calculated using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) along with hydrologic modeling and the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP). This method was applied to Irsal, a dry-land agricultural region in Lebanon. results reveal that Hydro-Spatial AHP works well in that area. This article also shows the flexibility of the method with respect to the criteria used for ranking the candidate sites.


Eldrandaly K., N. Eldin and D. Sui (2003) A COM-based spatial decision support system for industrial site selection, Journal of Geographic Information and Decision Analysis 7(2): 72-92.

Abstract Industrial site selection is a complex process for owners and analysts. The process involves not only technical requirements, but also economical, social, environmental and political demands that may result in conflicting objectives. Because of the compound nature of the process, it requires simultaneous use of several decision support tools such as expert systems (ES), geographic information systems (GIS), and multi-criteria decision making (MCDM) methods. This poses the challenge of integrating these decision support tools. Although current integration techniques such as loose and tight coupling have achieved considerable success, they have many limitations. To alleviate these limitations, this study used Component Object Model (COM) technology in designing a decision support system for industrial site selection. The use of the presented system was illustrated using real regional data that is maintained by a state agency.


Fabbri K. P. (1998) A methodology for supporting decision making in integrated coastal zone management, Ocean & Coastal Management  39(1-2): 51-62.

Abstract The understanding and management of coastal zone processes and resources is of great economic and social importance as at least half of the world's population resides and works within the coastal zone. Coastal zones have been greatly exploited by man for establishment and growth of industry, resource extraction, tourism and urbanization, which have led to the evolution of thriving coastal economies. The over-development of the coastal areas has also brought about a multitude of negative environmental impacts such as the effects of improper industrial and human waste management, accelerated erosion and deposition, eutrophication, destruction of marine life and overall decrease of bio-diversity.

This paper proposes a method and tool for improved decision aid in integrated coastal zone management (ICZM). It discusses the advantage of implementing, in a spatial decision support system, the most efficient strategies for data capture, integration, analysis and modelling, for the assessment of impacts deriving from possible development scenarios. The importance of integrating socio-economic and biophysical parameters in the context of ICZM and the need to define environmental indicators on which decision-making processes are based, are outlined.


Feick R. D. and G. B. Hall (1999) Consensus-building in a multi-participant Spatial Decision Support System,  URISA Journal, 11(2): 17 – 23.

Abstract Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are widely used in local and regional planning for managing, integrating and visualizing spatial data sets. However, beyond basic levels of decision support, GIS remain largely external artifacts to the decision-making process. This suggests that despite increased analytic sophistication, most GIS software is more suited to providing limited outputs (maps, tables, etc.) than as a tool to support, at anything other than a superficial level, tactical or strategic decision-making processes. To improve the usefulness of GIS as a decision support tool, two needs are apparent. First, decision-makers require methods that allow them easily to select alternatives most closely aligned with their priorities across a number of relevant criteria. Second, it is necessary to recognize explicitly that most decision-making processes involve multiple participants. Since problem solving is often characterized by multiple and conflicting objectives, methods that contribute toward consensus building are required. This paper describes a prototype Spatial Decision Support System (SDSS) that satisfies these needs through a tight-coupling of GIS functionality and Multiple Criteria Analysis (MCA) techniques. The potential benefits of adopting this approach and future extensions to the prototype are discussed in light of a land use-planning example.


Feick, R. and B. Hall (2000) The application of a Spatial Decision Support System to tourism-based land management in small island states, Journal of Travel Research 39(2): 163-171.


Feick R. D. and G. B. Hall (2002) Balancing consensus and conflict with a GIS-based multi-participant, multi-criteria decision support tool, GeoJournal 53 (4): 391-406.

Abstract Despite the promise of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology for examining a wide variety of land use issues, it has been criticised for its lack of decision support capabilities. Efforts to extend GIS technology to explore and represent the subjective elements of multi-party conflict and decision making have focused on integrating it with multiple criteria analysis (MCA) techniques. This paper describes how a spatial decision support system (SDSS) that incorporates MCA methods can be used to explore proactively land development conflicts among multiple participants. The focus of the paper is not on issues associated with the coupling of MCA and GIS capabilities, but rather on the problem of assessing the land development decision process in order to achieve an acceptable degree of consensus that balances conflicting viewpoints.


Feick R.D. and B. G. Hall (2004) A method for examining the spatial dimension of multi-criteria weight sensitivity, International Journal of Geographical Information Science 18(8): 815 – 840.

Abstract There is growing interest in extending GIS to support pluralistic decision-making processes where the perspectives and objectives of different stakeholders must be represented and, if possible, distilled into strategies that satisfy all decision participants. Augmenting GIS capabilities with multi-criteria decision-making (MCDM) methods allows the relative attractiveness of different alternatives (e.g. sites, land-use plans, etc.) to be evaluated in light of subjectively weighted decision criteria. This paper presents a generic methodology for investigating the spatial dimension of multi-criteria weight sensitivity. The methodology is particularly well suited to the spatial domain, as it provides insight into both the robustness of individual stakeholder's evaluations as well as the geographic dimension of weight sensitivity. The methodology is illustrated using a study in which a small group of individuals representing different interests evaluated sites for new tourism development on the island of Grand Cayman, BWI. The results demonstrate how the proposed approach can aid users' understanding of a decision issue and potentially increase confidence in evaluation outputs by providing users with mechanisms to define non-statistical confidence intervals for weights and to visualize weight sensitivity cartographically. The paper concludes by discussing the broader value of this approach in other GIS-MCDM contexts and outlines areas for further research.


Feng C-M and J-J. Lin (1999) Using a genetic algorithm to generate alternative sketch maps for urban planning, Computers, Environment and Urban Systems 23(2): 91-108.
Abstract This paper describes a tool that can assist the urban planners in generating alternative sketch maps. The tool known as the Sketch Layout Model (SLM) consists of a multiobjective programming and a genetic algorithm. The SLM produces a set of alternatives approximating to the Pareto optimum, on which the tasks of evaluation and detailed design are based. The paper is presented in the following sections: first, problem definitions and conceptual framework are stated; second, the model containing mathematical programming is established; third, a genetic algorithm used to generate a set of approximating nondominated solutions to the established model is described; fourth, the established model is examined by a numerical example; fifth, a case study is applied for demonstration purposes, and a comparison between the results from the developed model and those from traditional method is made; finally, the conclusions and recommendations are drawn.


Frank W.C., J-C. Thill and R. Batta (2000) Spatial decision support system for hazardous material truck routing, Transportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies 8(1-6): 337-359.

Abstract Shipping hazardous material (hazmat) places the public at risk. People who live or work near roads commonly traveled by hazmat trucks endure the greatest risk. Careful selection of roads used for a hazmat shipment can reduce the population at risk. On the other hand, a least time route will often consist of urban interstate, thus placing many people in harms way. Route selection is therefore the process of resolving the conflict between population at risk and efficiency considerations. To assist in resolving this conflict, a working spatial decision support system (SDSS) called Hazmat Path is developed. The proposed hazmat routing SDSS overcomes three significant challenges, namely handling a realistic network, offering sophisticated route generating heuristics and functioning on a desktop personal computer. The paper discusses creative approaches to data manipulation, data and solution visualization, user interfaces, and optimization heuristics implemented in Hazmat Path to meet these challenges.


Fuller D. O., R. Williamson, M. Jeffe and D. James (2003) Multi-criteria evaluation of safety and risks along transportation corridors on the Hopi Reservation, Applied Geography 23(2-3): 177-188.

Abstract Multi-criteria evaluation (MCE) provides a way to integrate different spatial data layers in a geographic information system to create composite maps representing risk. We utilized MCE in a raster GIS to evaluate risk along several paved road segments on the Hopi Reservation in Arizona. In our MCE tests we included risk factors such as proximity to intersections, steepness of slope, proximity to washes, and road curvature. A set of 44 composite risk maps was created using fuzzy sets and variable factor weightings in our analyses. These maps were compared to crash locations (n = 67) obtained through field-based interviews with Emergency Medical Personnel on the Reservation. Statistically significant differences between MCE scores for crash sites and non-crash sites were found in eight of eleven tests involving normally distributed data. We found that the MCE tests tended to produce significant results when more weight was attributed to proximity to intersections and road curvature. These results suggest that these particular factors are the most important in determining risk on paved roads. The results may be generalized more broadly in the region to identify important stretches of roadway where hazard mitigation may be needed


Geneletti D.  (2004) A GIS-based decision support system to identify nature conservation priorities in an alpine valley, Land Use Policy 21(2): 149-160.
Abstract This paper describes a methodological approach based on the integrated use of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and Decision Support Systems (DSS) to identify nature conservation priorities among the remnant ecosystems within an alpine valley. The ecosystems are first assessed by means of landscape ecological indicators, and then ranked by using multicriteria analysis (MCA) techniques. Several conservation scenarios are generated so as to simulate different evaluation perspectives. The scenarios are then compared to highlight the most conflicting sites and to propose a conservation strategy for the area under evaluation. The paper aims at exemplifying and discussing the effectiveness of spatial decision-support techniques in land-use planning for nature conservation.


Geneletti D. (2004) A GIS-based decision support system to identify nature conservation priorities in an alpine valley Marine and Petroleum Geology 21(2): 149-160.

Abstract This paper describes a methodological approach based on the integrated use of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and Decision Support Systems (DSS) to identify nature conservation priorities among the remnant ecosystems within an alpine valley. The ecosystems are first assessed by means of landscape ecological indicators, and then ranked by using multicriteria analysis (MCA) techniques. Several conservation scenarios are generated so as to simulate different evaluation perspectives. The scenarios are then compared to highlight the most conflicting sites and to propose a conservation strategy for the area under evaluation. The paper aims at exemplifying and discussing the effectiveness of spatial decision-support techniques in land-use planning for nature conservation.


George J.A. B.W. Lamar and C.A. Wallace  (1997) Political district determination using large-scale network optimization, Socio-Economic Planning  Sciences 31(1): 11 28.

Abstract Political redistricting involves the amalgamation of a large number of geographic or statistical units into a smaller set of electoral districts such that the districts satisfy various criteria prescribed by law, judicial mandate, or historical precedent. This paper describes a network-based optimization model that is currently being used by governmental decision-makers in New Zealand to assist in the preliminary stages of determining Parliamentary district boundaries. The model is capable of solving large-scale problems. In the New Zealand case, the procedure has been applied to problems involving over 35,000 geographic units (called "meshblocks") and 95 Parliamentary districts. The model generates electoral districts that have roughly equal population and are generally compact in shape. One of the key features of the model is its flexibility. On the one hand, it can take into account currently existing features such as topographic terrain or previously existing electoral boundaries. On the other hand, it can also be used to generate an entirely new set of political boundaries as was mandated by the voters in a recent referendum in New Zealand.


Gheorghe A. V., R. Mock and W. Kröger (2000) Risk assessment of regional systems Reliability Engineering & System Safety  70(2): 141-156.

This paper introduces the field of integrated regional risk assessment and safety management for energy and other complex industrial systems. The international initiative includes compilation of methods and guidelines, development of various models and Decision Support Systems (DSS) to assist implementation of various tasks of risk assessment at the regional level. The merit of Geographic Information Systems technology and the use of specialized DSS and stakeholder processes are highlighted.


Giupponi C. (1998) Environmental evaluation of alternative cropping systems with impact indices of pollution European Journal of Agronomy  8(1-2): 71-82.
Abstract This paper describes a method to assess the pollution potential of cropping systems, within the framework of a decision support system in the sector of agricultural land use planning. A series of comparative impact indices capable of describing the effects of the use of fertilisers and pesticides on water, soil and air resources is proposed. Data needed to calculate the indices may come from monitoring or simulation models of diffused agricultural pollution on field scale, and the indices then may be used to assess the environmental compatibility of alternative cropping systems with a multi-criteria approach. This method is subsequently combined with spatial data from a geographical information system for environmental impact assessment over a whole region. A case study is described, referring to four alternative maize cropping systems in the watershed of the Lagoon of Venice, Italy.


Giupponi, C.,  B. Eiselt, and P. F. Ghetti  (1999) A multicriteria approach for mapping risks of agricultural pollution for water resources: The Venice Lagoon Watershed case study, Journal of Environmental Management 56 (4): 259-269.

Abstract A multicriteria analysis system was developed for producing risk maps of agricultural pollution due to alternative cultivation systems in the Watershed of the Lagoon of Venice (WLV) in Italy. Results of a field-scale simulation model for agricultural diffuse pollution were used to compile a matrix of environmental impacts, in terms of pollution indices. The most widespread combinations of typical environments (as defined by combinations of soil and climate variables) and alternative land uses (types of crops and cultivation systems) were described in the impact matrix. Land use in terms of crop distribution was based on census data. Two alternative cultivation systems were defined on the basis of the recent changes to the European Common Agricultural Policy: ordinary and eco-compatible. The effects of alternative scenarios were evaluated in terms of pollution risks for water resources. The evaluation procedure was built into the framework of a geographical information system to take into account the spatial features of pollution phenomena, vulnerability of the land and risk for water resources. The results demonstrated the great potential of eco-compatible practices for reducing the risks for surface and groundwater (-15 and -50%, respectively).


Giupponi C., J. Mysiak, A. Fassio and V. Cogan (2004) MULINO-DSS: a computer tool for sustainable use of water resources at the catchment scale, Mathematics and Computers in Simulation 64(1): 13-24.

Abstract MULINO, an ongoing project financed by the European Commission, has released the prototype of a Decision Support System software (mDSS) for the sustainable management of water resources at the catchment scale. The software integrates socio-economic and environmental modelling, with geo-spatial information and multi-criteria analysis. The policy background refers to the EU Water Framework Directive. The challenging multi-disciplinary context was approached by developing an innovative and dynamic implementation of the DPSIR framework, originally proposed by the European Environmental Agency. In mDSS integrated assessment modelling provides the values of quantitative indicators to be used for transparent and participated decisions, through the application of value functions, weights and decision rules chosen by the end user. Simple routines for the sensitivity analysis and comparison of alternative weight vectors also provides effective decision support by exploring and finding compromises between conflicting interests/perspectives in a multi-stakeholder context.


Gomes E. G.  and M. P. E. Lins  (2002) Integrating geographical information systems and multi-criteria methods: A case study, Annals of Operations Research 116: 243–269.

Abstract This paper presents an application of the integration between Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) to aid spatial decisions. We present a hypothetical case study to illustrate the GIS–MCDA integration: the selection of the best municipal district of Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil, in relation to the quality of urban life. The best municipal district is the one that presents the closest characteristics to those considered ideal by the decision-maker. The approach adopted is the Multi-Objective Linear Programming (MOLP) and the chosen method is the Pareto Race.


Gomez Delgado M. and  J. Bosque Sendra (2004) Aplicación de análisis de incertidumbre como método de validación y control del riesgo en la toma de decisiones, International Review of Geographical Information Science and Technology 4: 179 – 208.

Abstract The contribution of the combined use of the Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and the MultiCriteria Evaluation (MCE) techniques to various land planning processes has been widely demonstrated (Arentze et al., 1996; Johnston, 1999; Yeh, 1999; Fotheringham y Wegener, 2000; Lukasheh et al., 2001). Nevertheless, in the execution of the models based on these methods and techniques, small attention has been paid to the robustness of the final results and the model itself. Traditionally evaluation has become more of a verification process (that is to say, a process which verifies the results, rather than a procedure to test its robustness), which is related exclusively to the problem of the error assessment. The aim of this paper is to replace this process for a risk control procedure of the decision making based on an uncertainty analysis of the data and the model used. This procedure has been applied in a multicriteria spatial problem: the location of a hazardous waste landfill in the Madrid region, Spain.


Grabaum, R. and B.C.  Meyer (1998) Multicriteria optimization of landscapes using GIS-based functional assessments, Landscape and Urban Planning 43 (1-3): 21-34.

Abstract This paper introduces a new way of using GIS to support decision making in the planning process and to develop regional guidelines. The method of 'multicriteria optimization' helps new methodological standards to be established for integrating the various results of functional landscape ecology assessments of the type usually carried out in ecological planning, and enables the overall comparison of competing aims. This technique allows different aims in a geographical region to be quantified and takes into account different weightings of scenarios. Different functional assessments (soil erosion hazards caused by water flow, groundwater regeneration, water discharge regulation) and an assessment of the agricultural production function were carried out using GIS for a test site measuring 48 km(2) in a glacial end moraine area to the north of Leipzig (Saxony, Germany). The results were presented in the form of ordinal assessment classes which express tendencies. On the basis of these assessment results, aims for the calculation of an optimal land-use pattern were defined and weighted in different scenarios. Multicriteria optimization calculates optimal compromises with regard to these aims which can be measured and compared with goal function values. Although the method cannot replace decision making by the planner, which is often difficult and can generally not be quantitatively verified, it can help to make the planning process more objective.


Grossardt T., K. Bailey and J. Brumm (2001) AMIS: GIS-based corridor planning methodology, Transportation Research Record 1768, 224-232.


Guimarães Pereira Â. (1996) Generating alternative routes by multicriteria evaluation and a genetic algorithm, Environment and Planning B 23: 711 – 720.

Abstract The usual method of generating alternative motorway routes involves the use of a shortest route algorithm which is available within most geographic information systems. In this paper an alternative approach is adopted. It involves the combination of a niching type of genetic algorithm with ranking-based multicriteria evaluation. Such an approach is found to compare favourably with the traditional approach in terms of computational effort, quality of the routes generated, and diversity of the alternatives proposed.


Guimarães Pereira A., G. Munda and M. Paruccini (1994) Generating alternatives for siting retail and service facilities using genetic algorithms and multiple criteria decision techniques, Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services 1(1): 40-47.
Abstract Fundamental step in the structuring of siting problems in general and the siting of retail and service facilities in particular is the generation of alternatives. This should occur at the beginning of the process of facility location. The identification of a manageable number of alternatives aims at providing a preliminary insight into the feasibility of the project in the area of concern. These alternatives then undergo further formal analysis. The purpose of this paper is to present a methodology aimed at generating alternatives for siting retail and service facilities, taking into account a number of criteria that reflect different aspects of the problem. This tool was originally set up as the first step in a decision support system for generating and evaluating alternative sites for facilities. It has been developed as a tool for a geographic information system (GSIS). The search is carried out by applying genetic algorithms (GAs) that are analogous to natural processes for optimization and search procedures. According to the algorithm's terminology a fitness function measures the worth of each candidate alternative, which is codified into a chromosome. The merging of aspects of multicriteria theory and of GAs will be useful for the generation of alternatives in location problems. The aim of this present work is to improve the theoretical principles upon with the fitness function is based, leading to the construction of a robust set of alternatives.


Gumbricht T. (1996) Application of GIS in Training for Environmental Management Journal of Environmental Management 46: 17–30.

Abstract The multitude of environmental problems in a world of dynamic and unpredictable natural systems call for new methods that make use of recent development in the digital integration of human reasoning, data and dynamic models. A reported course in Natural Resources Management is based on holistic perception, systems dynamics and cybernetics, and uses geo-informatics as vehicles in projects on eutrophication, acidification, ecological settlings, and Landsat-TM multispectral classification. The projects are efficient, but time consuming, tools for teaching environmental management. Student differences in cognisance are great, and most had problems coupling different models and data, theory and problem solving. Improved multimedia interfaces could be a temporary solution.


Gumbricht T., J. McCarthy and C. Mahlander (1996) Digital interpretation and management of land cover – a case study of Cyprus, Ecological Engineering 6(4): 273-279.
Knowledge based methods using Geographic Information System and Remote Sensing for land cover classification and future land allocation in Cyprus are presented. Land cover was categorized combining statistical classification and expert rules, using multi-temporal Landsat TM and MSS data, and digitized maps of elevation and geology. Land needed for future infrastructure was allocated using multi-criteria evaluation. Reforestation area were identified for Pinus brutia and P. nigra comparing expert rules and multi-criteria evaluation.


Haastrup P., V. Maniezzo, M. Mattarelli, F. Mazzeo Rinaldi, I. Mendes and M. Paruccini (1999) A decision support system for urban waste management, European Journal of Operational Research 109(2): 330-341.

Abstract This paper describes a decision support system, for urban waste management in a regional area, to be used for evaluating general policies for service organisation of the collection and for identifying areas suitable for locating waste treatment and disposal plants. The Decision Support System (DSS) is applied to a selected provinces in Sicily. The decision support system allows the generation and evaluation of suitable alternatives with respect to salient features of the problem, especially environmental consequences. The paper describes the identification and collection of relevant information, the structuring of a database, the design of combinatorial optimisation algorithms for solving the core location problem, the study of models for evaluating the different alternatives and their framing in a complete multicriteria decision model. Finally, the solution of the case study, by means of the DSS, is described.


Hajkowicz, S. A., G.T. McDonald and P. N. Smith.(2000) An evaluation of multiple objective decision support weighting techniques in natural resource management, Journal of Environmental Planning and Management 43 (4): 505-518.

Abstract Multiple objective decision support (MODS) is a structured framework for evaluating decision alternatives against multiple, and often conflicting, criteria. Its ability to handle complex trade-offs in a variety of quantitative and qualitative units gives it much potential in the .eld of natural resource management (NRM). A key component of MODS is the process used to obtain information from decision makers on the relative importance of evaluative criteria. Ranking algorithms then use this information to determine the relative value of each decision alternative. This paper explores how practising community based NRM decision makers respond to .five generic methods for weighting the criteria. It presents a study in which 55 decision makers throughout five regions in Queensland, Australia, applied MODS to evaluate environmental projects seeking funding under the Australian Natural Heritage Trust. Weighting methods applied include .fixed point scoring, rating, ordinal ranking, a graphical method and paired comparisons. Decision makers evaluated each weighting method in terms of ease of use and of how much it helped clarify the decision problem. Results show that decision makers felt uncomfortable applying .fixed point scoring and generally preferred to express their preferences through ordinal ranking. This has implications for the types of ranking algorithms that can be applied to evaluate the decision alternatives.


Hall O. and W. Arnberg (2002) A method for landscape regionalization based on fuzzy membership signatures, Landscape and Urban Planning, 59(4): 227-240.

Abstract The aim of this paper is to present a new method for regionalization that can be used in landscape analysis and planning. The approach in this study concentrates on the possibility to use membership functions developed from training sites as a mean to characterize whole regions. Instead of traditional classification routines a fuzzy method was developed. The method is described with an example from a study area located in Sweden. Pre-classified and unclassified satellite data were used in the study. The frequency distribution of three land cover types was calculated for three different training sites. The frequency distributions were transformed into membership functions. As such they describe the graded membership for every frequency pixel to all the training sites. Thereafter, were the membership images combined through a weighted linear combination. The result shows the membership for every location in the study area to one of the training sites. The images were also classified into one resulting image showing the crisp regions of the study area. An accuracy assessment of the method was performed. The result showed an overall classification accuracy of 86% compared to existing regional divisions of the study area.


Hickey R. and P. Jankowski (1997)GIS and environmental decisionmaking to aid smelter reclamation planning, Environment and Planning A, 29: 5-19.

Abstract A study was conducted to develop a computerized environmental decision-support system that will aid the prioritizing of specific areas for reclamation within a mine site. In order to achieve this aim, a geographical information system, remotely sensed data, erosion modeling, and multicriteria decisionmaking methods were integrated within one computerized setting. Testing the system at the Anaconda smelter site, an Environmental Protection Agency Superfund site near Butte, Montana, revealed that the system offers a description of physical conditions at the entire site and provides spatial decision-support capabilities for generating and assessing revegetation strategies for the site with the use of various priority schemes. Details of the lessons learned from this study are provided.


Hof J. and M. Bevers (2000) Optimal timber harvest scheduling with spatially defined sediment objectives, Canadian Journal of Forest Research 30(9): 1494-1500.

Abstract This note presents a simple model formulation that focuses on the spatial relationships over time between timber harvesting and sediment levels in water runoff courses throughout the watershed being managed. A hypothetical example is developed to demonstrate the formulation and show how sediment objectives can be spatially defined anywhere in the watershed. Spatial sensitivity in the example is shown, indicating that, at least in some cases, tracking sediment levels below a watershed may be inadequate for achieving sediment objectives within the watershed itself.


Horner M. W. and A. T. Murray (2003) A multi-objective approach to improving regional jobs-housing balance, Regional Studies 37(2): 135-146.

Abstract Congestion is one of the most significant problems facing urban regions. It is well recognized that congestion is largely a by-product of the work commute, suggesting spatial imbalances in the locations of jobs relative to the location of housing. While jobs-housing imbalances persist in most urban areas, research indicates that associated commuting (and congestion) tends to be more than it need be. Addressing these issues, we extend the classic transportation problem to deal with regional jobs-housing imbalances. Application results are presented using journey-to- work data for the Atlanta metropolitan region. Several scenarios are evaluated, demonstrating the inherent flexibility of this modelling approach in addressing the long-term management of congestion. Our results show that policies affecting the distribution of workers are more likely to decrease commuting, as opposed to policies aimed at altering the distribution of jobs. The model may be used as a strategic tool to guide land use decisions aimed at addressing jobs-housing balance, which may ultimately ameliorate the effects of congestion, emissions and related externalities.


Hossack I.,  D. Robertson, P. Tucker, A. Hursthouse and C. Fyfe (2004) A GIS and Web-based decision support tool for the management of urban soils, Cybernetics and Systems 35(5-6): 499-509.

Abstract Soils are fundamental to urban environmental quality. They have aesthetic and recreational functions in parks and gardens and contribute to the preservation of biodiversity. They also directly influence citizens' health. This paper describes the initial development of a decision support tool (DST) to appraise the urban soil resource and its valuable functions within a wide range of urban environments. It is aimed to provide assistance to local, national, and European authorities in the optimum planning and sustainable management of their soils resources. The DST is an integrated information technology system based on a spatially distributed environmental database management system of soil quality parameters and soil characteristics together with broader environmental factors. The integration is achieved through the implementation of the DST within the framework of a geographical information system coupled with risk assessment, pollution decay, and other models including the handling of "soft" data. The DST will be web-based, allowing wide access to all stakeholders and citizens, providing on-line forums for consultations, and exchange of information and feedback among stakeholders. It is designed to support true transparency in decision making at the local and international levels. The paper focuses specifically on the development of the system architecture of the DST.


Huang B., R.L. Cheu  and Y. S. Liew (2004) GIS and genetic algorithms for HAZMAT route planning with security considerations, International Journal of Geographical Information Science 18(8): 769 – 787.

 Abstract Singapore is the third largest oil-refining centre in the world, with a large petrochemical hub located at Jurong Island. In view of the increasing concern for transportation security, there is an urgent need to improve the way trucks carrying hazardous materials (HAZMATs) are being routed on urban and suburban road networks. Routing of such vehicles should not only ensure the safety of travelers in the network but also consider the risk of the HAZMAT being used as weapon of mass destruction. This paper explores a novel approach to evaluating the risk of HAZMAT transportation by integrating Geographic Information Systems (GISs) and Genetic Algorithms (GAs). A set of evaluation criteria that are used to route the HAZMAT vehicles was identified and assessed. The criteria considered are related to safety, costs and, more importantly, security. A GIS was employed to quantify the factors on each link in the network that contribute to the evaluation criteria for a possible route, while a GA was applied to efficiently determine the weights of the different factors in the hierarchical form, allowing for the computation of the relative total costs of the alternate routes. Therefore, each route can be quantified by a generalized cost function from which the suitability of the routes for HAZMAT transportation can be compared. The proposed route evaluation method was demonstrated on a typical portion of the road network in Singapore.


Huffman T. F. and R. G. Cromley (2002) An automated multi-criteria cartographic aid for point annotation, Cartographic Journal 39(1): 51-64.

Abstract Mathematical algorithms for placing labels upon maps have been used for the past thirty years. This paper presents a multi-criteria model for point feature annotation that examines the sometimes conflicting issues in the point labelling process. Based on a maximum labelling model, the primary goal is to place the maximum number of labels on the map, although secondary goals reflect other considerations such as point size, position preferences, and feature importance. By differentially weighting these separate factors, emphasis could be placed on each consideration in turn allowing the cartographer to assess the implications of each factor in the point annotation process. An application of this model to mountain peaks in Grand Teton National Park illustrates how it can assist a cartographer as a preliminary step in assessing the difficulty encountered in labelling point symbols as well as providing the cartographer with a choice of alternative scenarios upon which to base the final placement.


Hytönen L. A., P. Leskinen and  R. Store (2002) A spatial approach to participatory planning in forestry decision making, Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research 17(1): 62 – 71.

Abstract A method is introduced in which qualitative information obtained in a public participation process is transformed into quantitative spatial decision support for forest management planning. In the first phase, qualitative analysis is implemented by using the tools of qualitative research analysis. Then, a method is developed whereby it is possible to connect the expressed opinions to certain locations, to weight these opinions in a sensible way, and then to combine them in the form of a score map. In this phase, geographic information system (GIS) and preference analysis tools were used. The case study, carried out in the area managed by the Finnish Forest and Park Service, illustrates how to pack huge amounts of unstructured public feedback as decision support. The result of the analysis was a score map ranking pixels in the study area according to the aggregated preferences and norms expressed by public. Based on the case study experiences, it was concluded that most of this kind of public feedback can be illustrated for decision makers by using a few score maps.


Iakovou E. T. (2001) An interactive multiobjective model for the strategic maritime transportation of petroleum products: risk analysis and routing, Safety Science, 39( 1-2): 19-29.  
Abstract Dealing with the maritime transportation of crude oil and petroleum products has become a problem of major international concern due to the potential of environmental pollution created by oil spill incidents. This paper presents the development of a strategic multiobjective network flow model, allowing for risk analysis and routing, with multiple commodities, modalities and origin-destination pairs. The development of an interactive solution methodology is also presented followed by its implementation via a World Wide Web-based software package. Government agencies will find the model helpful in determining how regulations should be set to derive desirable routing schemes. Shippers will also find the model useful in optimizing their logistics costs.


Jain D. K., U. S. Tim and R. Jolly  (1995) Spatial decision support system for planning sustainable livestock production, Computers, Environment and Urban Systems, 19 (1): 57-75.

Abstract Recent shifts toward intensive and large confined livestock production units to enhance economic growth coupled with increased concerns for air soil, and water quality have necessitated the development of computer-based management decision support systems for selecting environmentally sound production sites and for planning sustainable production systems. An integral part of a sustainable livestock production system is the selection of appropriate land areas that meet several environmental, socio-economic, and aesthetic constraints. Traditionally, regulatory and zoning criteria in conjunction with manual review and overlay of land cover, soils, and topographic maps, have been used to select sites for livestock production. This approach can be both time-consuming and expensive, and the land areas delineated by this method have been shown to be problematic from the odor nuisance and water pollution standpoint. A more rational approach that narrows down large areas under consideration to a finite set of optimal sites that satisfy the environmental protection goals is needed. This paper describes the development and application of an interactive spatial decision support system to delineate optimal land areas for locating a number of livestock production strategies. The spatial decision support system is based on the ARC/INFO geographic information system and incorporates the effects of land use, soil type, topography, proximity to roads and surface water bodies, and other aesthetic and political considerations, as well as multicriteria analysis techniques. The design and implementation of the system as well as an example application involving several alternative livestock production strategies are presented.


Jankowski P. (1995) Integrating geographical information systems  and  multiple criteria decision making methods, International Journal of  Geographical Information Systems 9(3): 251-273.

Abstract Many spatial decision-making problems, such as site selection or land use allocation require the decision-maker to consider the impacts of choice-alternatives along multiple dimensions in order to choose the best alternative. The decision-making process, involving policy priorities, trade-offs, and uncertainties, can be aided by Multiple Criteria Decision making (MCDM) methods. This paper presents a framework for integrating geographical information systems (GIS) and MCDM methods. In this framework the MCDM methods are classified and matched with choice heuristics used by the decision-makers in the presence of competing alternatives and multiple evaluation criteria. Two strategies for integrating GIS with MCDM are proposed. The first strategy suggests linking GIS and MCDM techniques using a file exchange mechanism. The second strategy suggests integrating GIS and MCDM functions using a common database. The paper presents the implementation of the first strategy using PC-ARC/INFO, a file exchange module, and four different MCDM computer programs.


Jankowski P. (2000) Collaborative spatial decision making in environmental restoration management: An experimental approach, Journal of Hydroinformatics 2(3): 197-206.


Jankowski P., N. Andrienko and G. Andrienko (2001) Map-centred exploratory approach to multiple criteria spatial decision making International Journal of Geographical Information Science 15(2): 101-127.

Abstract  Spatial decision support is one of the central functions ascribed to Geographical Information Systems (GIS). One of the foci of developing decision support capabilities of GIS has been the integration of maps with multiple criteria decision models. Progress in this area has been slow due to a limited role played by maps as decision support tools. In this paper we present new prototype spatial decision support tools emphasising the role of maps as a source of structure in multiple criteria spatial decision problems. In these tools the role of map goes beyond the mere display of geographic decision space and multicriterion evaluation results. Maps becomes a 'visual index' through which the user orders decision options, assigns priorities to decision criteria, and augments the criterion outcome space by map-derived heuristic knowledge. As the additional means of structuring multicriterion spatial decision problems we present an experimental use of data mining, integrated with dynamic maps and multiple criteria decision models, in order to reduce a problem's dimensionality. We conclude the paper with future research directions emphasising map-based support for group decision making.


Jankowski P. and G. Ewart (1996) Spatial decision support system for health practitioners: selecting a location of rural health practice. Geographical Systems 3: 279-299.


Jankowski, P. and T. Nyerges (2001) GIS-supported collaborative decision making: Results of an experiment, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 91(1): 48-70.

Abstract This article addresses research questions about the sociobehavioral dynamics of geographic information system (GIS) use during collaborative decision making in small interorganizational groups. Using an experimental design of a conference room setting, a study of human-computer-human interaction was conducted with 109 volunteer participants formed into 22 groups, each group representing multiple organizational stakeholder perspectives. The experiment involved the use of GIS integrated with multiple criteria decision models to support group-based decision making concerned with the selection of habitat restoration sites in the Duwamish Waterway of Seattle, Washington. Findings representative of four categories of investigation are presented. In the first category the experiment demonstrated that groups used maps predominantly to visualize the evaluation results and much less to structure/design the decision problem. Maps flayed only a limited support role in various decision stages of tile experiment. In the second category, while the use of multiple criteria decision models by groups remained steady throughout different phases of the decision process, the use of maps was much lower during the initial exploratory-structuring phase than during tile later analytic-integrating phase. In category three, the amount of prior and acquired group member experience with computer tools had no influence on the appropriation of decision aids. In category four, different phases of the decision process had two different levels of conflict: the exploratory-structuring phase was characterized by a lower level of conflict, and the analytic-integrating phase was characterized by high conflict level. Tile higher level of conflict during the analytic-integrating phase tells us that analytical decision aids aimed at conflict management are likely to help work through conflict, such conflict now being recognized as a necessary part of making progress in public decision problems.


Jankowski P., T. L. Nyerges, A. Smith, T. J. Moore and E. Horvath (1997) Spatial group choice: a SDSS tool for collaborative spatial decisionmaking, Journal of Geographical Information Systems, 11(6) 577-602.
Abstract. Current trends in modern organizations towards flatter structures and the involvement of many stakeholder groups in solving spatial decision problems have created a need for information technology capable of supporting collaborative spatial decision-making. Such information technology has developed in recent years for the computerized support of group decision-making aimed at solving business problems, e.g., market strategies, corporate planning, product development, and others. Similar information technology to support group decisionmaking aimed at solving spatial decision problems, e.g., site selection, choice of environmental and economic strategies, and urban/regional development, are now beginning to appear in the research literature. GIS, often designed for spatial decision support, have lacked a capability to collate interests and interactions to support collaborative spatial decision-making. As a step towards addressing this void, we present a spatial decision support system for groups (SDSS-G) called Spatial Group Choice. A spatial problem focusing on prioritizing habitat site development is used as a backdrop to present the design and development issues. We discuss the technical and social-oriented design guidelines adopted for the development of Spatial Group Choice using a framework that characterizes meetings in terms of spatial-temporal dimensionality. We then describe the design and implementation of Spatial Group Choice, including a 'tour' of the software, using a habitat restoration decision problem. We conclude with issues unresolved and prospects for future development.


Jankowski  P. and L. Richard (1994) Integration of GIS-based suitability analysis and multicriteria evaluation in a spatial decision support system for route selection, Environment and Planning B  21(3); 326-339.

Abstract Land suitability mapping techniques and geographic information systems (GIS) have been used in the last decade to assist planners in route selection problems. These techniques, though robust in translating physical constraints into feasible alternatives for route location, are weak in incorporating the decisionmaker's preferences, and, hence, are of limited use for decision support. The decisionmaking process that follows a route location study can be supported by multicriteria evaluation techniques that incorporate decisionmakers' preferences. This paper presents an approach to integrating a GIS-based land suitability analysis and multicriteria evaluation in a spatial decision support system for route selection. The design and implementation of the system are presented together with an example of system application to a study of the route selection for a water transmission supply line.


Jha M. K. (2001) Using a GIS for automated decision making in highway cost analysis. Transportation Research Record 1768: 260–267.

Abstract Highway planning involves selection of a cost-effective corridor in an environmentally responsible manner. With the recent advances in geographic information systems (GISs), most environmental, real estate, and design databases and maps are available in the form of GIS layers. Several mathematical optimization algorithms have been developed to optimize highway alignments, among which genetic algorithms appear most promising because of their ability to avoid getting trapped in local optima. In recent studies, a GIS was integrated with genetic algorithms, enabling full exploitation of GIS features in highway alignment optimization. Those optimization models still lack some dynamic decision-making capabilities during optimal search, such as consideration of bridge cost when rivers are encountered and intersection and interchange costs when roads are encountered. A study that used a GIS as a dynamic decision-making tool in performing highway optimization is presented. Algorithms are developed to estimate costs associated with bridges, tunnels, intersections, and overpasses. A fully automated model is developed that allows dynamic data exchange between the GIS and the optimization algorithm. An example that uses real geographic information from Maryland is presented. The results indicate that consideration of bridges and intersections is significant in highway alignment optimization.


Jha M. K. and  P.  Schonfeld (2000) Geographic information system-based analysis of right-of-way cost for highway optimization, Transportation Research Record  1719: 241-249.

Abstract At the planning stages of a highway project, various location alternatives must be explored, subject to a set of design constraints. A computerized tool with which to compare alignment alternatives would significantly reduce the time and resources spent as well as help find a minimum cost (or maximum net benefit) solution. Highway design optimization (HDO) is a computerized process that minimizes an objective function composed of significant highway costs, subject to a set of design constraints, including curvature, gradient, and sight distance. Several costs of alignments, such as right-of-way, earthwork, and environment costs, are sensitive to geography. A geographic information system (GIS) may be exploited to compute such costs for use in HDO models (HDOMs). Most known HDOMs focus only on refining the optimization approach and do not provide a comprehensive formulation for all costs sensitive to alignment. Provided is a comprehensive formulation for right-of-way cost computation. A GIS-based algorithm is developed to compute the right-of-way cost, which is integrated with an HDOM based on genetic algorithms. Two examples are used to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed approach.  


Jha M.K. and P. Schonfeld (2000) Integrating genetic algorithms and GIS to optimize highway alignments, Transportation Research Record 1719: 233–240.

Abstract A comprehensive highway cost model can be used for optimizing highway alignments subject to a number of design constraints. Because a geographic information system (GIS) can spatially represent the locations of properties, floodplains, streams, and other geographical characteristics of significance in a highway cost model, it can provide valuable input to a highway design optimization model. Additionally, a GIS-based model can be developed to compute geographically sensitive costs to be used with an iterative optimization scheme. However, connecting a GIS to a highway optimization model requires full automation of an entire search process in which there is a continuous exchange of inputs and outputs until the optimized solution is obtained. An integrated model is developed by linking a GIS model with an optimization model employing genetic algorithms (GAs). The GIS model provides accurate geographical features, computes location-dependent costs, and transmits these costs to an external program. That program computes length-dependent costs and user costs and then, using GAs, optimizes the highway alignment to minimize the sum of all costs. An example study using real land use and environmental features is presented for a part of Talbot County, Maryland. The computational performance of the integrated model is assessed.


Jha M. K. and P. Schonfeld (2004) A highway alignment optimization model using geographic information systems,  Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice (in press)

Abstract Highway alignment optimization based on cost minimization requires comprehensive formulation of costs sensitive to alignment and development of efficient solution algorithms. The complexity of the applicable cost functions severely limits the search algorithms that can be employed. Recently, genetic algorithms, which can search very effectively through complex spaces with huge numbers of local optima, have been successfully developed for highway alignment optimization. However, in order to solve real-world problems the optimization algorithms should work directly with a Geographic Information System (GIS) which stores relevant geographic information, such as land boundaries, environmentally sensitive regions, and topographic data. This paper presents a model for highway alignment optimization that integrates a GIS with genetic algorithms, examines the effects of various costs on alignment selection, and explores optimization in constrained spaces that realistically reflect the limits on road improvement projects. The paper integrates several previously published developments and adds some new analysis approaches. A real-world problem using a GIS database for Maryland is solved using the proposed method. An example using an artificial map to investigate the effectiveness of the proposed model in mountainous terrain is also demonstrated. The results indicate that travel-time cost, which is often neglected by highway agencies in selecting alignments, significantly affects the alignment optimization. Computation time increases significantly with the number of properties affected by each alignment. The model can optimize alignments in mountainous terrain or regions with very complex geography.


Jha M. K., C. McCall and P. Schonfeld (2001) Using GIS, genetic algorithms, and visualization in highway development Computer-Aided Civil and Infrastructure Engineering  16(6): 399-414

Abstract A model for highway development is presented, which uses geographic information systems (GIS), genetic algorithms (GA), and computer visualization (CV). GIS serves as a repository of geographic information and enables spatial manipulations and database management. GAS are used to optimize highway alignments in a complex search space. CV is a technique used to convey the characteristics of alternative solutions, which can be the basis of decisions. The proposed model implements GIS and GA to find an optimized alignment based on the minimization of highway costs. CV is implemented to investigate the effects of intangible parameters, such as unusual land and environmental characteristics not considered in optimization. Constrained optimization using GAs may be performed at subsequent stages if necessary using feedback received from CVs. Implementation of the model in a real highway project from Maryland indicates that integration of GIS, GAs, and CV greatly enhances the highway development process.


Jiang H. and  J. R. Eastman (2000) Application of fuzzy measures in multi-criteria evaluation in GIS, International Journal of Geographical Information Systems 14(2):173-184.

Abstract Multi-criteria evaluation (MCE) is perhaps the most fundamental of decision support operations in geographical information systems (GIS). This paper reviews two main MCE approaches employed in GIS, namely Boolean and Weighted Linear Combination (WLC), and discusses issues and problems associated with both. To resolve the conceptual differences between the two approaches, this paper proposes the application of fuzzy measures, a concept that is broader but that includes fuzzy set membership, and argues that the standardized factors of MCE belong to a general class of fuzzy measures and the more specific instance of fuzzy set membership. This perspective provides a strong theoretical basis for the standardization of factors and their subsequent aggregation. In this context, a new aggregation operator that accommodates and extends the Boolean and WLC approaches is discussed: the Ordered Weighted Average. A case study of industrial allocation in Nakuru, Kenya is employed to illustrate the different approaches.


Joerin F. (1995) Méthode multicritère d'aide à la décision et SIG pour la recherche d'un site Revue Internationale de Géomatique 5(1): 37 – 51.

Abstract Land suitability evaluation has to face two major difficulties. First, there is a huge number of alternatives because each different coordinate is a possible solution. Second, the decision making process is generally based on different criteria, which can be defined on a quantitative or a qualitative scale. In this context, the use of GIS and multicriteria methods is particularly interesting. GIS allows to manage all information necessary to describe the different alternatives. Then, its spatial analysis capabilities can be used to assess the suitability of the various alternatives. Finally, the set of alternatives can be reduced with a spatial aggregation function. The result of these operations is a set of good alternatives, which is sufficiently "small" to be compared with a multicriteria analysis. This analysis is achieved with outranking methods like ELECTRE, since, with this method, qualitative, and quantitative criteria are treated in a similar manner.


Joerin F. and A. Musy (2000) Land management with GIS and multicriteria analysis International Transactions in Operational Research  7(1): 67-78.
Abstract In land management, conflicts are more frequent and stronger. Any important project on land becomes difficult to implement. MAGISTER (Multicriteria Analysis with GIS for TERritory) model proposes a decision support method to integrate multiple actors of land management. It is based on geographical information systems and multicriteria analysis. In land use problems, the study area is described by a set of homogeneous zones to reduce the numbers of alternatives. The homogeneity quality is assessed by use of a valued closeness relation developed in the domain of rough set theory. This function is based on the same principle as the valued outranking relation used in ELECTRE, which is then used to select the best zones, or classify them in predefined category. One application of the MAGISTER model concerns the realisation of a land suitability map for housing. Through eight criteria, this map integrates simultaneously the particularity of each place and the general principles of land management, which should be determined by decision-makers.


Joerin F., M. Theriault and A. Musy (2001) Using GIS and outranking multicriteria analysis for land-use suitability assessment, International Journal of Geographical Information Science, 15(2): 153-174.

Abstract Land-use planners often make complex decisions within a short period of time when they must take into account sustainable development and economic competitiveness. A set of land-use suitability maps would be very useful in this respect. Ideally, these maps should incorporate complex criteria integrating several stakeholders' points of view. To illustrate the feasibility of this approach, a land suitability map for housing was realised for a small region of Switzerland. Geographical Information System technology was used to assess the criteria requested to define the suitability of land for housing. An example dealing with the evaluation of noise levels illustrates the initial steps of this procedure. Because the required criteria are heterogeneous and measured on various scales, an outranking multicriteria analysis method called ELECTRE-TRI was used. However, using it to assess the suitability of any point in a territory was impractical due to computational limitations. Therefore, a mathematical function to evaluate closeness relationships and classify the study area into homogeneous zones was used. This function is compatible with the outranking function of ELECTRE-TRI used to assess the suitability index. The resulting maps lend efficient support to negotiation and are very useful in dealing with inherent conflicts in land-use planning.


Johansson I. (2003) Simulation as a tool for consideration of safety aspects in the land-use planning process, Planning Practice and Research 18(4): 327 – 335.

This article does not have an abstract


Johnson M. P. (2001) Decision support for family relocation decisions under the Section 8 Housing Assistance Program using GIS and the Analytic Hierarchy Process. Journal of Housing Research 12(2): 277-306.

Abstract Recent evidence suggests that often families seeking housing under the Section 8 program are unable to choose potential destination neighborhoods that maximize their likelihood of successfully exercising housing subsidies and securing beneficial family outcomes. Housing mobility programs such as the Gautreaux Assisted Housing Program and the Moving to Opportunity for Fair Housing Program, which rely on intensive counseling and small cohorts of relocatees, produce beneficial outcomes, however. How could the standard Section 8 program be improved to enable participants to make better location choices? This article presents a prototype geographic information systems-based decision support system intended to allow individual Section 8 participants, with the assistance of housing authority counselors, to identify potential destination communities that best match their preferences. Users identify attributes of potential destination communities, identify potential destination communities that satisfy certain criteria based on these attributes, rank the attributes according to their individual preferences, and, finally, rank the most-desired destination communities. An example is given using data from metropolitan Pittsburgh.


Jones D. and E. M. Barnes (2000) Fuzzy composite programming to combine remote sensing and crop models for decision support in precision crop management Agricultural Systems 65(3): 137-158.
Abstract Precision crop management is by definition a multi-objective decision-making process that must incorporate a diversity of data, opinion, preference and objective. This paper details an approach to decision making that allows users to express individual or corporate values and preferences; highlights the degree of imprecision associated with each input; highlights the degree of imprecision associated with each alternative; facilitates structuring of the decision process; reduces several levels of complex information into a single chart; allows examination of trade-off between alternatives and interests; and forces examination of inter-relationships between interest. The addition of using remote sensing data provides an efficient method to describe spatial variability in terms that can be related to a crop model, making the decision-making approach feasible for precision farming applications. The crop model provides information that can be used by the decision model, and the remote sensing data is used to fine tune the calibration of the crop model, maximizing the accuracy of its results.


Jong J.-C., Jha M. K. and P. Schonfeld (2000) Preliminary highway design with genetic algorithms and geographic information systems, Computer-Aided Civil and Infrastructure Engineering  15(4): 261-271.

Abstract A method that integrates geographic information systems (GIS) with genetic algorithms (GAs) for optimizing horizontal highway alignments between two given end points is presented in this article. The proposed approach can be used to optimize alignments in highly irregular geographic spaces. The resulting alignments are smooth and satisfy minimum-radius constraints, as required by highway design standards. The objective function in the proposed model considers land-acquisition cost, environmental impacts such as wetlands and flood plains, length-dependent costs (which are proportional to the alignment length), and user costs. A numerical example based on a real map is employed to demonstrate application of the proposed model to the preliminary design of horizontal alignments.


Jun C. (2000) Design of an intelligent geographic information system for multi-criteria site analysis, URISA Journal, 12(3): 5-17.

Abstract: Spatial decision-making problems, such as site selection, require appropriate means for handling multiple socioeconomic factors while considering physical suitability. Traditional decision support techniques lack the ability to simultaneously take into account these factors and conditions. Similarly, geographic information systems, while recognized as useful decision support technologies, do not provide the means to handle multiple decision factors. With these issues in mind, this study was developed to provide a framework for integrating the strengths of geographic information systems, expert systems, and the analytic hierarchy process to incorporate the decision maker’s preferences on a range of factors used in finding optimally suitable sites. This study illustrates how the integrated system may be applied to industrial site selection.


Jumppanen J.,  M. Kurttila,   T. Pukkala and J. Uuttera (2003) Spatial harvest scheduling approach for areas involving multiple ownership, Forest Policy and Economics 5(1): 27-38.

Abstract This study presents a practical harvest scheduling approach for multiple ownership planning. The approach has both spatial and non-spatial goals, namely, a spatial landscape-level goal to cluster ecologically valuable resources is considered simultaneously with timber production goals. Harvest scheduling is based on the location of the stand, on one hand, and on an economic variable depicting the cutting maturity of the stand, on the other hand. Proximity to valuable resources decreases the likelihood that the stand is cut. Therefore, harvests tend to be located outside potential resource clusters with small and isolated economically mature stands being cut first. In the application of the approach the landscape-level spatial objective was to cluster old forest stands (agegt-or-equal, slanted80) and simultaneously maintain a predefined cutting volume. A stand's economic cutting maturity was measured with value increment percentage. In the top-down application of the approach the timber harvest target was specified only for the whole planning area. In the bottom-up application it was specified separately for individual holdings, aiming at promoting the acceptability of the plan. The presented approach was clearly able to cluster old forest patches. In the case study area, the mean size of old forest patches increased from 3.4 to 5.7 ha in 30 years in the top-down plan, and to 4.6 ha in the bottom-up plan. An application of the current planning practice (referred to as the reference plan) decreased the mean patch size to 2.9 ha. The presented approach is easy to apply in forest planning practice.


Kächele H. and S. Dabbert  (2002) An economic approach for a better understanding of conflicts between farmers and nature conservationists––an application of the decision support system MODAM to the Lower Odra Valley National Park, Agricultural Systems,  74(2): 241-255.

Abstract The establishment of expansive nature conservation areas are among the most important measures for maintaining bio-diversity. Recently, these areas have increasingly been established in agrarian regions, leading to conflicts between farmers and nature conservationists. In the context of the German national park, Lower Odra Valley, an economic approach for achieving a comprehensive understanding of the divergent objectives of participants is introduced. The calculations were made with support of the modelling system MODAM (Multiple Objective Decision Support Tool for Agroecosystem Management), previously introduced in detail.

Several scenarios of various national park concepts were analysed. A nature conservationist-defined scenario resulted in an income loss 2.5 times greater than the compensation payment amount available. While a farmer-favoured scenario resulted in a income loss considerably less than the subsidy limit, the resulting fragmentation of the total reserve area is unacceptable from the ecological perspective. It is shown that a step-by-step approach by both parties is required to determine a joint solution.

Another interesting perspective is presented in a discussion of the political dimension of the conflict. The results of the study show that the opportunity costs of the establishment of total reserve areas largely depend on the availability of subsidy payments for agricultural and ecological programmes offered in the polder region of the national park. It is likely that much of the conflict concerns different governmental objectives. While ecological programmes are dominated by allocative objectives, a number of agricultural programmes aim for a redistribution of income between different groups in society. One of the most valuable results of the study in the Lower Odra region is the realisation of the important influence that unrecognised conflicts at the political level may have on local conflicts. It can be shown that the establishment of nature conservation areas does not automatically increase the demand for public funds, but requires a skilful reallocation of the existing funds for agro-ecological programmes. Ideally this could lead to win-win solutions for all the stakeholders involved.

Kangas J.J. HokkanenA. S. KangasR. Lahdelma and P. Salminen (2003) Applying stochastic multicriteria acceptability analysis to forest ecosystem management with both cardinal and ordinal criteria, Forest Science 49(6): 928-939.

Abstract Multicriteria decision analysis is applied to ecosystem management planning in a forest landscape. Ten alternative action plans were evaluated employing five criteria. For some criteria, cardinal measures with their associated uncertainties were obtained. For other criteria, only ordinal (ranking) information was available. The Stochastic Multicriteria Acceptability Analysis with Ordinal criteria (SMAA-O) method was used, as it accommodates both cardinal and ordinal data. This is the first application of SMAA methods to forest management. SMAA-O represents inaccurate or uncertain cardinal criteria measurements by a joint probability distribution. Ordinal data is converted into stochastic cardinal data by simulating mappings between ordinal and cardinal scales that preserve the given rankings. At the same time, the unknown or partly known preferences of the decision maker are simulated by choosing weights randomly from appropriate distributions. The main results of the analysis are "acceptability indices" that describe the variety of different weights that support an alternative for a given rank. The special characteristics of SMAA-O are best utilized in problems involving uncertainty and where both cardinal and ordinal data are to be employed. It also serves well as an analysis tool in interactive planning processes, especially when criteria weights are not known or they are difficult to assess.


Kangas J., R. Store, P. Leskinen and L. Mehtätalo (2000) Improving the quality of landscape ecological forest planning by utilising advanced decision-support tools Forest Ecology and Management 132( 2-3): 157-171.
Abstract The quality of landscape ecological analyses and their integration with the multi-objective comparison of forest plans can be improved by making use of the decision-support methods, techniques, and tools produced by recent research on forest planning, as demonstrated in this study. Special attention is given to strengthening the ecological grounds of calculations through modelling expert knowledge, quantification of ecological evaluations, integration of different objectives and different phases of the planning process, and analysing the effects of uncertainty in ecological judgments on the final results. The planning process is illustrated by a case study.

The landscape ecological approach is finding increasing application in practical forest planning, especially in boreal forestry. Unfortunately, gaps in the available ecological knowledge, and the inefficiency of the planning methods and tools used often lead to vague planning processes. In many cases, only methods originally developed for wood-production planning are still applied, and planning advances (e.g. multi-objective optimisation, Geographical Information Systems (GIS) tools, and modelling expert knowledge) are under-utilised. In this study, heuristic multi-objective optimisation, GIS operations, pairwise comparisons techniques, and Bayesian analysis are applied in an integrated planning process. Efficient forest plan alternatives are generated for further consideration by utilising heuristic optimization and GIS. Given the multi-objective choice situation, the plans generated are holistically evaluated by means of multiple decision-support tools and techniques.


Kao J-J. (1996) A raster-based C program for siting a landfill with optimal compactness, Computers & Geosciences, 22(8): 837-847.
Abstract Landfill siting requires performing spatial analyses for various factors to evaluate site suitability. A geographical information system, although capable of effectively manipulating spatial data, lacks the capability to locate an optimal site when compactness and other factors are considered simultaneously. In our previous work, a mixed-integer compactness model was proposed to overcome this difficulty. However, computational time with a conventional mixed-integer programming package for solving the model is time consuming and impractical. Therefore, in this work, a C program is developed, based on a proposed raster-based branch-and-bound algorithm. The program can implement multi-factor analyses for compactness and other siting factors with weights prespecified by the user. An example is provided to demonstrate the effectiveness of the program.


Kao J. J., W. Y. Chen and H. Y. Lin (1996) Network expert geographic information system for landfill siting,  Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering 10(4): 307–317.

Abstract A prototypical network expert geographic information system (GIS) is developed to facilitate municipal solid waste landfill siting. A forward chaining knowledge base consisting of related siting rules extracted from various literature is used to establish an expert system. Siting analysis is performed by a GIS and evaluated by rules triggered from the expert system. The expert system and GIS are integrated into an expert GIS to combine the advantages of both systems. Also, a multimedia network interface is designed for local or remote access to the system from anywhere on the Internet. With the interface, a general user does not require previous knowledge of the expert system and GIS to use the system. This networking capability not only significantly reduces the cost of distributing tools to each user, but also avoids the difficulty that each user may encounter in installing and managing tools on the computer. Finally, a case study is provided to demonstrate the effectiveness of the developed system in facilitating landfill-siting analysis. The system can be directly accessed via Internet from the home page


Kao J-J.  and H-Y. Lin (1996) Multifactor spatial analysis for landfill siting, Journal of Environmental Engineering 122(10): 902-908.

Abstract Siting a landfill typically requires processing a significant amount of spatial data with respect to various siting rules, regulations, factors, and constraints. Manually performing such a spatial analysis with drawing tools is generally tedious. A modern geographical information system (GIS), although capable of manipulating spatial data to facilitate the analysis, lacks the ability to locate an optimal site when compactness and other factors are simultaneously considered. An appropriate siting model was therefore explored for use with a raster-based GIS. A mixed-integer programming model was developed to obtain a site with optimal compactness. A comparison was made between the model and two other previously proposed models in terms of their applicability and simplicity for raster-based data. The compactness model was further extended to include multiple siting factors with weights determined using map layer analysis functions provided by a GIS. This multifactor model was applied to analyze the effects of varied weights and factors on making a siting decision.


Karatzas K., E. Dioudi and N. Moussiopoulos (2003) Identification of major components for integrated urban air quality management and information systems via user requirements prioritisation, Environmental Modelling & Software 18(2): 173-178.
Abstract  Integrated environmental management and information systems are software applications with various components. In the current paper the identification of the major components of such systems is being performed with the aid of the prioritisation of user requirements. For this reason, the analytical hierarchy process is applied for an integrated urban air quality management and information system, which is developed as a portal for environmental information. Useful results are drawn regarding the relevant importance of the components of such systems and the sensitivity of the prioritisation during their selection as a function of their relevant cost and value.


Keisler J. M. and R. C. Sundell (1997) Combining multi-attribute utility and geographic information for boundary decisions: An application to park planning, Journal of Geographic Information and Decision Analysis 1(2): 100 – 119.

Abstract The quality and value of an area depend primarily on what is found within its designated boundaries. To determine the value of such areas in terms of boundaries, we have developed a methodology for integrating multi-attribute utility functions with spatial analysis so that desirable, or appropriate, boundaries can be determined on the basis of the goals and objectives for the park. The key to successful evaluation is the development of measures for what decision makers value, rather than merely using what is easily measured. In a detailed example for planning of national parks, the fundamental objectives are conservation and societal use of the park resources. These are divided into sub-objectives, and then functional objectives, which are measured with a family of spatial analysis functions. Modeling is iterative, so that available spatial-analysis techniques may be used to produce acceptable measures from available information. The resulting value model is a key component in an integrated decision support system that allows the decision maker to evaluate alternative plans before selecting one of them. Mathematical and other definitions used in structuring this problem are generalizable to other geographic decision support applications.


Kitsiou D., H. Coccossis and M. Karydis  (2002) Multi-dimensional evaluation and ranking of coastal areas using GIS and multiple criteria choice methods, The Science of The Total Environment, 284(1-3): 1-17.
Abstract Coastal ecosystems are increasingly threatened by short-sighted management policies that focus on human activities rather than the systems that sustain them. The early assessment of the impacts of human activities on the quality of the environment in coastal areas is important for decision-making, particularly in cases of environment/development conflicts, such as environmental degradation and saturation in tourist areas. In the present study, a methodology was developed for the multi-dimensional evaluation and ranking of coastal areas using a set of criteria and based on the combination of multiple criteria choice methods and Geographical Information Systems (GIS). The northeastern part of the island of Rhodes in the Aegean Sea, Greece was the case study area. A distinction in sub-areas was performed and they were ranked according to socio-economic and environmental parameters. The robustness of the proposed methodology was assessed using different configurations of the initial criteria and reapplication of the process. The advantages and disadvantages, as well as the usefulness of this methodology for comparing the status of coastal areas and evaluating their potential for further development based on various criteria, is further discussed.


Klungboonkrong P. and M. A. P. Taylor (1998) A microcomputer-based- system for multicriteria environmental impacts evaluation of urban road networks Computers, Environment and Urban Systems 22(5): 425-446.

Abstract A microcomputer-based decision support system, namely `Spatial Intelligent Multicriteria Environmental Sensitivity Evaluation Planning Tool' (SIMESEPT) was applied to evaluate the multicriteria Environmental Sensitivity of the Geelong road network, in Victoria, Australia. SIMESEPT is an integration of information technologies (Knowledge-Based Expert Systems (KBES) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Fuzzy Set Theory (FST), multicriteria decision-making techniques (Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) and Fuzzy Multiattribute Decision Making (FMADM) method), and traffic environmental impact evaluation methods (Environmental Sensitivity Methodology (ESM) and some analytical models). The outcomes of the application indicate the potential utility of the system for investigating and assessing both separate and composite environmental consequences caused by road traffic in urban road network at a link-based level, indicating problem locations, and specifying the possible causes and key contributing factors to those problems. In the AHP synthesis phase, both the principle of hierarchic composition (used in the Typical AHP (TAHP) approach) and the fuzzy compositional evaluation methods (employed in Fuzzy Compositional AHP (FCAHP) approach) were utilised to aggregate all local priorities to achieve global priorities (representing the Composite Environmental Sensitivity Indices (CESI)) of each link in the central Geelong road network. It was found that the TAHP appears to be more powerful in differentiating links according to their combined ES characteristics than the FCAHP.


Klungboonkrong P. and  M. A. P. Taylor (1999) An Integrated Planning Tool for Evaluating Road Environmental Impacts Computer-Aided Civil and Infrastructure Engineering 14(5): 335 – 345.

This article describes the theoretical foundation, fundamental structure, and application of an integrated planning tool for evaluating the multicriteria environmental sensitivity (ES) of urban road networks. The tool is an integration of the environmental sensitivity methodology (ESM) concept, analytic hierarchy process (AHP), fuzzy set theory (FST), knowledge-based expert systems (KBES), and geographic information system (GIS). A case study application of the tool, using the road network for the city of Geelong in Victoria, Australia, is described. The results of the case study indicate the potential utility of the tool for assessing the ES of an urban road network at a local level, identifying problem locations, and specifying the possible causes of those problems. In addition, it is found that the typical AHP expressed more powerful capability in differentiating links according to their composite ES characteristics than the fuzzy compositional AHP.


Kontos T. D., D. P. Komilis  and C. R. Halvadakis   (2003) Siting MSW landfills on Lesvos island with a GIS-based methodology, Waste Management  Research  21(3): 262-277.

Abstract The siting of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) landfills in Greece is a difficult process due to land resource limitations, the country's mountainous, insular and primarily water permeable terrain as well as an exacerbated public opposition (NIMBY syndrome). A GIS-based methodology is presented here with the goal to identify and rank the candidate landfill sites for the entire island of Lesvos. The initial step of the methodology comprises a GIS-based spatial analysis that uses 10 criteria, by excluding all areas unsuitable for any waste disposal activity. The pre-selected areas are then further assessed by fieldwork and candidate landfill sites are determined. The candidate sites are ranked using 19 criteria with predefined weight coefficients on a 0 to 10 grading scale. The weight coefficients are estimated for each criterion using the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP), while the grading scheme is based on pre-defined guidelines. An overall suitability index is produced for each candidate site allowing comparison and best case selection. A case study for the island of Lesvos is presented here, in which eight candidate landfill sites were finally selected and ranked. Social factors highly determined the ultimate selection of the site in Lesvos, since the third rather than the first site suggested by the methodology, was finally approved by local authorities.


Kralisch S., M. Fink, W. A. Flugel and  C. Beckstein (2003) A neural network approach for the optimisation of watershed management, Environmental Modelling & Software 18(8-9): 815-823.

Abstract Managing a catchment for drinking water supply with a high proportion of agricultural land use is a difficult task if one has to maintain a reasonable balance between water quality demand and consequent restrictions for the farming industry. In this paper, we present a neural net-based method for finding good approximations to solutions of this problem. This method is capable of ‘inverting’ a hydrological model to identify land use scenarios that match best the leaching criteria defined for establishing a certain water quality level in the stream. The method not only allows simulation land use scenarios like hydrologic models do, but can search systematically for land use scenarios that fulfill specified criteria without worrying about the complexity of combinatorial optimisation.


Kurtener D.  and V. Badenko (2000) A GIS methodological framework based on fuzzy sets theory for land use management, Journal of the Brazilian Computer Society 6(3): 26-32.

Abstract This paper considers a GIS methodological framework based on fuzzy sets theory for land use management. Some principles of development of the GIS methodological framework are formulated. Applications of the GIS methodological framework are designed. In particular GIS knowledge management fuzzy models for analysis of soil commutative contamination by heavy metals, for the study of soil acidity, and for evaluation of soil conservation actions are obtained.


Kurttila M., T. Pukkala and J. Loikkanen (2002) The performance of alternative spatial objective types in forest planning calculations: a case for flying squirrel and moose, Forest Ecology and Management 166(1-3): 245-260.
Abstract This study examined the characteristics and performance of three different types of spatial objectives in multi-objective forest planning. These types were tested with a case study problem that aimed at improvements in the spatial pattern of the habitats of flying squirrel (Pteromys volans) and moose (Alces alces). In the first step, the habitats were determined by using a stand-level habitat suitability index (HSI). Stands in which the HSI exceeded a user-specified limit were considered as habitats. In the forest level problem formulations, the spatial objective types were included in the multi-objective forest-planning model, which was solved by using a heuristic optimization technique. The first type of spatial objective was the proportion of a specified type of stand boundary of the total boundary length. For flying squirrel, the aim was to increase the boundaries between neighboring stands, which were both suitable for breeding and foraging. For moose, the aim was to increase the amount of edge, i.e. the boundary between winter-foraging habitats and other areas. The second spatial objective type was the spatial autocorrelation of HSI. It was maximized for flying squirrel and minimized for moose. Whereas maximization of spatial autocorrelation tends to cluster similar stands, its minimization produces a pattern where neighboring stands often have different characteristics. The third spatial objective type was a weighted mean of the stand-level HSI. The weight depended on the stand location being highest for current habitat patches and decreased as the distance to them increased. This objective, which tends to cluster habitat patches, was applied to flying squirrel only. The spatial objective types were tested in six forest areas located in north Karelia, Finland, ranging from 404.6 to 984.8 ha in area. The first spatial objective resulted in a large area of habitat exceeding the threshold HSI value with a good spatial pattern. The second spatial objective yielded a clearly lower total habitat area but a good spatial pattern, and a good connectivity of the flying squirrels' habitats. The third objective resulted in a slightly improved spatial pattern of the flying squirrels' habitats.


Kyem P. A. K. (2001) An application of a choice heuristic algorithm for managing land resource allocation problems involving multiple parties and conflicting interests, Transactions in GIS 5(2): 111-.

Abstract Competition among individuals and communities for the use of resources has made resource management activity very contentious and complex. Conflicts over the allocation of resources are forcing resource managers worldwide, particularly those in Sub-Saharan Africa, to widen the range of interests they consider and embrace environmental factors before they make and implement resource policies. In tandem with the recent extension of GIS applications into the region therefore is the expectation that the technology would create opportunities for public participation and for resolving conflicts that result from competition for resources. However, creating a supportive environment for people in the communities to actively participate in resource policy decisions requires simple, but efficient, participatory decision support procedures that are lacking in many of today's GIS. This paper describes the application of a decision support algorithm for managing resource allocation problems involving competing interests. A case involving multiple claims to resources in the Aboma Forest Reserve located at Kofiase in Southern Ghana is used to illustrate the Public Participatory GIS (PPGIS) methodology.


Kyem P. A. K. (2004) On intractable conflicts and participatory GIS applications: the search for consensus amidst competing claims and institutional demands, Annals of the Association of American Geographers   94(1): 37-57.

Abstract This article reviews the discourse about geographic information system's (GIS) potential as a tool for intervening in disputes over access to natural resources. GIS is a planning tool with striking analytical capabilities and a great public appeal that can be utilized for explicitly reasoned discussions to facilitate conflict resolution. However, the technology's reputation as an interventionist tool has been undermined by competing claims about human factors that sustain conflicts. Some scholars believe elements of a conflict are manageable and that meaningful communication between disputants will erase misconceptions and generate consensus. Others reject cooperation and instead emphasize self-interest and competition as the driving forces behind conflicts. This article investigates the two claims and argues that both the competitive push to claim independent rewards and the urge to create joint values are present in a conflict resolution. A more productive discussion of GIS's role in conflict management, therefore, involves unpacking the links between competitive forces that sustain a conflict and the social norms and group expectations that govern human behavior in society. The article discusses the links between value systems, opinions, and actions and how a GIS application might influence such human attributes to induce changes that promote cooperation. The study concludes with a case study involving the use of GIS to manage a conflict over natural resources allocation in a rural community in Southern Ghana.

Kyem P. A. K. (2004) Power, participation, and inflexible institutions: An examination of the challenges to community empowerment in participatory GIS applications, Cartographica 38(3-4): 5–18.


Laaribi, A., J.-J. Chevallier,  and J.-M. Martel (1993) Méthodologie d'intégration des SIG et de l'analyse multicritère, Revue Internationale de Géomatique 3(4): 415-435.


Laaribi A., J. J. Chevallier and J. M. Martel (1996) A spatial decision aid: A multicriterion evaluation approach Computers, Environment and Urban Systems 20(6): 351-366.
There is a growing consensus on the necessity of transforming GIS into real decision support tools and several authors have pleaded for the elaboration of Spatial Decision Support Systems (SDSS). In this paper, we recommend the integration of GIS and Multicriteria Analysis methods. We present the reasons that have led to this integration and a conceptual framework to facilitate it. A prototype will also be presented to show what such a SDSS could be.


Lachassagne P., R. Wyns, P. Bérard, T. Bruel, L. Chéry, T. Coutand, J. F. Desprats  and P. Le Strat (2001) Exploitation of high-yields in hard-rock aquifers: downscaling methodology combining GIS and multicriteria analysis to delineate field prospecting zones, Ground Water,  39(4): 568-81.
Abstract Based on research work in the Truyère River catchment of the Massif Central (Lozère Department, France), a methodology has been developed for delineating favorable prospecting zones of a few square kilometers within basement areas of several hundred, if not thousand, square kilometers for the purpose of sitting high-yield water wells. The methodology adopts a functional approach to hard-rock aquifers using a conceptual model of the aquifer structure and of the functioning of the main aquifer compartments: the alterites (weathered and decayed rock), the underlying weathered-fissured zone, and the fractured bedrock. It involves an economically feasible method of mapping the thickness and spatial distribution of the alterites and the weathered-fissured zone, on which the long-term exploitation of the water resource chiefly depends. This method is used for the first time in hydrogeology. The potential ground water resources were mapped by GIS multicriteria analysis using parameters characterizing the structure and functioning of the aquifer, i.e., lithology and hydrogeological properties of the substratum, nature and thickness of the alterites and weathered-fissured zone, depth of the water table, slope, fracture networks and present-day tectonic stresses, and forecasted ground water quality. The methodology involves a coherent process of downscaling that, through applying methods that are increasingly precise but also increasingly costly, enables the selection of sites with diminishing surface areas as the work advances. The resulting documents are used for ground water exploration, although they can also be applied to the broader domain of land-use management.


La Jeunesse I. M. Rounsevell and M. Vanclooster (2003) Delivering a decision support system tool to a river contract: a way to implement the participatory approach principle at the catchment scale?, Physics and Chemistry of the Earth 28(12-13):547-554.

Abstract The MULINO project (MULti-sectoral, Integrated and Operational decision support system (DSS) for sustainable use of water resources at the catchment scale), funded by the Environment and Climate Programme of the European Union (EU), aims to support the scientific basis for integrated water management. The purpose of the project is to provide a tool to improve the integrated management of water resources at the catchment scale, based on the requirements of the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD).

This paper presents the methodology aspects of the project. The design of the MULINO_DSS is based on the European Environment Agency DPSIR framework of environmental cause-effect relationships. D represents the driving forces, P, the pressures on the environment caused by human activities, S, the state of the environment, I, the impact on the environment and R, the human activities and desirable societal responses. This DPSIR chain provides the end-user of the DSS with an integrated view of complex, interacting issues.

The first step in the MULINO project has been the analysis of local decision networks and the identification of an end-user to whom the DSS will be delivered. The importance of this step is illustrated by the results of the analysis for the Belgian case study: the Walloon part of the Dyle river catchment. The design of the DSS is made more complicated in this catchment by the fragmented nature of water management decision making. However, to overcome this problem, the design of the DSS was targeted at the river contract (RC) of the catchment. The coordinator of the RC is a focal point for a range of end-users and stakeholders with responsibility for water management in this catchment. This organisational structure was originally put in place to find a consensus when solving conflicting water management issues. Thus, the concept for the DSS development and delivery fits with the participatory approach principle of the WFD and builds on existing local networks of integrated water management.

Langevin C., F. Pernel, and T. Pointet (1991) An aid to decision-making in hydrogeological exploration: Multicriterion analysts in the evaluation of aquifer potential in a fractured medium, Hydrogeologie 1: 51-64. (in French).


Leão S., I. Bishop and D. Evans (2001) Assessing the demand of solid waste disposal in urban region by urban dynamics modelling in a GIS environment, Resources, Conservation and Recycling 33(4): 289-313.
Abstract The twentieth century saw a dramatic increase in the production of urban solid waste, reflecting unprecedented global levels of economic activity. Despite some efforts to reduce and recover the waste, disposal in landfills is still the most usual destination. However, landfill has become more difficult to implement because of its increasing cost, community opposition to landfill siting, and more restrictive environmental regulations regarding the siting and operation of landfills. Moreover, disposal in landfill is the waste destination method with the largest demand for land, while land is a resource whose availability has been decreasing in urban systems. Shortage of land for landfills is a problem frequently cited in the literature as a physical constraint. Nonetheless, the shortage of land for waste disposal has not been fully studied and, in particular, quantified. This paper presents a method to quantify the relationship between the demand and supply of suitable land for waste disposal over time using a geographic information system and modelling techniques. Based on projections of population growth, urban sprawl and waste generation the method can allow policy and decision-makers to measure the dimension of the problem of shortage of land into the future. The procedure can provide information to guide the design and schedule of programs to reduce and recover waste, and can potentially lead to a better use of the land resource. Porto Alegre City, Brazil was used as the case study to illustrate and analyse the approach. By testing different waste management scenarios, the results indicated that the demand for land for waste disposal overcomes the supply of suitable land for this use in the study area before the year 2050.


Leão S., I. Bishop and D. Evans (2004) Spatial–temporal model for demand and allocation of waste landfills in growing urban regions, Computers, Environment and Urban Systems 28(4):353-385.

Abstract Shortage of land for waste disposal is a serious and growing potential problem in most large urban regions. However, no practical studies have been reported in the literature that incorporate the process of consumption and depletion of landfill space in urban regions over time and analyse its implications for the management of waste. An evaluation of existing models of waste management indicates that they can provide significant insights into the design of solid waste management activities. However, these models do not integrate spatial and temporal aspects of waste disposal that are essential to understand and measure the problem of shortage of land. The lack of adequate models is caused in part due to limitations of the methodologies the existing models are based upon, such as limitations of geographic information systems (GIS) in handling dynamic processes, and the limitations of systems analysis in incorporating spatial physical properties. This indicates that new methods need to be introduced in waste management modelling. Moreover, existing models generally do not link waste management to the process of urban growth.

This paper presents a model to spatially and dynamically model the demand for and allocation of facilities for urban solid waste disposal in growing urban regions. The model developed here consists of a loose-coupled system that integrates GIS (geographic information systems) and cellular automata (CA) in order to give it spatial and dynamic capabilities. The model combines three sub-systems: (1) a CA-based model to simulate spatial urban growth over the future; (2) a spread-sheet calculation for designing waste disposal options and hence evaluating demand for landfill space over time; and (3) a model developed within a GIS to evaluate the availability and suitability of land for landfill over time and then simulate allocation of landfills in the available land. The proposed model has been tested and set up with data from a real source (Porto Alegre City, Brazil), and has successfully assessed the demand for landfills and their allocation over time under a range of scenarios of decision-making regarding waste disposal systems, urban growth patterns and land evaluation criteria.


Lee Y. W., I. Bogardi and J. H. Kim (2000) Decision of water supply line under uncertainty, Water Research 34(13):  3371-3379.
Abstract Alternatives that are generally considered as a water supply line for conveying the collected and treated water from the source to community are studied. To evaluate and rank these alternatives, several indicators are then made based on the technical feasibility of methods for constructing a water supply pipeline, the safety of hydraulic pressure or velocity, and the reasonableness of the cost required. However, assessing technical feasibility, safety and cost contains elements of uncertainty due to a lack of available information, the randomness of future situations, and the incomplete knowledge of the expert. In this study, a methodology using fuzzy sets is presented to assist decision makers in evaluating various water supply lines with uncertain information, in order to decide a proper line. The methodology allows decision makers to characterize associated uncertainty and incorporate it directly into the decision-making process so decisions can be made that are more appropriate and realistic than those made without taking uncertainty into account.


Lepofsky M. and M. Abkowitz (1993) Transportation hazard analysis in integrated GIS environment,  Journal of Transport Engineering 119: 239–254.


Li T. H., J. R. Ni and W. X. Ju (2004) Land-use adjustment with a modified soil loss evaluation method supported by GIS, Future Generation Computer Systems 20(7): 1185-1195.

Abstract Land-use structure information is of significance in evaluation of soil loss owing to the contributions of various land-use patterns with different relative importance to soil and water conservation. In previous studies, a land-use structure characteristic index (SI), defined as the sum of products between each weighted land-use type and the percentage of the impacted area in the whole test region, was proposed to reflect the resulting impacts of human factors and serve as an indirect measure of soil loss variation. In this paper, the SI was modified with consideration of spatial distribution of land-use in terms of the minimal distance between a specific land patch and a river, either the main stem or one of the primary tributaries. A topographic factor was also introduced to correct the SI. Soil loss was evaluated with support of GIS through a case study at Zhifanggou, a small catchment in the Yanhe watershed in the middle part of the Loess plateau. Comparison was made between the soil losses before and after the adjustment of land-use types since 1987 according to the governmental ordinance aiming at ecological rehabilitation. It was found that the land-use adjustment in the last 12 years has been in a right direction toward minimizing soil loss, but the difference of the actual SI in 1999 and the predicted SI corresponding to the potential optimal land-use structure implies that more efforts should be made in land-use conversion in the coming years.


Li X., W. Wang, F. Li and X. Deng (1999) GIS based map overlay method for comprehensive assessment of road environmental impact, Transportation
Research Part D: Transport and Environment 4(3): 147-158.

By integrating the merits of the map overlay method and the matrix method, a Geographic Information System (GIS) based map overlay method is developed to analyze comprehensively the environmental vulnerability around road and its impact on the environment, which is adapted for the comprehensive assessment of road environmental impact and the optimal selection of road alignments. The assessment process of the GIS based map overlay method and a detailed case study are presented, which include deciding the system structure and weights of assessment factors, making environmental vulnerability grade maps, calculating the respective coefficients of road impact extent for each factor, and evaluating the alternative alignments comprehensively to obtain the best one.


Li X. and A. G . O. Yeh (2001) Zoning land for agricultural protection by the integration of remote sensing, GIS, and cellular automata, Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing, 67 (4): 471-477.

Abstract Zoning strategic agricultural land for protection has become important in reducing agricultural land loss in rapidly growing areas. In this paper, a constrained CA model based on the integration of remote sensing, GIS, and cellular automata (CA) techniques was developed to overcome the limitations of the existing methods commonly used by planners in zoning land for agricultural protection. Remote sensing data were used to calculate the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) which was the initial map used for the model. The factors of land suitability and geometry were embedded in the model to facilitate the rational allocation of land for agricultural protection. The CA model was implemented within a geographic information system which provided useful constraint information and modeling environment. "Grey cells" were defined in the CA model to improve modeling accuracy. The model has been tested in the Pearl River Delta, one of the fastest growing areas in China.


Li X. and A. G. O. Yeh (2002) Urban simulation using principal components analysis and cellular automata for land-use planning, Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing, 68( 4): 341-352.

Abstract  This paper discusses the integration of cellular automata (CA), principal components analysis, and GIS techniques in simulating alternative urban growth patterns for land-use planning. The simulation of actual cities usually involves multicriteria evaluation (MCE) in tackling the problems of complex spatial factors. Spatial factors often exhibit a high degree of correlation which is considered an undesirable property for MCE. It is difficult to determine the weights when many spatial variables are involved. This study uses principal components analysis (PCA) to remove data redundancy among a large set of spatial variables and determine the "ideal point" for land development. The simulation is based on transition rules that are related to the neighborhood function and similarity between cells and the "ideal point." Principal components analysis helps to deal with a large data set of spatial variables for the implementation of the CA model.


Lin F-T. (2000) GIS-based information flow in a land-use zoning review process, Landscape and Urban Planning 52(1): 21-32.

Abstract This work describes a geographical information system (GIS)-based information flow for a land-use zoning review process. GIS technology is employed not only to edit and display maps as conventional GIS applications, but also to enhance work quality. These enhancements include an exploration of hidden information, the production of tentative zoning maps, recognizing potentially problematic areas, conducting crucial site investigations, facilitating informative public hearing, and presenting potential policies. In the case of the Yang–Ming–Shan (YMS) National Park, Taiwan, a GIS-based information flow is employed to assist in the land-use zoning review process. This GIS-based information system reveals several features including: (1) a new, more complicated and effective information flow; (2) close coordination of computing and noncomputing sub-processes; (3) prior identification of over and under-regulated areas to avoid potential appeals and conflicts; (4) economical and effective site investigations, and (5) potential policies established for both private and public land. The case of the YMS National Park is encouraging. We believe that the application of a GIS-based information flow is beneficial to both the zoning plan production and the review process.


Lin H-Y. and J-J.  Kao  (1999) Enhanced spatial model for landfill siting analysis, Journal of Environmental Engineering 125(9): 845-851.

Abstract A landfill siting analysis typically requires evaluating various rules, factors, constraints, and numerous spatial data. A modern geographical information system, although capable of rapidly processing a massive amount of spatial data, lacks the ability to locate an optimal site when compactness and other factors are simultaneously evaluated. A previously developed grid-based model could not be applied to resolve this inability for irregularly shaped spatial data. Therefore, an enhanced spatial siting model is proposed herein for general spatial data. A compactness index is applied to ensure the integrity of selected sites. Two case studies are presented to demonstrate the applicability of the proposed model. The proposed model and two models developed previously are compared in the first case study based on the single factor of land cost. A single factor model is perhaps quite unacceptable with respect to other factors. The second case study is thus presented to demonstrate the flexibility of the model for considering additional factors, land slope, and road network accessibility. Moreover, results obtained from various models and siting factors are compared and discussed.


Lin H.,  Q. Wan, X. Li, J. Chen and  Y. Kong (1997) GIS-based multicriteria evaluation for investment environment Environment and Planning B 24(3): 403 – 414.

Abstract Traditional investment environment evaluation focuses on macrofactors, factors such as government stability, restrictions, and red tape. The introduction of GIS into this field provides investors and local government decisionmakers with more specific information on investment location. In this paper, a GIS-based multicriteria evaluation support system for investment evaluation is presented. The aim of the system is to develop an analysis environment to support various investment researchers and investors and to allow users with different experiences to find their own answers, which may vary. Criterion definition, management, evaluation scenario management, and user interface are four essential components of such a system. The support system is integrated with a GIS software package through a computer network facility. A case study on the Nanchang - Jiujiang industrial corridor is carried out to test the flexibility of the system.


Lindsey G., J. Wittman and M. Rummel (1997) Using indices in environmental planning: evaluating policies for wellfield protection, Journal of Environmental Planning and Management 40(6): 685-703.

Abstract An important task in environmental planning is interpretation of data. Indicators, statistics or other measures of conditions or performance often are used to simplify complex data sets and to facilitate plan-making and policy development .With increased need to stretch scarce resources for environmental protection and to target activities that pose the greatest risk, there is significant new interest in the development of indicators and indices. General frameworks are available for describing both the structure of indices and different descriptive or analytic approaches in which they can be used. This paper describes the use of environmental indicators in planning for wellfield protection in Indianapolis, Indiana. Advisory committees used indicators of development activity, indices of chemical risk and an index of the desirability of management alternatives in developing a set of recommendations for groundwater protection that were adopted by the city-county council. While the indices were not incorporated directly into regulatory schemes, they were useful for informing debate and focusing argument over regulatory options.


List G. F. and M.A. Turnquist (1998) Routing and Emergency-Response-Team Siting for High-Level Radioactive Waste Shipments IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management 45(2): 141-152.

Abstract Route choice and emergency-response-team siting are both important facets of any high-level radioactive-waste shipment campaign. These two sets of decisions are clearly related, and both involve multiple objectives. This paper describes a methodology for making these decisions jointly, in a logical and sequential fashion, and illustrates the technique using preliminary estimates of shipments to be made to the Waste Isolation Pilot Project facility.


Liu C. and  Y. Itoh (2001) Information technology applications for bridge maintenance management, Logistics Information Management 14(5-6): 393-400.

Abstract Infrastructure maintenance management has become a challenge field for civil engineers and government managers because of the increasing number of deteriorated structures, their complicated spatial locations, the improved service requirements, the limited maintenance budgets and so on. Therefore, maintenance management approaches have been developed for civil infrastructures such as bridges and roads over the past several decades, but most of such approaches focused on one specific structure only - project-level maintenance management. Now, there are increasing demands and appropriate conditions for network-level maintenance management for civil infrastructure systems. Aims to explore such a maintenance management approach by integrating and applying the current information technologies, which include the database management system, geographic information system, genetic algorithm and the Internet. Several possible applications of each technology are discussed for solving real-world problems.


Lotov A. V., V. A. Bushenkov, A. V. Chernov, D. V. Gusev, and G. K. Kamenev (1997) Internet, GIS, and Interactive Decision Maps,  Journal of Geographic Information and Decision Analysis 1(2): 118-149.

Abstract This paper presents on the Interactive Decision Maps (IDM) technique. The IDM technique helps to apply Geographical Information Systems (GIS) in the context of spatial decision problems involving large number of varieties. It provides fast and easy to understand display of decision information about systems of efficient tradeoffs (decision maps). Information on feasible combinations of three to seven performance indicators (evaluation criteria) and on efficient tradeoffs between them can be displayed. In a decision process, this information helps to indicate a preferable feasible goal on a decision map by a simple mouse click. Then, a decision alternative resulting in the feasible goal is computed immediately. In negotiation procedures, the IDM technique helps to transform negotiations into navigation on decision maps. The IDM -based negotiation support procedures accomplish the main idea of Principled Negotiations: decisions are computed after a balanced combination of interests has been negotiated. In spatial decision and negotiation problems, the computed decision alternatives are displayed in GIS. Since the interaction among user and computer in IDM is quite simple, it can be implemented via computer networks. Here, we restrict ourselves to open networks (actually, the Internet). Being implemented in the Internet, the IDM technique can help any computer-literate person to develop independent strategies for solving various important problems. An Internet demo version for developing a strategy for a regional economic problem has been established at the Web ( The concept of IDM-based negotiations via Internet devoted to collaborative decision making on local and regional problems is outlined.


Lourenço H. R.,  J.  P. Paixão and R. Portugal (2001) Multiobjective metaheuristics for the bus driver scheduling problem, Transportation Science 35(3):331 -343.

Abstract We present new multiobjective metaheuristics for solving real-world crew scheduling problems in public bus transport companies. Since the crews of these companies are drivers, we will designate the problem as bus-driver scheduling. Crew scheduling problems are well known, and several mathematical programming-based techniques have been proposed to solve them, in particular, using the single-objective set-covering formulation. However, in practice, there exists the need to consider multiple objectives, some of them in conflict with each other; for example, the cost and service quality, implying also that alternative solution methods have to be developed. We propose multiobjective metaheuristics based on the tabu search and genetic algorithms. These metaheuristics also present some innovation features related with the structure of the crew scheduling problem that guide the search efficiently and enable them to find good solutions. Some of these new features can also be applied to the development of heuristics to other combinatorial optimization problems. A summary of computational results with real-data problems is presented. The methods have been successfully incorporated in the GIST Planning Transportation Systems and are actually used by several companies.


MacDonald M. L. (1996) A multi-attribute spatial decision support system for solid waste planning, Computers, Environment and Urban Systems, 20(1): 1-17.
Abstract Solid waste planning addresses situations which involve a variety of factors such as economic costs, legislative requirements, land use, pollution generation, resource usage and equity in the number and demographics of people effected by a plan. In making decisions about solid waste systems, the trade-offs between these factors must be considered, leading to large amounts of data and information that must be organized and analyzed. Unfortunately, many municipal solid waste planners do not have the resources needed to manage all of the relevant information, leading to incomplete consideration of relevant factors, or satisficing in selecting an alternative. To assist in improving the solid waste decision-making process, a study of planning processes was completed, and a specific spatial decision support system (SDSS) developed to address the multi-attribute and geographical nature of solid waste systems. This is done by providing analytical tools both for developing plans and for evaluating a number of impacts associated with a plan. The SDSS includes expert systems and model management capabilities to supply, organize and analyze relevant data, and a GIS to help planners understand the spatial nature of particular programs and how they may impact the public and the environment.


Mahmoud M. R., H. Fahmy, and J. W. Labadie (2002) Multicriteria siting and sizing of desalination facilities with Geographic Information System, Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management  128(2): 113-120.

Abstract Desalination of sea and brackish water is gaining interest as a viable water source in several arid regions of the world where limited freshwater resources are under stress from increasing demands and deteriorating water quality. Although a few large desalination plants exist and are planned for future implementation, most desalinization facilities are constructed on a small scale to satisfy domestic requirements for individual cities and resort areas. As the cost of desalination continues to decline with improved technologies, integrated methodologies are needed for optimally locating and sizing desalinization facilities over regional scales. The problem is complicated by multiple, noncommensurate objectives related to economic, social, and political criteria and complex spatial analysis in locating facilities. A methodology is presented that integrates geographic information systems with multicriteria decision analysis for regionally locating and sizing desalinization facilities for domestic water supply. Application to the northwestern coast of Egypt, a region remote from freshwater sources in the Nile Valley and Delta, prioritizes cities to be served and optimally locates and sizes desalination facilities over the region.


Makropoulos C.K., D. Butler, and C. Maksimovic (2003) Fuzzy logic spatial decision support system for urban water management, Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management,  129 (1): 69-77.

Abstract Urban water management is a demanding decision-making environment where optimal planning presupposes a synthesis of heterogeneous information of high spatial resolution to ensure site-specific implementation. To assist the decision maker in this task, the development of spatial decision support systems (SDSS) with a distinct spatial character is considered sine qua lion. The paper describes the development of a prototype SDSS supporting strategic planning, providing examples from a particular application in water demand management (WDM). A three-stage approach is developed and utilized: After an initial user-defined choice of strategies to be explored, the system produces suitability maps for each individual attribute of the strategies in question using type-1 and type-2 fuzzy inference systems. The results are aggregated using ordered weighted averaging, allowing for the incorporation of the decision maker's optimism in the final outcome. The last stage consists of an optimization procedure enabling the identification of an optimal composite strategy, from a water saving point of view, under user defined investment constraints. The results support the case of using SDSS based on approximate reasoning to complement engineering expertise for urban water management applications tailored to user characteristics and site-specific constraints.


Malczewski J.  (1996) A GIS-based approach to multiple criteria group decision-making, International Journal of Geographical Information Systems 10(8): 955-971.

Abstract This paper is concerned with developing a GIS-based approach to group decision-making under multiple criteria. The approach integrates, within a raster GIS environment, the Technique for Order Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS) and Borda's choice rule. TOPSIS orders the feasible alternatives according to their closeness to the ideal solution. It is used to derive the individual preference orderings. Borda's method combines the individual preferences into a group preference or consensus/compromise ranking. The approach is implemented within the IDRISI GIS and illustrated on a hypothetical decision situation.


   Malczewski J. (1999) Visualization in multicriteria spatial decision support systems,  Geomatica, 53(2): 9-147.

Abstract This paper offers a selection of techniques for visualizing spatial decision problems in the Multicriteria-Spatial Decision Support environment. The visualization techniques include: the column chart/map display, multicriteria scatterplot/map matrix, and value path/map display. The techniques are discussed in the context of a real-world multicriteria decision problem in the city of Sarnia-Clearwater, Ontario. The main aim of using display methods in multicriteria analysis is to explore the trade-offs among conflicting criteria and to search for the best (compromise) solutions to the decision problem. The paper emphasizes that the multicriteria approach requires the decision problem be visualized in both the criteria and decision (geographical) space.


Malczewski J. (2000) On the use of weighted linear combination method in GIS: Common and best practice approaches, Transactions in GIS 4(1): 5-22.

Abstract The weighted linear combination (WLC) technique is a decision rule for deriving composite maps using GIS. It is one of the most often used decision models in GIS. The method, however, is frequently applied without full understanding of the assumptions underling this approach. In many case studies, the WLC model has been applied incorrectly and with dubious results because analysts (decision makers) have ignored or been unaware of the assumptions. This paper provides a critical overview of the current practice with respect to GIS/WLC and suggests the best practice approach.

Malczewski J., 1996, A GIS-based approach to multiple  criteria  group decision making, International Journal of Geographical Information Systems, 10, 955-971.


Malczewski J. (2002) Fuzzy Screening for Land Suitability Analysis Geographical and Environmental Modelling 6(1): 27 - 39
Abstract Screening procedures are typically operationalized in GIS by means of Boolean operations using conjunctive or disjunctive decision rules. There are several conceptual and technical problems with the conventional screening methods. The methods require fairly detailed a priori information about the cut-off values, aspiration (target) levels, or preferences with respect to the importance of screening criteria. They may be complex, time consuming, and not totally amenable to quantitative analyses in situations involving categorical or mixed data. This paper proposes a GIS-based fuzzy screening method that avoids some of the difficulties. The method requires only a qualitative scale for land suitability evaluation with respect to a number of attributes. It also allows for assigning to each attribute a different degree of importance. The procedure results in dividing the set of alternatives (parcels of land) into two subsets: acceptable (feasible) and unacceptable (infeasible).


Malczewski J. (2004) GIS-based land-use suitability analysis: a critical overview, Progress in Planning 62(1): 3-65.

Abstract There are three main objectives of this monograph: (i) to provide an introduction to geographical information technology along with an historical perspective on the evolving role of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in planning, (ii) to overview relevant methods and techniques for GIS-based land-use suitability mapping and modeling, and (iii) to identify the trends, challenges and prospects of GIS-based land-use suitability analysis. The monograph focuses on two perspectives of GIS-based land-use suitability analysis: the techno-positivist perspective and the socio-political, public participation perspectives. It is organized into six chapters. After an introductory setting chapter, which defines the scope of land-use suitability analysis, an overview of relevant GIS technology is provided in Chapter 2. Chapter 3 offers an historical account of the development of GIS. It also discusses the development of GIS in the context of evolving perspectives of planning. Chapter 4 gives an overview of the methods for GIS-based land-use suitability modeling. The overview provides a background against which selected case studies are discussed in Chapter 5. The concluding chapter summarized the main points of the monographs and discusses problems and prospects for GIS-based land-use suitability analysis.


Malczewski J. , T. Chapman, C. Flegel, D. Walters, D. Shrubsole, M. A. Healy (2003) GIS - multicriteria evaluation with ordered weighted averaging (OWA): case study of developing watershed management strategies,  Environment and Planning A,  35(10): 1769 – 1784.

Abstract This paper focuses on the parameterized-ordered weighted averaging (OWA) method. OWA is a family of multicriteria evaluation (or combination) rules. The proposed approach uses a parameter that serves as a mechanism for guiding multicriteria evaluation procedures. The parameter is incorporated into a method for obtaining the optimal order weights and for developing a transformation function. The function provides us with a consistent way of modifying the criterion values so that the multicriteria combination procedures can be guided by specifying a single parameter. The parameterized-OWA method has been implemented in a GIS environment as a GIS - OWA module and it has been tested in a real-world situation for developing management strategies in the Cedar Creek watershed in Ontario, Canada. Given a set of evaluation criteria, the problem is to evaluate areas in the watershed for rehabilitation and enhancement projects. Using the GIS - OWA method, a number of alternative strategies for rehabilitation and enhancement projects have been generated and evaluated.


Malczewski  J.,  M. Pazner  , and M. Zaliwska (1997)  GIS-based   techniques   for   visualizing  multicriteria location analysis: a case study, Cartography  and  Geographic Information Systems 24(2): 80-90.

Abstract This paper presents four techniques for visualizing multicriteria location analysis - the decision matrix, payoff matrix, multicriteria scatterplot/map matrix, and value path/map display. These techniques are implemented within a raster GIS environment and illustrated by means of a real-world location problem in the City of Sarnia-Clearwater, Ontario. The decision matrix and payoff matrix techniques are used to visualize the input data for a multicriteria location problem. The multicriteria scatterplot/map matrix and value path/map display methods provide tools to analyze the problem in the decision space and the criterion outcome space simultaneously. These two methods are complementary. The multicriteria scatterplot/map matrix is an effective method for problems involving a large number of alternative solutions. The major shortcoming of this method is its limited applicability when the solutions are evaluated on the basis of a large number of criteria. The value path/map display is an effective method of visualizing a large number of evaluation criteria, but the technique is of limited applicability for problems characterized by a large number of solutions.


Maness T. and R. Farrell  (2004) A multi-objective scenario evaluation model for sustainable forest management using criteria and indicators, Canadian Journal of Forest Research 34(10): 2004-2017.

Abstract A multi-objective optimization model was created for medium-term forest development planning for an integrated forest products company located in the East Kootenay area of British Columbia, Canada. First, a set of sustainable forest management criteria and indicators were developed based on information that could be collected from regional geographic information system (GIS) databases and potential outputs from the model. Next, a new forest development planning unit was created (stewardship unit) in which adjacent forest polygons with similar indicator attributes were aggregated. The planning model was designed to determine appropriate harvest levels and management treatments on each stewardship unit to satisfy objectives determined in a participatory process. The mathematical model uses a fuzzy MAXMIN approach, where each indicator represents an objective in the model. Indicators are valued in the model using targets, thresholds, and triggers (called the 3-T approach). A case study is used to demonstrate the use of the model in a sustainable forest development planning context. The results of the case study show that the planning area is highly sensitive to visual quality, old-growth, and community watershed indicators. The paper concludes with a sensitivity analysis that determines the relative opportunity cost of various sustainable forest management indicators on company profits, employment, and tax revenues.


Maniezzo V., I. Mendes and M. Paruccini (1998) Decision support for siting problems, Decision Support Systems  23(3): 273-284.
Abstract Despite the development of mathematics of location theory and its obvious economic impact, few applications have been developed and are actually in use to support decision makers in siting decisions. The obstacles that hinder a more widespread exploitation of mathematical results are twofold: the intrinsic difficulties of the relevant problems and the tradeoff to be balanced between the different objectives. The article presents the results obtained in the implementation of a Decision Support system applied to the problem of locating installations for industrial waste management. This DSS is based on multicriteria decision analysis for the best siting of plants, minimizing costs and environmental impacts. The proposed approach identifies a hierarchy of objectives, where at the top level we solve a 0/1 fixed cost transportation problem (FCTP). This is an NP-hard combinatorial optimization problem that can only be solved heuristically for real world problem sizes. A number of good solutions of the single objective problem are combined to produce efficient alternatives, to be further evaluated by means of multicriteria methods. Computational results both of the FCTP and of the whole systems are provided.


Marinoni O. (2004)  Implementation of the analytical hierarchy process with VBA in ArcGIS Computers & Geosciences 30(6): 637 – 646.

Abstract Decisions on landuse have become progressively more difficult in the last decades. The main reasons for this development lie in the increasing population combined with an increasing demand for new land and resources and in the growing consciousness for sustainable land and resource use. The steady reduction of valuable land leads to an increase of conflicts in land use decision-making processes since more interests are being affected and therefore more stakeholders with different land use interests and different valuation criteria are being involved in the decision-making process. In the course of such a decision process all identified criteria are weighted according to their relative importance. But assigning weights to the relevant criteria quickly becomes a difficult task when a greater number of criteria are being considered, especially with regard to land use decisions where decision makers expect some kind of mapped result it is therefore useful to use procedures that not only help to derive criteria weights but also accelerate the visualisation and mapping of land use assessment results. Both aspects can easily be facilitated in a GIS. This paper focuses the development of an ArcGIS VBA macro which enables the user to derive criteria weights with the analytical hierarchy process and which allows a mapping of the land use assessment results by a weighted summation of GIS raster data sets. A dynamic link library for the calculation of the eigenvalues and eigenvectors of a square matrix is provided.


Martin N. J., B. St Onge and J. P. Waaub (2003) An integrated decision aid system for the development of Saint Charles River alluvial plain, Quebec, Canada, International Journal of Environment and Pollution, 12 (2-3): 264-279.

Abstract We describe an integrated decision aid system designed to assist land-use planning and management of the alluvial plain of Saint Charles River, Quebec. The first stages of the development of the system consisted in building a georeferenced database managed by a geographical information system (GIS), and to elaborate eight different development scenarios along the Saint Charles River in a multiple decision-maker context. Multicriteria analysis (MCA) was then used to evaluate and compare the scenarios according to eleven criteria, using a combination of GIS analysis with Mapinfo and multicriteria processing carried out in PROMCALC & GAIA 3.5. This process leads to a partial ranking (PROMETHEE I) and a complete ranking of the scenarios (PROMETHEE II) for each individual decision-maker as well as for the whole group. We show that this approach helps multiple decision-makers to reach rational decisions based on scientific data and political considerations.


Martinez-Alegria R.C. Ordonezand J. Taboada (2003) A conceptual model for analyzing the risks involved in the transportation of hazardous goods: Implementation in a geographic information system Human and Ecological Risk Assessment 9(3): 857-874.

Abstract The transportation of hazardous goods by road implies a risk for both humans and the environment, in that an accident involving a vehicle transporting this kind of material may cause extensive material and environmental damage and might even endanger lives. For this reason, both public and private entities (e.g., insurance companies) have a growing interest in studies that assess the risks associated with hazardous goods transportation This article describes a method for calculating these risks. The risk is determined on the basis of a calculation of the probability of the occurrence of an accident and the gravity of the damage, which is in turn a function of the potential damage inherent in the goods being transported taken with the vulnerability of the environmental medium in which the accident takes place. The mathematical model proposed is easily implemented in a geographical information system that will produce risk maps delimiting the more potentially conflictive stretches of roadway.


Matthews K. B., A. R. Sibbald, S. Craw (1999) Implementation of a spatial decision support system for rural land use planning: integrating geographic information system and environmental models with search and optimisation algorithms, Computers and Electronics in Agriculture 23:  9–26.

Abstract The implementation of a spatial decision support system (DSS) developed as a tool for rural land use planning at the management unit level is described. The DSS fulfils the need for a tool that allows rural land managers to explore their land use options and the potential impacts of land use change. The DSS is based on five components: a geographic information system (GIS); land use modules; impact assessment modules; a graphical user interface; and land use planning tools. These components are implemented across two software platforms Gensym’s G2 knowledge based system (KBS) development environment and Smallworld GIS. Following a review of the DSS components, the paper focuses on two aspects. First, the use of the object-orientation paradigm to facilitate the integration of geospatial information. Second is the proposed use of genetic algorithms, a class of search and optimization algorithm, to find optimum land use plans using the integrated functionality of both KBS and GIS.


Mau-Crimmins T. M. and D. S. Lemberg (2003) Reserve Site Selection at a Non-Profit Educational Nature Center, The Great Lakes Geographer 10(1): 34-45.

Abstract We investigated a complex planning problem often faced by managers of nature centers or non-profit organizations focused on conservation and public education: how to select sites on which to locate new habitat reserves. Mission statements of these organizations often indicate objectives of both habitat preservation and public education. Inherent in land preservation is limited access to reduce the impacts of human traffic through the area. In contrast, for visitors to fully experience an ecosystem, some access to the site is required, hence seemingly parallel objectives may actually be in conflict. In order to address this problem, we formulated the Educational Nature Reserve Model, combining optimization modeling and geographic information systems (GIS) for generating, visualizing, and evaluating alternative solutions. This model fits situations where conflicting goals of conservation and education must be considered when determining the best location for a new habitat. As a case study, the Kalamazoo Nature Center’s main property in Kalamazoo County, Michigan, USA, was examined for the best location on which to reconstruct a native tallgrass prairie. The Educational Nature Reserve Model proved beneficial in the site selection process at the Kalamazoo Nature Center, quickly generating many alternative solutions and allowing trade-offs of objectives among decision makers.


McCrary S. W., C.O. Benjamin, and V. E. Ambavanekar (1996) Consensus building model to select CASIS in small communities, Journal of Urban Planning and Development 122(2): 46-70.

Abstract This paper examines: (1) The automated mapping/facilities management and geographic information system (AM/FM/GIS), which are called computer-assisted spatial information systems (CASIS) in this paper, software selection process; (2) develops a knowledge-based, multiattribute, multiobjective, consensus building model (CBM); and (3) establishes the validity for using the exogenously developed CBM for the selection of CASIS software. Model formulation is based on analyzing how well the attributes of the software meet user requirements in four areas: functionality, technical capability, vendor characteristics, and costs. Expert knowledge was gathered from several domain practitioners regarding the ability of GIS software functions to fulfill a user's needs. Responses from those experts proved to have a high degree of consistency. A sensitivity analysis was conducted on the CBM, showing the model to be stable in its predictions. The validity of the model's predictions were shown to be realistic in comparison to domain experts.


McLeod, I., F. Pantus and  N. Preston (2002) The use of a geographical information system for land-based aquaculture planning Aquaculture Research 33 (4): 241-250.

Abstract Site selection for aquaculture planning is a complex task involving the identification of areas that are economically, socially and environmentally suitable, available to aquaculture and commercially practicable. This paper reports upon a study into the use of a geographic information system (GIS) to assist in aquaculture planning. Using a case study in the site selection for land-based shrimp farming within the Australian coastal zone, we demonstrate that a GIS has potential to assist aquaculture planning. Our analysis is based on a sequential, two-stage approach. The first stage eliminates the grossly unsuitable portion of the study area through a preselection with low resolution, cheap and easily available data. The second stage then focuses on and ranks the remaining area using high resolution, possibly more expensive data. Finally, we use the GIS to present the results of the analysis in an easily accessible form.


Medeiros S. P. J., J. C. M. Strauch, J. M. De Souza and G. R. B Pinto (2001) SPeCS-A spatial decision support collaborative system for environment design International Journal of Computer Applications in Technology 14(4-6): 158-165.
Abstract  The integration of geographic information systems (GIS), electronic meeting systems (EMS), and workflow concepts, introduces a new approach called SPeCS. Our system intends to support the aspects of multi-criteria spatial analysis within a distributed GIS with tools that can help a group to cope with their activities in this kind of project. It should aid design team members with coordination features that can vary from workflow facilities to tools that can help them achieve resolutions which shall represent the consensus in a decision-making process. This work presents a prototype, that explores coordination in a spatial collaborative system and supports the geo-referencing of the arguments produced by the discussion involving the members of the design team. The main task of these groups is to produce a proposal for environmental preservations or changes taking into account socioeconomic, climate and soil aspects.


Meeks W. L. and S. Dasgupta (2004) Geospatial information utility: an estimation of the relevance of geospatial information to users Decision Support Systems 38(1): 47-63.

Abstract As the acquisition and use of information are costly, the optimal use of information involves economic tradeoffs. Therefore, valuing information is attracting research and thought. However, till now, little attention has been paid to the geospatial information domain, which is increasingly coming to the attention of decision makers seeking to improve decision models by considering spatio-temporal factors. This paper proposes a metric called Geospatial Information Utility (GeoIU), which will allow decision makers to assess the degree of utility of accessed geospatial data sets when making decisions that incorporate those geospatial data and information. The GeoIU metric uses multi-attribute utility theory to assess, score, and weight metadata queries run against geospatial data and information discovered in distributed sources.


Memtsas D. P. (2002) Multiobjective programming methods in the reserve selection problem, European Journal of Operational Research 150(3): 640-652.
Abstract Many ecological criteria have been proposed to assign conservation values to nature reserves in the reserve selection problem. Multiobjective programming is used to identify the best compromise solution among a set of alternative solutions that have been obtained from single objective linear programming methods based upon different criteria. Endemic plant species from the island of Crete in Greece are used as a model and a number of cells, as they have been implemented by ARC/INFO, are selected based on four criteria: (1) species richness, (2) species rarity, (3) cell richness, (4) cell rarity. Best compromise solution is identified by (i) a simple multiattribute rating technique, (ii) geometrical methods based on four distance metrics. The two methods are compared and the degree to which they fulfill the four criteria is examined.


Mendes J. F. G. and  W. S. Motizuki (2001) Urban quality of life evaluation scenarios : The case of São Carlos in Brazil, CTBUH Review,  1(2): 1-11.

Abstract To get a full understanding of urban Quality of Life (QoL), assessment has to be conducted at two levels: at a personal level, where each person assesses his own level of satisfaction with life; and at a city level, where urban features that contribute to satisfaction (or dissatisfaction) can be evaluated. This paper is about the second level of evaluation, the one that is concerned with urban features. Special emphasis is given to the use of multicriteria evaluation of QoL, including the incorporation of fuzzy set membership functions in criteria standardization, and to procedures for criterion aggregation in the presence of varying degrees of trade-off and risk attitude. In particular, the flexibility of the Ordered Weighted Average approach is explored, as it offers a complete spectrum of decision strategies through scenario development. A case study is presented to illustrate the concepts. Based on a QoL study in the city of São Carlos in Brazil, a decision strategy spectrum was explored through the development of six evaluation scenarios based on different trade-off and risk attitudes. It is concluded that the city QoL map varies substantially with the degrees of trade-off and risk.


Mendoza G. A. , A. B. Anderson and G. Z. Gertner (2002) Integrating multi-criteria analysis and GIS for land condition assessment: Part I – Evaluation and restoration of military training areas, Journal of Geographic Information and Decision Analysis 6(1):  1-16.

Abstract This paper describes multiple criteria models that can be used to assess land condition in general, and military training areas in particular.  Three measures of land condition are used, namely: 1) erosion status, which is estimated based on the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE), 2) percent vegetative cover, and 3) range condition.  In addition, the paper also describes site-specific thresholds that can be used to classify land condition after training.  Thresholds can be set based on individual factors, or as a composite measure based on the cumulative impacts of all the factors.  The multi-criteria methods are integrated or linked with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to make land condition assessment geographically-specific.  Finally, a GIS-based land repair allocation model is developed that can be used to identify and prioritize critical areas in need of restoration.  The methodologies are demonstrated in a case study involving the Fort Hood military training area located in Texas.


Mendoza G. A. , A. B. Anderson and G. Z. Gertner (2002)  Integrating multi-criteria analysis and GIS for land condition assessment: Part II – Allocation of military training areas, Journal of Geographic Information and Decision Analysis 6(1): 17-30,

Abstract This paper describes multicriteria models for identifying areas best suited for military training exercises.  Training loads are measured in terms of Maneuver Impact Miles, which in turn are estimated based on different impact variables. Three criteria are used to reflect training impacts, namely: erosion status, vegetative percent cover, and range condition.  Two models are developed to address the training allocation problem.  Model I is a quantitative (cardinal) model based on the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) method.  Model II is a qualitative (ordinal) model based on an ordinal ranking method.  Geographic Information System (GIS) is used to generate the spatial and attribute data used in the analyses.  GIS spatial analysis techniques are also used to generate summary statistics for each alternative training area, and in generating the evaluation matrix.  Based on this GIS-generated evaluation matrix, the comparison matrix is estimated using pairwise comparison of AHP in Model I, and ordinal comparison method for Model II.  Finally, comparative weights were estimated and used to determine the overall preferential weight of each alternative.  These two models can be used to determine an allocation strategy for different training loads.  A case study is described to demonstrate the use of these models.


Mohamed A.B.A. A. , M.A. Sharifi and H. van Keulen (2000) An integrated agro-economic and agro-ecological methodology for land use planning and policy analysis, International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, 2(2): 87-103.
Abstract The growing concern about land resource management and the associated decline in land quality have led to the realisation that land use planning and policy problems cannot be addressed adequately through a single discipline. Although this limitation is increasingly recognised in various disciplines, relatively little attention has been paid to the question of how to integrate agro-ecological and socio-economic aspects of land use. This paper contributes to the development and operationalisation of a methodology for land use planning and policy analysis that integrates agro-ecological and agro-economic information in such a way that it can assist policy makers in formulating and evaluating policy options at sub-regional level. First, the main conceptual and methodological challenges that stand in the way of integration are analysed and described. These challenges form the basis for the development and operationalisation of a methodology for integrating agro-economic and agro-ecological analysis in land use planning and policy analysis. The performance of the methodology in this integration process is subsequently discussed. Finally, a discussion of and conclusions on the strengths and weaknesses of the methodology are presented.


Modrego F., V. Domenech, V. Llorens, J. M. Torner, S. Martinez, M. Abellan, J. R. Manuel (2000) Locating a large theme park addressed to the tourist market: the case of Benidorm, Planning Practice and Research 15(4):385 - 395.

This article does not have an abstract.


Morari F., E. Lugato and M. Borin (2004) An integrated non-point source model-GIS system for selecting criteria of best management practices in the Po Valley, North Italy  Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 102(3): 247-262.

Abstract  To guarantee high production standards which respect the environment, decision-makers in the European Community must promote best management practices (BMPs). Given the strong interactions between pedo-climatic conditions and management, decision support systems are useful tools for selecting the more effective BMPs. An integrated non-point source (NPS) model-GIS system was designed to evaluate the production and environmental effects of alternative criteria of BMPs in the Mincio River Basin (NE-Italy). It is based on an integration of the CropSyst model (version 3.02.21) with a high informational level GIS developed in the Arc/Info environment. Three alternative criteria were evaluated: (1) obtaining maximum irrigation efficiency; (2) obtaining maximum nitrogen (N) fertilisation efficiency; (3) obtaining combined maximum irrigation and N fertilisation efficiency. The hypothetical criteria were compared applying multicriteria analysis of concordance/discordance to a set of agro-environmental indicators. The latter were obtained from field-scale CropSyst applications in the study area in the period 1994–2000. Application of the system required a preliminary 2-year validation phase of CropSyst on 12 experimental sites in the Basin that are heterogeneous in terms of climate, soil and management. The multi-criteria analysis considered the actors currently involved in the management of the Basin area: the farmer, environmentalist and politician. This application demonstrated that water flow control, through irrigation rationalisation, is the critical point for reducing pollution in the area. This allowed crop yield to be improved with a contemporary reduction in irrigation depths (50%) and nitrogen leaching (more than 50%). Irrigation rationalisation represents the best compromise between the farmers' production and livestock waste disposal requirements and the environmentalists' desire for water saving and protection. The GIS–CropSyst integration considers the different pedo-climatic and crop combinations and represents a valid support for territorial management and planning.


Murray A.T. and T-K. Shyy (2000) Integrating attribute and space characteristics in choropleth display and spatial data mining, International Journal of Geographical Information Science 14(7): 649- 667

Abstract This paper develops an interactive approach for exploratory spatial data analysis. Measures of attribute similarity and spatial proximity are combined in a clustering model to support the identification of patterns in spatial information. Relationships between the developed clustering approach, spatial data mining and choropleth display are discussed. Analysis of property crime rates in Brisbane, Australia is presented. A surprising finding in this research is that there are substantial inconsistencies in standard choropleth display options found in two widely used commercial geographical information systems, both in terms of definition and performance. The comparative results demonstrate the usefulness and appeal of the developed approach in a geographical information system environment for exploratory spatial data analysis.


Naoum S. and I.K. Tsanis (2004) Integrating multicriteria analysis and GIS for assessing raingage worth within an established network, Journal of the American Water Resources Association, 40(6): 1449-1468.

Abstract Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology is used to develop automated methods for assessing raingage networks. An ArcView GIS module has been developed by incorporating simple statistical methods with the software's spatial analysis capabilities, visualization, and AVENUE scripts (the ArcView programming language). The main purpose of the module is to provide a decision support for reducing the number of gages in an existing network without compromising the reliability and quality of the information obtained. Two test cases were used, one from the country of Switzerland for demonstration and the other, the island of Crete in Greece for validation of the module. Results show that integrating GIS with statistical models provides a unique opportunity for decision makers to pass reliable judgement for the reconfiguration of a spatial network.


Nauta T. A., A. E. Bongco and A. C. Santos-Borja (2003) Set-up of a decision support system to support sustainable development of the Laguna de Bay, Philippines, Marine Pollution Bulletin, 47(1-6):211-218.

Abstract Over recent decades, population expansion, deforestation, land conversion, urbanisation, intense fisheries and industrialisation have produced massive changes in the Laguna de Bay catchment, Philippines. The resulting problems include rapid siltation of the lake, eutrophication, inputs of toxics, flooding problems and loss of biodiversity. Rational and systematic resolution of conflicting water use and water allocation interests is now urgently needed in order to ensure sustainable use of the water resources. With respect to the competing and conflicting pressures on the water resources, the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) needs to achieve comprehensive management and development of the area. In view of these problems and needs, the Government of the Netherlands was funding a two-year project entitled `Sustainable Development of the Laguna de Bay Environment'.

A comprehensive tool has been developed to support decision-making at catchment level. This consists of an ArcView GIS-database linked to a state-of-the-art modelling suite, including hydrological and waste load models for the catchment area and a three-dimensional hydrodynamic and water quality model (Delft3D) linked to a habitat evaluation module for the lake. In addition, MS Office based tools to support a stakeholder analysis and financial and economic assessments have been developed. The project also focused on technical studies relating to dredging, drinking water supply and infrastructure works. These aimed to produce technically and economically feasible solutions to water quantity and quality problems. The paper also presents the findings of a study on the development of polder islands in the Laguna de Bay, addressing the water quantity and quality problems and focusing on the application of the decision support system.


Nath, J. P., S. S. Bolte, L. G. Ross and J. Aguilar-Manjarrez (2000) Applications of geographical information systems (GIS) for spatial decision support in aquaculture, Aquacultural Engineering, 23(1-3): 233-278.

Abstract Geographical information systems (GIS) are becoming an increasingly integral component of natural resource management activities worldwide. However, despite some indication that these tools are receiving attention within the aquaculture community, their deployment for spatial decision support in this domain continues to be very slow. This situation is attributable to a number of constraints including a lack of appreciation of the technology, limited understanding of GIS principles and associated methodology, and inadequate organizational commitment to ensure continuity of these spatial decision support tools. This paper analyzes these constraints in depth, and includes reviews of basic GIS terminology, methodology, case studies in aquaculture and future trends. The section on GIS terminology addresses the two fundamental types of GIS (raster and vector), and discusses aspects related to the visualization of outcomes. With regard to GIS methodology, the argument is made for close involvement of end users, subject matter specialists and analysts in all projects. A user-driven framework, which involves seven phases, to support this process is presented together with details of the degree of involvement of each category of personnel, associated activities and analytical procedures. The section on case studies reviews in considerable detail four aquaculture applications which are demonstrative of the extent to which GIS can be deployed, indicate the range in complexity of analytical methods used, provide insight into issues associated with data procurement and handling, and demonstrate the diversity of GIS packages that are available. Finally, the section on the future of GIS examines the direction in which the technology is moving, emerging trends with regard to analytical methods, and challenges that need to be addressed if GIS is to realize its full potential as a spatial decision support tool for aquaculture.


Nevo A. and L.Garcia (1996) Spatial optimization of wildlife habitat, Ecological Modelling 91: 271-281.

Abstract A decision support system was developed for the design of optimal distributions of cover types that provide prescribed levels of wildlife habitat. The objective of the optimization is to minimize the cost of modifying existing cover types. The system was implemented on a UNIX workstation and includes a graphical user interface utilizing X Windows and Motif. Linked to the system is a geographic information system (GIS) that supplies a non-linear mathematical programming model with spatial data and stores the optimization output for further processing and display.


Norese M. F. and F. Toso (2004) Group decision and distributed technical support, International Transactions in Operational Research 11(4): 395-417.

Abstract A group of 45 decision-makers (local authorities and representatives from the communities) worked together for 16 months, with a facilitator group, to identify relevant criteria to analyze the consequences of a plant location. Two multi-criteria models, one for an incinerator and the other for a waste disposal plant, were elaborated and an ELECTRE method was used to compare sites and rank them, with the aim of selecting the best sites for which an environmental impact assessment procedure will be activated. A virtual team, from different organizations, supported this work from a technical point of view. This kind of 'distributed support' to a multi-criteria decision required actions of coordination and knowledge filtering and interpreting. The paper proposes an analysis of this participatory decision process and synthesizes the difficulties and results of the multi-criteria decision aid intervention.


Noss, R. F., C. Carroll, K. Vance-Borland and  G. Wuerthner (2002) Multicriteria assessment of the irreplaceability and vulnerability of sites in the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem, Conservation Biology, 16(4): 895 -908.

Abstract We conducted a systematic conservation assessment of the 10.8-million-ha Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE), integrating three basic approaches to conservation planning: protecting special elements, representing environmental variation, and securing habitat for focal species (grizzly bear [Ursus arctos], wolf [Canis lupus], and wolverine [Gulo gulo]). Existing protected areas encompass 27% of the GYE but fail to capture many biological hotspots of the region or to represent all natural communities. Using a simulated annealing site-selection algorithm, combined with biological and environmental data based on a geographic information system and static ( habitat suitability) and dynamic (  population viability) modeling of focal species, we identified unprotected sites within the GYE that are biologically irreplaceable and vulnerable to degradation. Irreplaceability scores were assigned to 43 megasites (aggregations of planning units) on the basis of nine criteria corresponding to quantitative conservation goals. Expert opinion supplemented quantitative data in determining vulnerability scores. If all megasites were protected, the reserved area of the GYE would expand by 43% (to 70%) and increase protection of known occurrences of highly imperiled species by 71% (to 100%) and of all special elements by 62% (to 92%). These new reserves would also significantly increase representation of environmental variation and capture critical areas for focal species. The greatest gains would be achieved by protecting megasites scoring highest in irreplaceability and vulnerability. Protection of 15 high-priority megasites would expand reserved area by 22% and increase the overall achievement of goals by 30%. Protection of highly imperiled species and representation of geoclimatic classes would increase by 46% and 49%, respectively. Although conservation action must be somewhat opportunistic, our method aids decision-making by identifying areas that will contribute the most to explicit conservation goals.


November S. M., R.G. Cromley and E. K. Cromley (1996) Multi-objective analysis of school district regionalization alternatives in Connecticut, Professional Geographer 48(1): 1-14.

Abstract This paper demonstrates the utility of multi-objective programming techniques as an aid in educational planning and the limitations to the achievement of any educational objective given the spatial distribution of existing disparities. A case study of Connecticut is used to examine alternative scenarios for the implementation of interdistrict responses to a number of issues facing the state's public education system. A mixed-integer, goal programming model is formulated where the goal constraints are to minimize disparities in: minority enrollments, grand-list/student ratios, student-teacher ratios, and overall enrollment. Results show that the traditional distance-minimizing or transportation-minimizing objectives are in conflict with all other aims of equity and quality of educational opportunities. The geographic distribution of minority students and grand-list property values also limited the reduction of statewide disparities in these goals.


Nyerges T. L., R. Montejano, C. Oshiro and M. Dadswell (1997) Group-based geographic information systems for transportation improvement site selection, Transportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies 5(6): 349-36.
Abstract Transportation improvement site selection exemplifies transportation decision making that is collaborative in nature and geographically based. Such decision-making is part of a broad societal trend toward shared and participatory discussions about public investment. Perspectives from three different transportation decision contexts in the Puget Sound Region of Washington State, a regional council, a county government and a public–private Coalition group, are combined with a literature review to develop a decision task model that summarizes the need for information technology support during transportation improvement site selection. The task model guides the development of a decision support system requirement specification that outlines integrated information capabilities provided by geographic information system (GIS) and group support system (GSS) technologies. Together, GIS and GSS capabilities contribute to evolving group-based GIS. The kinds of capabilities a group-based GIS could offer in addressing the needs are identified. A report on the use of a prototype, group-based GIS called Spatial Group Choice highlights the possibilities in an inter-organizational coalition decision context. The conclusions discuss needs for future technology developments and social–behavioral science studies on these developments.


Oh K. and Y. Jeong (2002) The usefulness of the GIS - fuzzy set approach in evaluating the urban residential environment Environment and Planning B 29(4): 589 – 606.

Abstract The authors' focus was to determine the usefulness of the fuzzy set approach in evaluating the urban residential environment, compared with the crisp (or Boolean) approach. Particular emphasis was placed upon the comparison of evaluation results produced by the two methods within a geographic information system (GIS). This comparison highlighted the advantages of the GIS - fuzzy set approach as follows. First, it was revealed that the fuzzy set approach could reduce excessive abstraction or exaggeration in environmental phenomena. Hence, without the loss of valuable information, more accurate decisionmaking can be rendered. Second, by integrating membership functions into GIS, greater efficiency of the entire evaluation process was achieved.


Öhman K. and T. Lämås (2003) Clustering of harvest activities in multi-objective long-term forest planning, Forest Ecology and Management 176(1-3):161-171.

Abstract Models used in long-term forest planning were generally, until recently, non-spatial. The locations of harvest activities were considered first in lower, more short-term steps of the planning hierarchy. However, now that issues related to biodiversity, recreation and road planning have to be considered, this is no longer a viable option. The spatial arrangement of harvest activities affects parameters such as the proportion of undisturbed interior forest and the sites of new roads. Thus, in long-term planning the spatial location of harvesting operations needs to be taken into consideration. However, including spatiality in long-term planning complicates the planning problems, and requires the development of new methods and approaches. This study presents a new approach for clustering harvest activities in time and space in long-term forest planning. The planning problem essentially consists of maximizing the weighted sum of the net present value of future forest management and the clustered volume of timber to be harvested. This objective is subject to the restriction that a certain volume should be harvested each period. Since the spatial dimension leads to a problem that is difficult to solve with ordinary optimization techniques, the ensuing problem is solved with a heuristic technique called simulated annealing. In a case study the suggested approach is applied to a landscape consisting of 2600 stands in southern Sweden. The results indicate that the model is effective for clustering the harvest and that it is possible to aggregate the harvest with only a small sacrifice of the net present value.


Papazoglou I.A.,  G. S. Bonanos, Z.S. Nivolianitou, N. J. Duijm and B. Rasmussen  (2000) Supporting decision makers in land use planning around chemical sites. Case study: expansion of an oil refinery, Journal of Hazardous Materials 71(1-3): 343-373.  

Abstract An approach for supporting decisions on land use around chemical sites — along with a software decision support system (DSS) — based on multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA; and particularly on the establishment of the set of efficient solutions and letting the final selection depend on local procedures and value tradeoffs) is being illustrated through a case study where five alternative expansions of a refinery are considered along with the existing situation. Alternative land use plans are based on combinations of alternative uses of specific land cells coupled with alternative expansion options. Criteria for evaluating alternative land use plans are the potential loss of life (PLL), the noise levels and the economic benefit resulting for each specific land use plan


Pavlikakis G. E. and V. A. Tsihrintzis (2003) quantitative method for accounting human opinion, preferences and perceptions in ecosystem management, Journal of Environmental Management  68(2) 193-205.

Abstract Ecosystem management (EM) is a holistic approach, in which public participation in decision-making, and incorporation of human preferences, needs and perceptions in management plans is a main element. The decision-making from human opinion method (DeMHO), presented here, can be used in EM in selecting the more suitable and socially acceptable management plan, in order to protect or restore an ecosystem. The method focuses on the quantification of the human opinion, preferences and perceptions, which are investigated after research on the local population of the ecosystem. The results of this research are the inputs of the method; multi-criteria decision-making procedures, such as the analytic hierarchy process (AHP), the expected utility method (EUM) and compromise programming (CP) are used to assign the appropriate weights and rank according to their importance the interest groups, the issues to be studied, and the alternative management plans. The alternatives are also evaluated by assessing their sustainable character. The paper presents DeMHO and its application in the National Park of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace in Greece, after a research through a questionnaire on the local population.


Pereira J. M. C. and L. Duckstein (1993) A multiple criteria decision-making approach to GIS-based land suitability evaluation, International Journal of Geographical Information Systems 7(5): 407-424.

Abstract Land suitability evaluation in a raster GIS environment in conceptualized as a multiple-criteria decision-making (MCDM) problem. A combination of MCDM techniques selected for implementing the methodology included value and priority assessment techniques for scaling the interval and ordinal data respectively, and compromise programming (CP) to aggregate the unidimensional evaluations. The contribution of the proposed methodology to handling problems of scaling and dependence that often affect expert-based suitability analyses is discussed. A case-study of habitat evaluation for the endangered Mount Graham red squirrel is presented.


Perez O. M., L. G. Ross, T.C. Telfer, and  L.M. del Campo Barquin (2003) Water quality requirements for marine fish cage site selection in Tenerife (Canary Islands): predictive modelling and analysis using GIS, Aquaculture 224(1-4): 51-68.

Abstract Site selection is a key factor in any aquaculture operation, affecting both success and sustainability. The correct choice of site in any aquatic farming operation is vitally important since it can greatly influence economic viability by determining capital outlay, and, by affecting running costs, rates of productions and mortality factors. It is impractical to try control water quality parameters in cage culture systems, therefore culture of any species must be established in geographical regions having adequate water quality and exchange. This study used GIS and related technology to build a spatial database using those water quality variables which were considered to have an influence in developing marine fish-cage culture of seabass and seabream in Tenerife (Canary Islands). The water quality variables identified were: temperature, turbidity (runoff soil erosion and sewage), disease stress (sewage) and possibility of waste feedback from fish-cages (bathymetry). Variables were grouped in a logical model and combined to generate outputs showing the most suitable areas for siting cage culture. Most areas of the coastline of Tenerife were identified as being suitable or very suitable, and none was identified as totally unsuitable. Sensitivity to parameter changes was tested in order to evaluate the model, by changing one parameter at a time. Values chosen were ±5%, 10% and 15% of the reference situation. This analysis shows that the model was especially sensitive to sea temperature and suspended solids.


Perez O. M., T. C. Telfer and L. G. Ross (2003) Use of GIS-Based models for integrating and developing marine fish cages within the tourism industry in Tenerife (Canary Islands) Coastal Management 31(4): 355 – 366.

Abstract Site selection is a key factor in any aquaculture operation, affecting both success and sustainability. Moreover, it can solve conflicts between different coastal activities, making a rational use of the coastal space. Geographical information systems (GIS) have become of increased significance for environmental planning and assessment mainly because of the need to compare a great number of spatially related data, and because it can be used to couple these spatial data with their attributes and overlay them. This study used GIS and related technology to build a spatial database using those criteria which were considered to have any influence in integrating marine fish-cage culture within the tourism industry in Tenerife. Criteria were grouped in three submodels (distance to beaches, nautical sports, and viewshed), which were combined to generate a final output showing the most suitable areas for cage culture development in coexistence with tourism. Most areas of the coastline of Tenerife were identified as being suitable (56%) or very suitable (46%), suggesting that marine cage aquaculture could be developed on the island in coexistence with the well-established tourism industry.


Pettit C. and D. Pullar (1999) An integrated planning tool based upon multiple criteria evaluation of spatial information, Computers, Environment and Urban Systems 23(5): 339-357.

Abstract Despite the widespread adoption of geographical information systems (GIS) in local government for parcel mapping and asset management, the full potential of GIS has not yet been realised. GIS is mainly used by planners for data management and querying land records. More advanced site planning has not taken advantage of the spatial analysis capability of GIS. On the basis of a user survey we identify the cause of the problem as being a disparity between the way planners solve urban design problems and the operational environment of a GIS. That is, when planners look at the tasks they need to perform to solve a problem they have difficulty relating this to operations provided by a GIS. The paper proposes a solution that involves integrating a rigorous decision-making procedure with spatial analysis and presenting this through an interface specifically designed for planners. The decision theory approach is based upon multi-criteria evaluation (MCE). Spatial analysis is used for defining design factors in MCE and again in the evaluation process to aggregate factors in the final solution. As a proof-of-concept a prototype system was developed customised to the way planners formulate and evaluate design problems. The prototype is demonstrated with a site control planning exercise within a city region.


Prévil C., M. Thériault and J. Rouffignat (2003) Analyse multicritère et SIG pour faciliter la concertation en aménagement du territoire: vers une amélioration du processus décisionnel? Cahiers de Géographie du Québec, 47(130).

Abstract Planning a section of a 15-km linear park has generated a delicate situation in the regional county municipality of Portneuf (Quebec, Canada). Faced with discontent among some citizens groups, the county had to define a course of action based on five management designs proposed by the different groups of promoters involved. Since consultations resulted in an impasse, opponents have taken the case before the courts. This paper, based on our doctorate thesis work, attempts to demonstrate how a well-balanced methodological approach that incorporates a planning system of reference, geographic information system (GIS) tools and multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) can sometimes help to set apart the preferences of regional players to promote negotiations and simplify the decision-making process.


Prol-Ledesma  R. M. (2000) Evaluation of the reconnaissance results in geothermal exploration using GIS, Geothermics 29(1): 83-103.

Abstract Geographical Information System (GIS) is used to determine the spatial association between geophysical and geological evidence and production zones in a well-known geothermal field (Los Azufres, Mexico). Surface observations in Los Azufres were used to delineate areas characterized by high permeability and hot fluid transport from the reservoir: main faults, superficial fracture density, surface manifestations, contacts with the most recent rhyolite domes, and low values in the apparent resistivity surveys. Three knowledge-driven models were constructed based on a conceptual model of the field: a hydrothermal system in rough terrain with secondary permeability. Boolean, Index Overlay and Fuzzy scheme models were proposed and the results obtained show a good correlation with the location of the producing and non-producing wells that have been drilled in the field. The results obtained are useful for well siting (Boolean and Low-Risk Fuzzy models) or for planning further detailed exploration (Index Overlay and High-Risk Fuzzy models).


Pukkala T., T. Nuutinen and J. Kangas (1995) Integrating scenic and recreational amenities into numerical forest planning, Landscape and Urban Planning, 32(3) 185-195.

Abstract This study proposes an operational way of computing the amenity value of a forest area that consists of several stands or compartments. Such a method produces an amenity index suitable for numerical optimization. With this method of computation, amenity is divided into scenic and recreation values. Scenic value of the forest depends on the visibility, area, and scenic beauty score of different compartments. Recreation value of the forest is a weighted mean of variety and the area-weighted mean recreation value of compartments. Variety is described by the total length of boundaries between distinctly different compartments. Recreation value of a compartment is the product of accessibility and recreation score of the compartment. Recreation and scenic beauty scores are computed from stand characteristics using empirical models. The study describes a complete planning system that uses the developed amenity index as a decision criterion, and relates a case study to illustrate the effect of amenity objective on choice of treatments for compartments.


Pullar  D. (1999) Using an allocation model in multiple criteria evaluation, Journal of Geographic Information and Decision Analysis  3(2):  9-17.

Abstract Multiple criteria evaluation is a structured process to define objectives, to formulate criteria and to evaluate solutions in a decision problem. Relatively straight-forward procedures may be applied to perform land use evaluation within predefined land regions as long as there are no complex interactions across these spatial units. Interactions may occur because of flows or influences between neighboring regions. While there exists a large body of literature to model these geographical interactions, there are relatively few attempts to link this into the decision-making process. This paper describes a methodology to include spatial interactions, modeled as constraints for land allocations, into multiple criteria evaluation. The paper reviews tools, techniques and models for land use allocation. A solution is presented where an allocation model is coupled to multiple criteria evaluation. This is then applied to a forest resource application as a case study.


Qureshi M. E. and S. R. Harrison (2001) A decision support process to compare Riparian revegetation options in Scheu Creek catchment in North Queensland, Journal of Environmental Management 62: 101–112.

Abstract While riparian vegetation can play a major role in protecting land, water and natural habitat in catchments, there are high costs associated with tree planting and establishment and in diverting land from cropping. The distribution of costs and benefits of riparian revegetation creates conflicts in the objectives of various stakeholder groups. Multicriteria analysis provides an appropriate tool to evaluate alternative riparian revegetation options, and to accommodate the conflicting views of various stakeholder groups. This paper discusses an application of multicriteria analysis in an evaluation of riparian revegetation policy options for Scheu Creek, a small sub-catchment in the Johnstone River catchment in north Queensland, Australia. Clear differences are found in the rankings of revegetation options for different stakeholder groups with respect to environmental, social and economic impacts. Implementation of a revegetation option will involve considerable cost for landholders for the benefits of society. Queensland legislation does not provide a means to require farmers to implement riparian revegetation, hence the need for subsidies, tax incentives and moral suasion.


Randhir T. O., R. O'Connor, P. R. Penner and D. W. Goodwin (2001) A watershed-based land prioritization model for water supply protection Forest Ecology and Management 143(1-3): 47-56.

Water quality management at a watershed scale is important for water supply protection. Escalating costs of water treatment, along with the need for cooperative solutions among various water users in a watershed, reinforce the need for such approach. In a watershed approach, optimum water quality benefits can be achieved by targeting practices to those areas that have the maximum marginal value of water quality protection. To accomplish this, prioritization based on marginal benefits and costs is essential. The information that is crucial for developing an effective prioritization method includes geographic information, relationship between land criteria and effects, and travel-time of runoff water. By integrating these three types of information, a watershed level prioritization model was developed and applied to the Ware River watershed in Massachusetts, USA. It was observed that the time of travel of surface runoff followed a complex spatial distribution. Use of zones based on distance from the outlet or drainage zones may not accurately reflect the spatially explicit nature of travel path and travel-times. The area under each category of travel-time as a function of travel-time followed a nonlinear trend in the Ware River watershed. The distribution of the prioritization index showed that sensitive areas do not clearly fall within the boundaries of any single land characteristic (e.g. riparian buffer, steep slopes, sensitive soils, etc.). Low priority areas covered the highest percent of the watershed and this percentage decreased with increase in land sensitivity. Focusing on fewer areas in the watershed can maximize benefits to water quality and result in lower expenditures. By adjusting criteria and weights, this approach can be adapted to prioritize a wide variety of land-protection and land-use decisions such as preserving prime forestland, protecting critical wildlife habitats, recreational and open space planning, and ecological–economic planning.


Rashed T. and  J. Weeks (2003) Assessing vulnerability to earthquake hazards through spatial multicriteria analysis of urban areas International Journal of Geographical Information Science 17(6): 547-576.

Abstract Assessing urban vulnerability to natural hazards such as earthquakes can be regarded as an ill-structured problem (i.e. a problem for which there is no unique, identifiable, objectively optimal solution). A review of the literature indicates a number of contrasting definitions of what vulnerability means, as well as numerous conflicting perspectives on what should or should not be included within the broad assessment of vulnerability in cities. This paper reports on the findings from a project in which a GIS methodology has been developed to assess urban vulnerability through a spatial analytical procedure. First, we highlight the deficiencies of current GIS approaches to urban vulnerability analysis and discuss the ill-structured nature of the vulnerability problem. We then propose a working definition for vulnerability assessment in which vulnerability is thought of as a spatial decision problem under the conditions of uncertainty. Next, we present a methodology to incorporate this definition into a GIS framework that combines elements from the techniques of spatial multicriteria analysis and fuzzy logic. The application of this methodology is then illustrated with a case study from Los Angeles County. The results suggest that the proposed methodology may provide a new approach for analyzing vulnerability that can add to our understanding of human/hazards interaction.


Ren F. (1997) A training model for GIS application in land resource allocation, Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing 52( 6): 261-265.

Abstract The GIWIN Model for Land Resource Allocation (GIWIN-LRA) is a training package developed by the author to help planners and decision makers to understand how to use a GIS to support decision making. This model contains seven phases: target definition and criteria analysis, coding of relevant layers, weighting of relevant layers, multi-criteria feasibility assessment, assessment evaluation, alternative feasible land allocation, and selection and mapping. A case study in Indonesia using the GIWIN-LRA model is introduced, following a description of the model and GIWIN software.


Reitsma R. F. and J. C. Carron (1997) Object-oriented simulation and evaluation of river basin operations, Journal of Geographic Information and Decision Analysis 1(1): 10-24.

Abstract A computational framework for the integration of physical process modeling and multicriterion evaluation of river basin operations is presented. Despite a rich tradition in water resources multiobjective programming, most real-world water resources planning relies on simulation followed by ex-post multicriterion evaluation. In this paper we present a computational framework for the integration of modeling and ex-post evaluation by means of object-orientation. Advantages are a simpler, less ambiguous software data model; concurrent computation of physical and multicriterion aspects of a natural resource; efficient locale-specific evaluations; and interactive, interest-specific definitions of evaluatory views. The concepts are tested in the context of simulating and evaluating Colorado River operations.


Riedl L., H. Vacik and R. Kalasek (2000) MapModels: a new approach for spatial decision support in silvicultural decision making, Computers and Electronics in Agriculture 27(1-3): 407-412.

Abstract: unavailable


Rios-Insua D., E. GallegoA. Mateos and  S. Rios-Insua (2000) MOIRA: A decision support system for decision making on aquatic ecosystems contaminated by radioactive fallout, Annals of Operations Research 95(1):341-364.

Abstract Interventions to restore radionuclide contaminated aquatic ecosystems may reduce individual and collective radiation doses, but may also result in detrimental ecological, social and economic effects. Decision makers must carefully evaluate possible impacts before choosing a countermeasure, hence decision analysis methods constitute an important aid to rank intervention strategies after the contamination of an aquatic ecosystem. We describe MOIRA, a decision support system for the identification of optimal remedial strategies to restore water systems after accidental introduction of radioactive substances. MOIRA includes an evaluation module based on a multi-attribute value model to rank alternatives and a module to perform multiparametric sensitivity analyses, both with respect to weights and values, to allow us to gain insights into the problem. The problem is under certainty since the validation of models used to quantify countermeasure impacts suggests little uncertainty in policy effects. The system is implemented in a PC based decision support system which allows the inclusion of all relevant information.


Rinner C.  and  Malczewski J. (2002) Web-enabled spatial decision analysis using ordered weighted averaging, Journal of Geographical Systems 4(4): 385-403.

Abstract This paper presents a spatial decision support tool that implements the Ordered Weighted Averaging (OWA) method. OWA is a family of multicriteria evaluation operators characterised by two sets of weights: criterion importance weights and order weights. We propose a highly interactive way of choosing, modifying, and fine-tuning the decision strategy defined by the order weights. This exploratory approach to OWA is supported by a graphical representation of the operator’s behaviour in terms of decision risk and tradeoff/dispersion between criteria. Our prototype implementation is based on the CommonGIS software, and thus, Web-enabled and working with vector data. We successfully demonstrate online, exploratory support of spatial decision strategies using a data set of skiing resorts in Wallis, Switzerland.


Rinner C. and  M. Raubal (2004) Personalized Multi-Criteria Decision  Strategies in Location-based Decision Support. Journal of Geographic Information Sciences 10(2): 149-156.

Abstract Location-based services (LBS) assist people in decision-making during the performance of tasks in space and time. Current LBS support spatial and attribute queries, such as finding the nearest Italian restaurant from the current location of the user, but they are limited in their capacity to evaluate decision alternatives and to consider individual decision-makers’ user preferences. We suggest that LBS should provide personalized spatial decision support to their users. In a prototype implementation, we demonstrate how user preferences can be translated into parameters of a multi-criteria evaluation method. In particular, the Ordered Weighted Averaging (OWA) operator allows users to specify a personal decision strategy. A traveler scenario investigating the influence of different types of users and different decision strategies on the outcome of the analysis serves as a case study.


Robinson T. P., R. S. Harris, J. S. Hopkins and B. G. Williams (2002) An example of decision support for trypanosomiasis control using a geographical information system in eastern Zambia, International Journal of Geographical Information Science,16(4): 345-360.

Abstract In many African countries where both Government resources and donor aid for the control of tsetse-transmitted trypanosomiasis are declining, there is an increasing need to identify areas where intervention is most likely to be technically, economically, socially and environmentally sustainable. Activities then can be focused so that the maximum benefits are obtained from limited resources. We describe a decision-support framework based on a geographical information system to identify areas of high priority for the control of tsetse and trypanosomiasis in the common fly belt of eastern Zambia. Digital coverages were generated for six environmental variables: (1) cattle density, (2) human density, (3) land designation, (4) relative arable potential, (5) crop-use intensity and (6) proximity to existing control operations. The distribution of tsetse in the area was predicted using a multivariate (maximum likelihood) analysis of areas of known presence and absence and a series of environmental data. Experienced Zambian veterinarians and biologists working in the region established criteria weights for the input variables and the data were integrated in a geographical information system (GIS), using weighted linear combinations to prioritize areas for trypanosomiasis control. The results of this exercise and estimates of the errors involved are discussed.


Rosmuller N. and G. E. G. Beroggi (2004) Group decision making in infrastructure safety planning, Safety Science 42(4): 325-349.
Abstract Infrastructure planning involves a multitude of concerns, where safety considerations generally range behind economic issues. We hypothesize that safety issues are insufficiently considered in infrastructure planning due to the lack of a shared view among the different safety experts, and that a carefully designed participatory group decision making method can support safety experts in reaching a shared view on the problem. To test our hypothesis, we developed a participatory methodology that helps infrastructure providers, spatial planners and emergency responders converge their views on safety in infrastructure planning. The methodology integrates dynamically and interactively risk and deterministic safety analysis and deliberation processes; the methodology has been integrated in a mobile multimedia group decision network system. We discuss the application of this method for the Northeastern Connection of the Betuweline: a freight railway linking Rotterdam Harbor to the German Ruhrgebiet. Structured questionnaires, audio tapes, observations and interviews with the participants confirm the method's merit in reaching a shared view and consensus for safety aspects in infrastructure planning. The results of this study provide evidence for our hypothesis and indicate ways for how to consider more efficiently and effectively safety issues in infrastructure planning.


Ross L. G., Q. M. E. A. Mendoza  and  M.C.M. Beveridge  (1993) The application of geographical information systems to site selection for coastal aquaculture: an example based on salmonid cage culture, Aquaculture, 112(2-3): 165-178.

Abstract The potential of a simple, PC-based geographical information system (GIS) for site selection in coastal aquaculture was assessed using as an example a salmonid cage culture development in Camas Bruaich Ruaidhe, Oban, Argyll, Scotland. Data on bathymetry, current, shelter and water quality variations were used to determine the suitability of the site. The GIS results suggested that a total of 1.26 ha (6.4% of the total area) was suitable for cage culture. A general methodology for systematic spatial analysis for aquaculture is proposed, although this needs to be varied according to circumstances in a site-specific way.


Rozakis S., P. G. Soldatos, L. Kallivroussis, and I. Nicolaou (2001) Multiple criteria analysis of bio-energy projects: Evaluation of bio-electricity production in Farsala Plain, Greece, Journal of Geographic Information and Decision Analysis 5(1): 49-64.

Abstract  The evaluation of bio-electricity projects requires the synergy of different elements as it concerns a vertically operating activity and various stakeholders. Models related to each stage of bio-electricity production are pulled together within an integrated model of evaluation of the activity in the context of the European research program ALTENER, grouping multidisciplinary teams from Spain, Greece and Austria. A database containing spatial information and expert knowledge as well as environmental models interact with the economic model. Bioenergy production is modelled, in this case, through micro-economic programming assuming that farmers supply biomass to a competitive market. As bio-energy chains are currently not viable in economic terms, government acts as a leader by determining the amount of transfer payments to be allocated so that the activity breaks even. These subsidies are justified to the taxpayers as fossil fuel substitution results in positive externalities to the environment. A multi-criteria module completes the SDSS, enabling the selection among alternative bioenergy configurations. A case study illustrates the above methodology regarding bioelectricity project decision-making in the plain of Thessally, Greece. Plant capacity, siting and technology selections are determined simultaneously by the model taking into account local conditions. Cynara and miscanthus cultivated in arid and irrigated land are examined. Land resource is a constraining factor to the system, its availability is subject to increasing opportunity costs. Compromise solutions based on economic, environmental and social criteria are provided by the SDSS with costs that vary between 0.06 and 0.13 €/kWh at biomass marginal costs from 30 to 65 €/t.


Sadek S. , M. Bedran and I. Kaysi (1999) GIS platform for multicriteria evaluation of route alignments, Journal of Transportation Engineering 125: 144–151.

Abstract The selection of an appropriate alignment for a proposed highway is determined largely by relating topographic, urban, and environmental features to geometric design controls. Typically, aerial photographs and topographic, geologic, and soil maps are reviewed. In this paper, a geographic information system (GIS) platform that incorporates the main coverages needed for evaluating route alignments is described. Using the GIS and a geographically referenced database, a decision-aid tool for multicriteria evaluation of route alignments is developed. Possible alignments are evaluated based on community disruption and environmental, geotechnical, and geometric design criteria. The developed decision-aid tool integrates slope stability and roadway design packages and specifically written codes with GIS packages ARC/INFO and ArcView, the latter acting as the system engine and interface. A case study is presented that applies the developed platform to the testing of potential alignments for a proposed 12 km highway to the south of the city of Beirut, Lebanon. Results of the case study demonstrated the advantages of the decision-aid tool and highlighted its potential in providing a quick, multicriteria screening evaluation of possible route alignments.


Sadek S., M. Bedran and I. Kaysi (2000) Geotechnical and environmental considerations in highway layouts: an integrated GIS assessment approach
International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation 2(3-4): 190-198.

Abstract Highway route layout design typically relies on aerial photographs, topographic maps and geologic maps. In this paper, a GIS platform, which incorporates the main digital data needed for evaluating route layouts, is used in a computer-based approach for highway layout assessment. Possible layouts are evaluated based on two sets of criteria. First, traditional evaluation criteria focussing on geometric design factors and impact on man-made features are considered. Next, the developed assessment framework builds on the GIS platform to generate specific environmental and geotechnical criteria for route layout evaluation. The developed approach integrates highway design, slope stability, and traffic noise modeling packages and specifically written codes with the GIS packages ARC/INFO and ArcView. A prototypical application of the assessment framework for a proposed highway south of the city of Beirut, Lebanon is presented. The results demonstrate the potential of the developed approach in incorporating new evaluation criteria at the route layout design stage and in automating the route layout assessment procedure.


Sakamoto A. and H. Fukui (2004) Development and application of a livable environment evaluation support system using Web GIS Journal of Geographical Systems 6(2): 175 – 195.

Abstract This research proposes a Web-Service that supports the interpretation of the local environment objectively through visualized spatial information, and evaluation of the value subjectively through interactive interfaces. This article focuses on the livable environment whose criteria have become diversified in recent years. In order to highlight such varieties of values during evaluation, the proposed system, LEES (Livable Environment Evaluation-support System) aids exploratory evaluating process by: 1) clarifying ambiguous preferences of livability using a Fuzzy Structure Model, 2) analyzing areas using multi-criteria according to the individual preference structure, and 3) visualizing distributions of the results for supporting decision-making. In order to validate this system, sensitivities of typical preference scenarios are analyzed. Additional uses of this Web GIS-based system are also discussed. An empirical study directly involving citizens is in progress to improve the social effectiveness of the system.


Salam M. A.,  L. G. Ross and C. M. M. Beveridge   (2003) A comparison of development opportunities for crab and shrimp aquaculture in southwestern Bangladesh, using GIS  modelling, Aquaculture, 220(1-4): 477- 494.

Abstract The present study identifies and quantifies appropriate sites for brackish water aquaculture development in southwestern Bangladesh using remote sensing, GPS and geographical information systems (GIS). A colour composite Landsat TM image from 1996 covering the southwestern part of Bangladesh was used to identify the extent of brackish water and to classify land use. The remotely sensed data were complemented by secondary data digitised from a range of sources, including hard copy maps, to create a spatial database that included environmental and infrastructural data. A series of GIS models were developed in order to identify and prioritise the most suitable areas for brackish water shrimp and crab farming. Using qualitative and quantitative output from the models, the benefits of shrimp and crab farming and alternative land uses in the Khulna region were compared, based on gross production, economic output and employment potential. Comparisons were made of brackish water shrimp and crab culture with moderately saline-tolerant tilapia and prawn culture, freshwater carp culture and traditional rice production systems. Shrimp was identified as the most capital intensive and risky production system. Earnings per hectare were a little higher for shrimp culture than for crab culture. The present study demonstrates the usefulness of GIS  as an aquaculture planning tool in a region where natural resources are already under considerable pressure.


Salt C. A. and M. Culligan Dunsmore (2000) Development of a spatial decision support system for post-emergency management of radioactively contaminated land, Journal of Environmental Management 58(3):169-178.  

Abstract A GIS-based spatial decision support system (SDSS) is being developed for long-term management of radioactively contaminated land resources. The system is designed to assist decision-makers in the evaluation and selection of remediation strategies for food production in agricultural and semi-natural ecosystems at a regional scale. The suitability assessment of different remediation techniques is based on the level of contamination, the land-use management and a wide range of environmental parameters. Techniques which are found suitable with respect to reducing contamination of food products are subjected to an assessment of potential environmental and agri-economic impacts. This involves multicriteria decision-making methodology to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of each technique and to incorporate decision-maker preferences into the assessment. The final output from the SDSS is in the form of maps at 10 m resolution depicting for each grid cell either the most suitable countermeasure or the site suitability for a single countermeasure. This paper discusses the need for a spatial decision support system to optimise remediation strategies, provides an explanation of the methodology behind the system and describes how it can be implemented within the context of a GIS.


Sarasua, W. A. and  X. Jia (1995) Framework for integrating GIS-T with KBES: a pavement management system example, Transportation Research Record  1497: 153-163.

Abstract This paper provides a framework for integrating the spatial data manipulation strengths of a geographic information system (GIS) with the interactive problem-solving capabilities of a knowledge-based expert system (KBES) through emulation of the knowledge of human experts. While the integration of a GIS with KBES has practical applications throughout the transportation profession, this study uses an Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) pavement management system example to illustrate this integration. The pavement management process involves spatially-indexed information, human expertise, heuristic knowledge, and multiobjective decision making. These characteristics make a pavement management system ideally suited for implementation in an integrated GIS/KBES environment. In this application, the GIS provides spatial data as context to a KBES that makes use of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's CLIPS rule-based expert system shell. The KBES retrieves information from the GIS as needed to produce an outcome. As the KBES works, the knowledge base is updated for future processes. In this way, the KBES is able to learn from the previous applications of the system. Once processed by the KBES, the results can be passed back to the GIS for further analysis and display.


Schlaepfer R., I. Iorgulescu and C. Glenz (2002) Management of forested landscapes in mountain areas: an ecosystem-based approach, Forest Policy and Economics 4(2):89-99.

Abstract The goal of this paper is to show how an ecosystem-based approach can contribute simultaneously to a multipurpose use of forest resources in mountain areas, and to the maintenance of the quality of the forests and forested landscapes producing the resources. An ecosystem-based approach in managing forest resources in mountain areas is considered as essential. Its principles, methods and instruments are introduced and illustrated with examples. The accent is put on the importance of the landscape (ecocomplex) level, the integration of ecological, economic and social considerations, and the use of multicriteria decision aid techniques.


Schneider L. C. and R. G. Pontius, Jr. (2001) Modeling land-use change in the Ipswich watershed, Massachusetts, USA, Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 85(1-3): 83-94.

Abstract The Ipswich watershed in northeastern Massachusetts, USA, is experiencing important land-use changes, which are contributing to severe environmental problems such as eutrophication, ground water depletion and loss of wildlife. The objective of this paper is to model deforestation between 1971, 1985 and 1991 in the watershed of the Ipswich River in Massachusetts, USA, where most of the forest loss is attributable to new residential development. The maps of suitability for deforestation are calibrated with maps of real change between 1971 and 1985 by using logistic regression, multi-criteria analysis and spatial filters. The maps of 1971 and 1985 serve also as the basis to extrapolate the quantity of predicted future deforestation. Then, the calibrated suitability maps and extrapolated quantities predict the location of deforestation between 1985 and 1991. The predicted deforestation maps are validated with the map of real forest loss of 1985–1991. relative operating characteristic (ROC) and variations of the Kappa index of agreement (Kno, Klocation and Kquantity) measure the validation. For most simulation runs, Kno=93%, Klocation = 8% and Kquantity = 100%. The best predictor of quantity of deforestation from 1985 to 1991 is linear extrapolation forward in time of the deforestation that occurred from 1971 to 1985. It is difficult to predict the exact locations of deforestation in the watershed because only 2% of the watershed is deforested from 1971 to 1991, the patches of deforestation are scattered evenly across the landscape, and the some of the most important variables are not readily available in digital form. Nevertheless, the best predictor of location of deforestation (ROC = 70%) is a suitability map that uses a spatial filter and multi-criteria evaluation of elevation, slope, and proximity to existing residential areas. The locations that are most threatened are those that are unprotected, near existing residential development and in towns where the demand for new residential development is high.


Scott Mackay, D. S. and V. B. Robinson (2000) A multiple criteria decision support system for testing integrated environmental models, Fuzzy Sets and Systems 113(1): 53-67.

Abstract Spatial models of ecological and hydrological processes are widely used tools for studying natural systems over large areas. However, these models lack specific mechanisms for reporting output uncertainty contributed by model structure, and so testing their suitability for studying a large range of problems is difficult. This paper describes a method of evaluating the uncertainty contributed by underlying assumptions used in constructing integrated environmental models from two or more sub-models that were developed for different purposes. Integrated environmental models are typically constructed from many individual process-based models. Conflicting assumptions between these sub-models, e.g., spatial scale differences, are easily overlooked during model development and application. This "semantic error" cannot be predicted prior to simulation, as it may only emerge through the interaction of sub-models applied to a particular set of data used to drive a simulation. Model agreement is proposed and demonstrated as a way to detect problems of model integration at the state variable level within an integrated ecosystem model. This model agreement is then propagated to model response variables using multiple criteria to examine their sensitivity, predictability, and synchronicity to the measured uncertainty in state variables. These three properties are combined under fuzzy logic in order to provide decision support on where, for a given time during simulation the sub-models agree on a particular response variable. This paper describes the details of the approach and its application using an existing integrated environmental model. The results show that, for a given set of model inputs and application, integrated environmental models may have spatially variable levels of agreement at the sub-model level. The results using RHESSysD, a spatially integrated ecosystem hydrology model, indicate that semantic error in estimates of plant available soil moisture are consistent with observations of the need for resetting events, such as flooding, to initialize the model to a point where further simulation results can be trusted. These results suggest that a dynamic selection of sub-models may be warranted given a reasonable method of determining sub-model disagreement during simulation. Fuzzy set theory may be a useful tool in arriving at such a model selection process as it allows for a relatively straightforward synthesis of numerous model evaluation criteria with a large quantity of output from the model.


Seffino L.A., C.B. Medeiros, J. V. Rocha and B.Yi (1999) WOODSS– a spatial decision support system based on workflows, Decision Support Systems, 27(1-2): 105-123.
Abstract  Environmental planning takes advantage of geographic information systems (GIS) to manage geographic data. GIS are, however, tools which require a great deal of training and programming expertise and, furthermore, have little support for decision makers during their planning activities. This paper presents WOrkflOw-based spatial Decision Support System (WOODSS) –– a software developed at the University of Campinas, Brazil, to be used in conjunction with a GIS in order to provide spatial decision support involving environmental data. WOODSS was implemented on top of a commercial GIS and tested in the context of agri-environmental planning activities. WOODSS is centered on dynamically capturing user interactions with a GIS in real time and documenting them by means of scientific workflows. It keeps track of decision procedures, models applied and the choice of parameters in running these models. WOODSS's workflows can be updated on the fly, allowing testing and comparison of alternative planning strategies. They can, furthermore, be used as building blocks for the construction of complex decision procedures, supporting a divide-and-conquer problem solution style. These workflows interact directly with the GIS, sparing environmental planners and decision makers the burden of low-level programming.


Seppelt R. (2000) Regionalised optimum control problems for agroecosystem management, Ecological Modelling 131(2-3): 121-132.

Abstract This contribution presents a methodological framework and solutions for optimum control problems on regionalised agroecological models. The focus is laid on the estimation of optimum fertiliser input and crop rotation schemes as a dynamic control problem with different time scales. Beside the solution of the optimum control problems, which was presented in a former paper, this contribution focuses on the regionalisation of the optimum control problem. The task is solved by the identification of homogeneous units in the observed region by a geographic information system (GIS) using digital maps. These maps are set up by a vector-orientated database. The second innovative topic, which enables a regionalised solution of the optimum control problem, is the estimation of families of optimum solutions parameterised by spatial properties, e.g. soil parameters. Technical problems concern an efficient database access, which is solved within the GIS Arc/INFO, ArcView. Several solutions are presented for different regionalisation scenarios for a German investigation site. The proposed methodology supports the step of decision support in precision farming.


Seppelt R. and A. Voinov (2002) Optimization methodology for land use patterns using spatially explicit landscape models Ecological Modelling 151(2-3): 125-142.
Abstract Spatially explicit ecosystem models allow the calculation of water and matter dynamics in a landscape as functions of spatial localization of habitat structures and matter input. For a mainly agricultural region we studied the nutrient balance as a function of different management schemes. For this purpose we formulated optimization tasks. This required the definition of performance criteria, which compare economic aspects, such like farmer's income from harvest, with ecologic aspects, such like nutrient loss out of the watershed. The task was to calculate optimum land use maps and fertilizer application maps maximizing the performance criterion. We developed a framework of procedures for numerical optimization in spatially explicit dynamic ecosystem simulation models. The results were tested using Monte-Carlo's simulation, which based on different stochastic generators for the independent control variables. Gradient free optimization procedures (Genetic Algorithms) were used to verify the simplifying assumptions. Parts of the framework offer tools for optimization with the computation effort independent of the size of the study area. As a result, important areas with high retention capabilities were identified and fertilizer maps were set up depending on soil properties. This shows that optimization methods even in complex simulation models can be a useful tool for a systematic analysis of management strategies of ecosystem use.


Sharma, K. D. and S.  Pathak (2002) Delineation of watersheds in plain areas, Annals of Arid Zone, 41 (1): 25-29.

Abstract Watershed is the basic planning unit for rural development in India. In this paper an Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) and multi-objective programming are integrated with Geographical Information System (GIS) to develop a decision support system for the delineation of watersheds in plain areas/zone of internal drainage frequently encountered in the Indian and zone. The resultant technique settles the conflicts arising out of areas related to more than one drainage or more than one watersheds for the same outlet. This allows decision-maker's involvement and has application for similar scenario having many objectives and alternatives to be handled simultaneously.


Sharifi M.A., W. Vandentoorn, A. Rico and M. Emmanuel (2002) Application of GIS and multicriteria evaluation in locating sustainable Boundary between the Tunari National Park and Cochabamba City (Bolivia), Journal of  Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis, 11: 151–164.

Abstract Increased population growth and urbanization, has caused increase in demand for land around the city of Cochabamba, which has led to encroachment into the National Park and the construction of illegal settlements. This has created a number of problems, some of which are the direct consequences of the new settlements in the ‘Tunari’ foothills. These settlements constitute a threat to the environment and people because of their location in flood risk and aquifer recharge areas. In response to this problem the city authorities are considering relocating the boundary between the National Park and the city. This study has focused on the design and evaluation of alternative locations for a sustainable boundary between the north of ‘Cochabamba City’ and the southern boundary of the ‘Tunari National Park’. In this process, a rational and systematic approach of collaborative-decision-making, supported by geographical information systems (GIS) and multicriteria evaluation (MCE) has been employed and evaluated.


Sharifi M.A. and E. Rodriguez (2002) Design and development of a planning support  system for policy formulation in water resource rehabilitation: the case of Alcázar De San Juan District in Aquifer 23, La Mancha, Spain, Journal of Hydroinformatics 4: 157-175.

Abstract To support policy formulation for rehabilitation of the natural environment in the Western Mancha region in Spain, a planning support system was developed and applied. The system is based on a framework developed for planning and decision making, and includes three main components, namely, a water balance model of the groundwater basin, a planning model and an evaluation model. The water balance model, which makes use of GIS and remote sensing, simulates the average yearly recharge of the aquifer system in relation to the land use changes for average meteorological conditions, to help understand the current situation; the planning model, which makes use of mixed integer programming, simulates the reaction of farmers towards the changes in the present subsidy schemes and helps formulate a proper policy instruments; and finally the evaluation model, which makes use of multicriteria decision analysis to support the evaluation of developed policies and selection of attractive scenarios based on the identified criteria and the preferences/opinion of various decision makers.


Shree S. N., J. P. Bolte, L.G. Ross and J. Aguilar-Manjarrez (2000) Applications of geographical information systems (GIS) for spatial decision support in aquaculture, Aquacultural Engineering 23: 233–278.

Abstract Geographical information systems (GIS) are becoming an increasingly integral component of natural resource management activities worldwide. However, despite some indication that these tools are receiving attention within the aquaculture community, their deployment for spatial decision support in this domain continues to be very slow. This situation is attributable to a number of constraints including a lack of appreciation of the technology, limited understanding of GIS principles and associated methodology, and inadequate organizational commitment to ensure continuity of these spatial decision support tools. This paper analyzes these constraints in depth, and includes reviews of basic GIS terminology, methodology, case studies in aquaculture and future trends. The section on GIS terminology addresses the two fundamental types of GIS (raster and vector), and discusses aspects related to the visualization of outcomes. With regard to GIS methodology, the argument is made for close involvement of end users, subject matter specialists and analysts in all projects. A user-driven framework, which involves seven phases, to support this process is presented together with details of the degree of involvement of each category of personnel, associated activities and analytical procedures. The section on case studies reviews in considerable detail four aquaculture applications which are demonstrative of the extent to which GIS can be deployed, indicate the range in complexity of analytical methods used, provide insight into issues associated with data procurement and handling, and demonstrate the diversity of GIS packages that are available. Finally, the section on the future of GIS examines the direction in which the technology is moving, emerging trends with regard to analytical methods, and challenges that need to be addressed if GIS is to realize its full potential as a spatial decision support tool for aquaculture.


Siddiqui M. Z., J. W. Everett, and B.E. Vieux (1996) Landfill siting using Geographic Information Systems: A demonstration, Journal of Environmental Engineering, 122(6): 515-523.
Abstract Regulations and public opposition can make siting municipal solid waste landfills difficult. In this paper, spatial-AHP is presented, a method that identifies and ranks potential landfill areas for preliminary site assessment. Spatial-AHP takes into account regulatory restrictions, area attributes, and site assessment criteria provided by experts and/or users. The method uses an analytic environment provided by geographic information systems (GIS) and a decision-making method provided by the analytic hierarchy process (AHP). The GIS is used to manipulate and present spatial data. The AHP is used to rank potential landfill areas based on a wide variety of criteria. Spatial-AHP is demonstrated by applying it to a landfill site selection study in Cleveland County, Oklahoma. The paper also analyzes the effects of varying the relative importance of various siting criteria, landfill size, and location restriction severity.


Siitonen P., A. Tanskanen and A. Lehtinen (2003) Selecting forest reserves with a multiobjective spatial algorithm, Environmental Science & Policy, 6(3): 301-309.   
Abstract  We applied a multiobjective spatial heuristic algorithm in a landscape area of 10 000 ha in eastern Finland, to select forest stands that would best complement the existing reserves in terms of achievement of conservation objectives while minimizing costs. Several non-spatial and spatial objectives for quality, area, and spatial distribution of forests were defined in cooperation with forest managers. Furthermore, existing reserves were pre-selected. The cost of each stand was calculated on the basis of the economic value of forest land and timber. The algorithm calculated cost–benefit ratios for the stands on the basis of how well each stand fulfilled the non-spatial and spatial objectives and at what cost. In every cycle, the algorithm selected the stand with the best cost–benefit ratio. A comparison between solutions, one without and three with differently weighted spatial objectives, showed that the network of selected stands was more clustered with than without spatial objectives. The use of the spatial objectives increased costs and the area slightly, and the non-spatial objectives were met almost equally in all solutions. The network of selected stands in one 2100 ha sub-region was more clustered when stands were selected from the whole region rather than only from that sub-region.


Sikder I. U. and A. Gangopadhyay (2002) Design and implementation of a Web-based collaborative spatial decision support system: Organizational and managerial implications, Information Resources Management Journal 15(4): 33-58.

Abstract The development of collaborative spatial decision support systems presents a host of challenges, ranging from technical to societal and institutional. Resource managers and environmental planners often need to understand the effect of the distributed and uncoordinated land management practices of individual decision-makers, which in the long run causes significant environmental impact. In many cases environmental planning requires collaborative decision-making tools where complex interacting agents with conflicting goals need to work without any prior idea of the counterpart. This paper identifies research issues on the design and implementation of a Web-based collaborative spatial decision making in the specific context of distributed environmental planning. A Web-based spatial decision support system GEO-ELCA for typical decision-making tasks is demonstrated.


Shepherd J. M., O. O. Taylor and C. Garza (2004) A dynamic GIS-multicriteria technique for siting the NASA-Clark Atlanta Urban Rain Gauge Network, Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology 21(9): 1346-1360.  

Abstract Because Atlanta is a model of rapid transition from forest/agriculture land use to urbanization, NASA and other agencies have initiated programs to identify and understand how urban heat islands (UHIs) impact the environment in terms of land use, air quality, health, climate, and other factors. Atlanta's UHI may also impact the regional water cycle by inadvertent forcing of precipitating cloud systems. Other details of the study are presented.


Stewart T.J., R. Janssen and M. van Herwijnen (2004) A genetic algorithm approach to multiobjective land use planning, Computers & Operations Research 31(14): 2293-2313.

Abstract This paper describes a class of spatial planning problems in which different land uses have to be allocated across a geographical region, subject to a variety of constraints and conflicting management objectives. A goal programming/reference point approach to the problem is formulated, which leads however to a difficult nonlinear combinatorial optimization problem. A special purpose genetic algorithm is developed for the solution of this problem, and is extensively tested numerically. The model and algorithm is then applied to a specific land use planning problem in The Netherlands. The ultimate goal is to integrate the algorithm into a complete land use planning decision support system.


Stoms D. M., J. M. McDonald and F. W. Davis (2002) Fuzzy assessment of land suitability for scientific research reserves Environmental Management 29(4): 545 – 558.

Abstract Evaluating the characteristics of a set of sites as potential scientific research reserves is an example of land suitability assessment. Suitability in this case is based upon multiple criteria, many of which can be linguistically imprecise and often incompatible. Fuzzy logic is a useful method for characterizing imprecise suitability combining criteria and for combining criteria into an overall suitability rating. The Ecosystem Management Decision Support software combined a fuzzy logic knowledge base we developed to represent the assessment problem with a GIS database providing site-specific data for the assessment. Assessment of sites as a potential natural reserve for the new University of California campus at Merced demonstrates the benefits of fuzzy suitability assessment. The study was conducted in three stages of successively smaller assessment regions with increasingly fine spatial resolution and specificity of criteria. Several sites were identified that best satisfy the suitability criteria for a reserve to represent vernal pool habitat.


Stone, N. D.,  B. E. Cline and  J. Pease (2002) Generating farm descriptions in a watershed from incomplete data using simulated annealing, Journal of the American Water Resources Association 38 (2): 355-365.

Abstract A fundamental problem faced in developing spatially explicit, simulation-based analyses of watershed management and policy options is determining the distribution and spatial location of agricultural resources within a watershed based on incomplete information. This paper describes the use of simulated annealing, a heuristic scheduling process, to generate an assignment of all livestock and agricultural fields in a watershed to hypothetical farms such that the combined distribution of farm types, livestock, and farmland within the watershed is a reasonable representation of watershed-level data. Compared to a manual method using GIS-based analysis and data from aerial photography, the heuristic method was more likely to generate realistic spatial characterizations of the distribution of agricultural resources and practices in a watershed. Also compared to the manual method, the heuristic process was considerably more efficient and could more easily accommodate multiple criteria and modifications to those criteria.


Store R. and J. Jokimäki (2003) A GIS-based multi-scale approach to habitat suitability modeling, Ecological Modelling 169( 1): 1-15.
Abstract The aim of this study is to develop a method by means of which it is possible to produce georeferenced ecological information about the habitat requirements of different species. The integrated habitat suitability index approach includes the steps of constructing habitat suitability models, producing data needed in models, evaluating of target areas based on habitat factors, and combining various suitability indices. The method relies on the combined use of empirical evaluation models and models based on expertise in geographical information system (GIS) environment. GIS was used to produce the data needed in the models, and as a platform to execute the models and to present the results of the analysis. Furthermore, multi-criteria evaluation methods (MCEs) provide the technical tools for modeling the expertise and for connecting (standardizing, weighting, and combining) the habitat needs of different species. The main advantages of the method were connected to possibilities to consider the habitat factors on different scales, to combine habitat suitability evaluations for several species and to weight different species in different ways, and to integrate empirical models and expert knowledge. The method is illustrated by a case study in which an integrated habitat suitability map is produced for a group of old-forest species.


Store R. and J. Kangas (2001) Integrating spatial multi-criteria evaluation and expert knowledge for GIS-based habitat suitability modelling, Landscape and Urban Planning 55( 2):79-93
Abstract GIS data processing and spatial analysis, together with modern decision analysis techniques, were used in this study to improve habitat suitability evaluation over large areas. Both empirical evaluation models and models based on expert knowledge can be applied in this approach. The habitat requirements of species were described as map layers within GIS so that each map layer represented one criterion. GIS was used as the platform in managing, combining and displaying the criterion data and also as a tool for producing new data, especially by utilising spatial analysis functions.

Criterion standardisation, weighting and combining were accomplished by means of multi-criteria evaluation (MCE) methods, the theoretical background being based on the multi-attribute utility theory (MAUT). By using continuous priority and sub-priority functions in the evaluation, no classification of continuous attributes was needed and also non-linear relationships between habitat suitability and the attributes could be considered. Sensitivity analysis was applied to consider the temporal factor in the analysis and to find out the effect of different criteria weights on the spatial pattern of the suitability index. Changing the weights of permanent and time-changeable habitat factors shifted the location of optimal habitats for the species. In the long run, permanent factors such as soil properties define the habitat potential, which is important to take into consideration; e.g. in forest management planning and species conservation. The method is illustrated by a case study in which habitat suitability maps were produced for an old-forest polypore, Skeletocutis odora.


Strapp J. D. and C. P. Keller (1996) Towards an interactive Spatial Decision Support System for agricultural land consolidation, Geographical Systems 3(1): 15 - 31.


Stummer C., K. Doerner, A. Focke and K. Heidenberger (2004) Determining location and size of medical departments in a hospital network: A multiobjective decision support approach, Health Care Management Science 7(1): 63-71.

Abstract  Decisions on the location and size of medical departments in a given hospital network are prime examples of priority setting in health care, which is an issue of growing political importance. As such decisions are regularly characterized by multiple and often conflicting objectives in real-life, this paper integrates the fields of hospital planning and multiobjective decision support. The proposed two-phase solution procedure for our corresponding mathematical programming model does not require a priori preference information. Instead, it seeks efficient solutions by means of multiobjective tabu search in the first phase, while applying clustering in the second phase to allow the decision makers to interactively explore the solution space until the “best” configuration is determined. The real-world applicability of our approach is illustrated through a numerical example based on hospital data from Germany.


 Sui D. Z. (1992) A fuzzy GIS modeling approach for urban land evaluation Computers, Environment and Urban Systems 16(2): 101-115.

Abstract Present analytical functions and conventional cartographic modeling techniques in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are based on Boolean logic, which implicitly assumes that objects in a spatial database and their attributes can be uniquely defined. The inherent constraint of the classical set theory does not allow for partial set membership conditions and imprecise information in GIS. The inadequacy of the Boolean logic for the representation and manipulation of spatial data is a major obstacle toward realistic GIS modeling. This paper demonstrates the usefulness of Zadeh's fuzzy set theory in GIS modeling for urban land evaluation. The results indicate that incorporating fuzzy set theory into GIS modeling can provide more details about the gradual transition of urban land value than the traditional cartographic modeling approach. Fuzzy GIS modeling can also reduce the information loss by obtaining membership grade for each individual land parcel. The membership function allows identification of the extent to which a particular area belongs to a valuation class based on given criteria.



Thirumalaivasan D., M. Karmegam and K. Venugopal (2003) AHP-DRASTIC: software for specific aquifer vulnerability assessment using DRASTIC model and GIS, Environmental Modelling & Software18( 7): 645-656.

Abstract A software package AHP-DRASTIC has been developed to derive ratings and weights of modified DRASTIC model parameters for use in specific aquifer vulnerability assessment studies. The software is integrated with ArcView Geographical Information System (GIS) software for modelling aquifer vulnerability, to predict areas which are more likely than others to become contaminated as a result of activities at or near the land surface. The ranges of a few of the DRASTIC model parameters have been modified to adapt to local hydrogeologic settings. Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) has been used to compute the ratings and weights of the criteria and sub-criteria of all parameters used in the DRASTIC model. The output from AHP generates a MS Access database for these parameters, which is then interfaced with ArcView using Avenue Scripts. AHP-DRASTIC is aimed at providing user-friendly GUI interfaced with GIS for the estimation of weights and ranks of the thematic layers used for aquifer vulnerability assessment. Contingency table analysis indicates that all wells in low and high vulnerability category have concentrations less than 10 ppm and more than 10 ppm, respectively. The model is validated with groundwater quality data and the results have shown strong relationship between DRASTIC Specific Vulnerability Index and nitrate-as-nitrogen concentrations with a correlation co-efficient of 0.84 at 0.01 level.


Thomas M. R. (2002) A GIS-based decision support system for brownfield redevelopment, Landscape and Urban Planning, 58(1) 7-23
Abstract Rapid growth in regions surrounding large metropolitan areas leads to the phenomenon of urban sprawl. In states like Michigan, land is being converted at a rate seven times greater than formerly used (and potentially contaminated) sites are being redeveloped. City governments now see these unused or abandoned areas as important assets in realizing the goal of urban revitalization. New legislation in Michigan provides economic (e.g. tax recapture) and legal (e.g. suspension of retroactive liability) incentives for local governments and prospective developers who are now seeking these brownfields instead of farmland and open space.

To evaluate land use options with respect to brownfields inventory, characterization, and potential for redevelopment, both government and private decision-makers need access to information regarding land capability; development incentives; public goals, interests, and preferences; and environmental concerns such as site contamination and environmental quality. This paper discusses a decision support system that provides access to state, regional, and local geospatial databases, several informational and visualization tools, and assumptions useful in providing a better understanding of issues, options, and alternatives in redeveloping brownfields.

The resultant decision support system is augmented by a unique geographic information systems (GIS)-based land use modeling application called Smart Places® as an integrated expert system. The decision support system is being tested in a city- and county-level brownfield identification, screening, and marketing effort in Jackson County, Michigan. This project represents a testbed for decision-makers and policy analysts at all levels of government to establish urban land use policy and development guidelines that may be applicable to related land use issues in a variety of urban and urbanizing settings. While this project was conducted in Michigan, the tools and procedures used are seen as readily adaptable to other locations.


Thomas M. R. (2003) The use of ecologically based screening criteria in a community-sponsored open space preservation programme, Journal of Environmental Planning and Management 46(5): 691 - 714.

Abstract The Meridian Township Land Preservation Programme is the first community-sponsored, open space and natural areas preservation programme in Michigan using ecological principles in the ranking of properties for acquisition. The programme was established through a collaborative, multi-stakeholder effort that resulted in a model ordinance, operating procedures, guidelines for landowners to nominate their properties for consideration, and a set of criteria for property selection. The screening criteria include ecological value, natural or functional value, parcel size, surrounding land use, environmental quality, and aesthetic value. The criteria were developed to reflect principles established by landscape ecology and land conservation objectives to maintain a maximum degree of biodiversity and to develop, manage and maintain ecological infrastructure through management of protected areas. The programme is entirely funded through a local millage, which will raise nearly $10 million over 10 years. The target for acquisition of open space is approximately 10% of the currently undeveloped parcels in the township.


Tiwari D. N., R. Loof and G. N. Paudyal  (1999) Environmental–economic decision-making in lowland irrigated agriculture using multi-criteria analysis techniques, Agricultural Systems 60(2): 99-112.
Abstract The continuing debate on sustainability has raised wide concerns towards integration of environmental and economic aspects into the development decision-making process. This paper develops a framework for environmental–economic decision making that includes the environmental and economic sustainability criteria, and local people's preferences in the context of a lowland irrigated agriculture system using multi-criteria decision-making techniques. Several criteria, such as land capability/suitability, energy input/output ratio, water demand and environmental costs, are considered as environmental sustainability criteria. Economic sustainability is measured from farmers', governments and societal viewpoints using extended cost-benefit analysis. The Geographic Information System (GIS) technique has been used to evaluate spatial sustainability criteria. The involvement of local people at various levels of the decision- making process is emphasized and their opinions are sought in the decision-making process using a two-stage field survey. The results of the multi-criteria analysis combining both environmental and economic sustainability criteria are discussed, and economic incentives for sustainable intensification of lowland irrigated agriculture are outlined.


Tkach R. J. and S. P. Simonovic (1997) A new approach to multi-criteria decision making in water resources, Journal of Geographic Information and Decision Analysis  1(1): 25-44.

Abstract Spatial comparison of floodplain management alternatives in a raster GIS environment is conceptualized as a multi criteria decision making problem. A spatial MCDM technique is developed by combining the conventional Compromise Programming technique with GIS technology. This new technique is referred to herein as Spatial Compromise Programming (SCP). The main contribution of the proposed technique is its ability to address uneven spatial distribution of criteria values in the evaluation and ranking of alternatives. SCP is used to determine the best alternative for each geographic location within the region of interest. The analysis of floodplain management strategies for the Red River Valley region is chosen as a case study to illustrate application of the Spatial Compromise Programming technique.


Tseng C. T., S-C. Chen, C-S. Huang and  C-C. Liu (2001) GIS-assisted site selection for artificial reefs, Fisheries Science 67 (6):1015-1022.

Abstract Five geographic information system (GIS) grid themes, water depth, bottom type, topographic slope, distance to coast and distance to fishing ports, were adapted to evaluate and select a site for artificial reef deployment in I-Lan Bay off north-eastern Taiwan. From AHP (analytic hierarchy process) analysis, the weights of suitability of the five GIS grid themes were 0.416, 0.141, 0.331, 0.074, and 0.038, respectively. The results show that water depth is the most important factor in selecting a site for an artificial reef. Using ArcView, a GIS software package, a suitability map was made based on the selected grid themes. The suitable sites for artificial reef deployment identified by the GIS method corresponded to the sites selected using the traditional non- GIS approach. Based on the individual GIS grid themes, the GIS software and AHP method can be integrated to select objectively the optimal sites for artificial reef deployment.


Tulloch D. L., J. R. Myers, J. E. Hasse, P. J. Parks and R. G. Lathrop (2003) Integrating GIS into farmland preservation policy and decision making, Landscape and Urban Planning, 63(1): 33-48.

Abstract The paper describes an experiment with the integration of geographic information systems (GIS) into farmland preservation techniques using the data and policies of Hunterdon County, NJ as a case study. The automation process incorporates a variety of factors as criteria for evaluating properties for a purchase of development rights. The spatially explicit criteria include evaluations of the soils, neighboring land uses, proximity to preserved farms, and local communities' commitment to practices contributing to sustaining farming. This automation is particularly notable in that it uses a parcel-based approach at a county-wide scale. This supports both an assessment of individual farms and a broad understanding of policy outcomes and pattern across the entire county. More interesting are the emerging pattern of benefits and barriers in the automation process highlighted by this exploration


Urbanski J. A. (1999) The use of fuzzy sets in the evaluation of the environment of coastal waters, International Journal of Geographical Information Science 13(7): 723 – 730.
Abstract This paper advocates the use of GIS for the evaluation of the vulnerability of coastal waters and presents a method for mapping their vulnerability to algal blooms. The method incorporates probability mapping of parameters used to describe coastal waters and fuzzy sets. To allow the modelling of processes where some components cannot substitute for other components the 'no trade off' convex combination formula is proposed. The maps of vulnerability for the Gulf of Gdansk, which were created using this method, may be used to find out which rivers and water discharges play a dominant role in eutrophication.


Vacik H. and M. J. Lexer (2001) Application of a spatial decision support system in managing the protection forests of Vienna for sustained yield of water resources Forest Ecology and Management 143(1-3): 65-76.

Abstract The development and application of a spatial decision support system (SDSS) for silvicultural planning in forests managed for sustained yield of water resources is presented. The implementation of core components of the SDSS is described. As an example, the development of a decision model for selecting the best silvicultural treatment option for stands scheduled for natural regeneration is discussed. The decision problem is factorized into decisions on the future species mixture (GSO) and on an appropriate regeneration method (RM). A priori defined sets of alternatives (nine species mixtures, seven regeneration methods) are evaluated with respect to a set of stand-specific partial management objectives (water production, timber production, conservation of biodiversity, recreation, protection against rockfall and avalanches) by further decomposing the partial objectives into decision criteria. To circumvent the lack of quantitative knowledge on the value of different species mixtures and regeneration methods with respect to the management objectives, pair-wise comparisons of decision alternatives based on qualitative expert knowledge are utilized to compute preference values. An additive multiple-attribute preference model is used to aggregate the preferences at different levels of the decision hierarchy. The combination of GSO and RM which simultaneously maximizes the expected utility and satisfies all constraints of the forest decision maker is selected as the overall best solution.


Van der Merwe, J. H. (1997) GIS-aided land evaluation and decision-making for regulating urban expansion: A South African case study, GeoJournal, 43 (2): 135-151.

Abstract  A computerised aid to the land use planning process is demonstrated on the urban edge of Cape Town, South Africa. Multi-criteria analysis is performed in the IDRISI GIS package to evaluate development suitability for four land use categories according to appropriately measured and weighted criteria. The four suitability images are then subjected to multi-objective land allocation to demarcate optimum locations for each land use type. The decision-making process entails execution of seven consecutive steps which are discussed in detail and applied in the case study. Technical decisions are rationalised and results displayed. The paper concludes with a call for the development of applications which can incorporate public participation in this type of decision-making process to ensure the wider acceptance of advanced GIS technology as appropriate technology.


Van der Merwe, J. H. and  G. Lohrentz (2001) Demarcating coastal vegetation buffers with multicriteria evaluation and GIS at Saldanha Bay, South Africa, AMBIO: Journal of the Human Environment, 30 (2): 89-95.

Abstract The Saldanha-Langebaan coastal zone forms an integral part of the South African coastal resource base. As elsewhere in the world, an acute need exists to balance development and economic growth and conservation in the coastal zone as an exploitable resource frontier area. Vegetated buffers and greenways are conservation concepts that have been used with great success in such conservation efforts. They are applied in the study area through the use of a Geographic Information System (GIS) as spatial decision-support system to legitimize the demarcation of a vegetated buffer zone. The method of multi-criteria evaluation, as applied here, incorporates public decision-making in constructing an objective model for buffer zone demarcation. Representatives from interested and affected parties participated in model construction and calibration, resulting in the spatial delimitation of a multi-functional vegetated buffer. It conforms to a range of functional criteria and can serve as an environmental element in coastal conservation planning frameworks.


Varma, V.K., Ferguson, I., and Wild, I. (2000) Decision support system for sustainable forest management, Forest Ecology and Management 128: 49–55.

Abstract This paper describes the methodological component of a decision support system being developed for the sustainable forest management at the forest management unit level. The article focuses on two main goals. These include finding ways to measure sustainability of forest management with due regard to its spatial and temporal dimensions and operationalising it in terms of identification of utility-maximising land use strategies. The paper attempts to bridge the gap between considerable work done on developing the framework for measuring sustainability of forest management and a lack of similar efforts in monitoring and using these indicators as a formal part of the planning system.


Vatalis K. and O. Manoliadis (2002) A two-level multi-criteria DSS for landfill site selection using GIS: Case study in Western Macedonia, Greece, Journal of Geographic Information and Decision Analysis 6(1): 49-56.

Abstract One of the major problems in waste management is concerned with the selection appropriate site for the waste disposal. Leakage from landfills and lagoons usually contain significant amounts of contaminants such as ammonia, nitrate, chloride and metals. These contaminants may reach aquifers, degrade the water resource, and become hazardous to human health. In this paper a two-stage, multicriteria evaluation is presented. In the first stage, in order to find the suitable sites, GIS digital map overlay techniques are used. Different siting constraints are considered and numerical and qualitative criteria are applied in an explanatory investigation of the study area. The resulting alternative sites are evaluated using multicriteria evaluation models. In the second stage, quality of life indicators that represent economic efficiency, environmental and technical economic criteria are used to identify the most preferred alternative. The method is applied to a new landfill site in Western Macedonia. The results were acceptable to local communities. Although the amount of data used in this project is kept to a minimum, the system can be expanded to include varieties of information for assisting in the selection of a scientifically correct and socially acceptable solution.


Vertinsky I., S. Brown, H. Schreier, W. A. Thompson  and G. C. van Kooten (1994) A hierarchical-GIS-based decision model for forest management: The systems approach, INTERFACES 24(4): 38-53.
Abstract  We developed a decentralized decision support system for forest management with a central coordination mechanism. It consists of (1) an LP model, a forest estate simulation model, and a geographic information system linked in an iterative process, at the regional level, and (2) a provincewide central coordination mechanism using a system of charges and subsidies that reflect provincewide values in regional decisions. Each of the components of the decision support system can be used independently, but their linkages provide the facility to deal with the complex pattern of interactions between subsystems and the global system of the forest resource. To date, the simulation and the geographic information system have been implemented for use in a commercial forest neighboring Mount Revelstoke and Glacier National Parks.


Villa F., M. Ceroni and A. Mazza  (1996) A GIS-based method for multi-objective evaluation of park vegetation, Landscape and Urban Planning, 35(4): 203-212.
Abstract  In this paper we describe a method for evaluating the concordance between a set of mapped landscape attributes and a set of quantitatively expressed management priorities. The method has proved to be useful in planning urban green areas, allowing objectively documented decisions and helping the resolution of opinion conflicts among decision makers. A case study, involving the evaluation of the vegetation component of a suburban park, is described in detail. The analysis of the case study highlights the power of the method, and of geographical information systems- (GIS-) based decision support methods in general, as a planning aid for green park areas. Their use allowed us not only to propose interesting reorganization plans, but also to give decision makers a better understanding of their own priorities.

Villa, F., L. Tunesi, and T. Agardy (2001) Zoning marine protected areas through spatial multiple-criteria analysis: The case of the Asinara Island National Marine Reserve of Italy. Conservation Biology 16:515–526.

Abstract As the role of marine protected areas as conservation tools becomes better understood and more sophisticated, their planning becomes more complicated. Systematic, objective approaches to site selection and design can help reconcile conflicting interests, represent stakeholders' viewpoints fairly and evenly, and extend the scope of planning studies from single reserves to networks. We illustrate the use of spatial multiple-criteria analysis for determining the suitability of marine areas for different uses and levels of protection. This technique couples geographic information systems (GIS) for land assessment and evaluation with a formal statement of the design priorities as seen from the different viewpoints of all involved stakeholders. The planning process, while staying focused on the main purposes of conservation and feasibility, involves all the main interest groups in the definition of priorities so that conflicts and tensions are kept under control. We used multiple-criteria analysis to integrate objective data with the contrasting priorities of different stakeholders in the planning of a marine protected area. The results of the analysis can be used to define an optimal spatial arrangement of different protection levels. As a case study, we developed a zoning plan for one of the first marine protected areas in Italy, the Asinara Island National Marine Reserve.


Vlachopoulou M., G. Silleos and V. Manthou (2001) Geographic information systems in warehouse site selection decisions, International Journal of Production Economics  71(1-3): 205-212.

Abstract The warehouse site selection decision is not merely the question of choosing sites. It involves the comparison of the spatial characteristics of a market with the overall corporate and marketing goals of the firm. A geographic information system-aided process to the warehouse site selection decision is presented and the use of the presented process is demonstrated with a practical example. Various factors likely to affect customer service and costs are defined and subsequently integrated into an overall evaluation.


Voss A., I. Denisovich, P. Gatalsky, K. Gavouchidis, A. Klotz, S. Roeder and H. Voss (2004) Evolution of a participatory GIS, Computers, Environment and Urban Systems 28(6): 635-651.

Abstract Participatory spatial planning and decision making requires a combination of software tools for group decision support, individual decision support and geographic analysis and presentation. This article presents a respective approach that integrates two software tools which were originally developed independently. One tool, Dito, is a Java application for the World Wide Web designed to facilitate structured argumentation and discourses. The other tool, CommonGIS, provides Java-based web-enabled services for the interactive, explorative generation and analysis of thematic maps, and it also supports multi-criteria decision making. The evolution of the integrated system is reviewed from first experiments in 2001, the resulting requirements and a succession of prototypes up to the latest solution. The focus of the article lies in the design of this solution.


Wang D. H. and K. E. Medley (2004) Land use model for carbon conservation across a midwestern USA landscape,  Landscape and Urban Planning 69(4): 451-465.
Abstract Land management to promote forest growth can conserve and sequester a significant amount of terrestrial carbon and thereby reduce the buildup of atmospheric carbon. This study uses geographic information systems (GIS) technology to develop a multi-criteria land use model for Butler County in southwestern Ohio that ranks rural land areas for restorative forest management based on their potential for carbon conservation. Our results identify 161 sites, or 18% of the county study area outside of incorporated urban areas, that have topographic and soil conditions productive for forest growth, and 21% of the mapped area is on transitional (uncultivated and undeveloped) lands that are potentially available for restorative management. The study strongly supports the planned protection of lands along stream corridors; 43% of the transitional lands ranked high potential are within a 100 m stream buffer and 80% are within a 500 m buffer. It also reveals "gaps" between the predicted carbon conservation map and regional plans for conservation, particularly showing the need to consider incorporating woodlots into privately owned farms on flat uplands with deep soil profiles. The study provides a valuable ecological planning resource that prioritizes lands for rural conservation based on their functional contributions to the regional carbon balance.


Wang X., S. Yu and G. H. Huang (2004) Land allocation based on integrated GIS-optimization modeling at a watershed level, Landscape and Urban Planning, 66(2): 61-74

Abstract Results of a watershed optimization model that specifies the future amount of land for each land use type at a sub-area level are incorporated into a GIS-based spatial allocation model to provide specific location recommendations based on existing land use, slope, distance to surface water and conversion preference. Thus, more detailed interpretation and implementation of optimal development scenarios can be obtained. This integrated approach was applied in Lake Erhai basin, China. This prototype land allocation system combines the strength of optimization modeling and GIS. A decision maker knows where and what type of land use changes should be made to achieve an environmental and economic sustainable future. That is, the modeling results provide support for answering questions of "what should I do?" and "how do I do it?" in land use planning and decision-making.


Ward D. P., A. T. Murray, and S. R. Phinn (2003) Integrating spatial optimization and cellular automata for evaluating urban change, The Annals of Regional Science 37(1): 131-148.

Abstract Urban growth and change presents numerous challenges for planners and policy makers. Effective and appropriate strategies for managing growth and change must address issues of social, environmental and economic sustainability. Doing so in practical terms is a difficult task given the uncertainty associated with likely growth trends not to mention the uncertainty associated with how social and environmental structures will respond to such change. An optimization based approach is developed for evaluating growth and change based upon spatial restrictions and impact thresholds. The spatial optimization model is integrated with a cellular automata growth simulation process. Application results are presented and discussed with respect to possible growth scenarios in south east Queensland, Australia.


Ware J. M., I. D. Wilson and J. A. Ware (2003) A knowledge based genetic algorithm approach to automating cartographic generalisation, Knowledge-Based Systems, 16(5-6):  295-303.
Abstract Rendering map data at scales smaller than their source can give rise to map displays exhibiting graphic conflict, such that objects are either too small to be seen or too close to each other to be distinguishable. Furthermore, scale reduction will often require important features to be exaggerated in size, sometimes leading to overlapping features. Cartographic Map generalisation is the process by which any graphic conflict that arises during scaling is resolved. In this paper, we show how a Genetic Algorithm approach was used to resolve spatial conflict between objects after scaling, achieving near optimal solutions within practical time constraints.


Wei B. C. and Y. W. Chai (2004) A multiobjective hybrid metaheuristic approach for GIS-based spatial zoning model, Journal of Mathematical Modelling and Algorithms 3(3): 245 – 261.

Abstract    This paper presents a multiobjective hybrid metaheuristic approach for an intelligent spatial zoning model in order to draw territory line for geographical or spatial zone for the purpose of space control. The model employs a Geographic Information System (GIS) and uses multiobjective combinatorial optimization techniques as its components. The proposed hybrid metaheuristic consists of the symbiosis between tabu search and scatter search method and it is used heuristically to generate non-dominated alternatives. The approach works with a set of current solution, which through manipulation of weights are optimized towards the non-dominated frontier while at the same time, seek to disperse over the frontier by a strategic oscillation concept. The general procedure and its algorithms are given as well as its implementation in the GIS environment. The computation has resulted in tremendous improvements in spatial zoning.


Weigel D. and B. Cao (1999) Applying GIS and OR techniques to solve Sears technician-dispatching and home-delivery problems, INTERFACES 29(1): 112–130.

Abstract Sears, Roebuck and Company uses a vehicle-routing-and scheduling system based on a geographic information system to run its delivery and home service fleets more efficiently. Although the problems to be solved can be modeled as vehicle routing problems with time windows (VRPTW), the size of the problems and thus practical complexity make these problems of both theoretical and practical interest. We constructed a series of algorithms, including the algorithm to build the originand-destination matrix, the algorithm to assign resources, and algorithms to perform sequencing and route improvement. The combination of GIS and OR techniques makes the system quite efficient. The system has improved the Sears technician dispatching and home-delivery business; resulting in over $9 million in one-time savings and over $42 million in annual savings. The success of this application also suggests a promising link between GIS and OR techniques.


Wilson I. D., J. M. Ware and J. A. Ware (2003) A genetic algorithm approach to cartographic map generalisation, Computers in Industry 52(3): 291-304.
Abstract Rendering map data at scales smaller than their source can give rise to map displays exhibiting graphic conflict, such that objects are either too small to be seen or too close to each other to be distinguishable. Furthermore, scale reduction will often require important features to be exaggerated in size, sometimes leading to overlapping features. Cartographic map generalisation is the process by which any graphic conflict that arises during scaling is resolved. In this paper, we show how a Genetic Algorithm (GA) approach was used to resolve spatial conflict between objects after scaling, achieving near optimal solutions within practical time constraints.


Wu F. (1998) SimLand: a prototype to simulate land conversion through the integrated GIS and CA with AHP-derived transition rules, International Journal of Geographical Information Science 12(1): 63 – 82.

Abstract This paper presents a prototype of a simulation model based on cellular automata (CA), and multicriteria evaluation (MCE) and integrated with GIS. Specifically, a method, analytical hierarchy process (AHP), of MCE is used here to derive behaviour-oriented rules of transition in CA. A 'tight' integration strategy is adopted, which means that the modules of MCE and CA are written in the C programming language and built within ARC/INFO GIS. Designed to run on a workstation Unix SimL and fully utilizes the graphical user interface (GUI),which allows the modelto be driven by menusand automate the simulation of land conversion in the urban-rural fringe. The combination of three elements, GIS, CA, and MCE, has several advantages: visualization of decision-making, easier access to spatial information, and the more realistic definition of transition rules in CA.


Wu F.  and C. J. Webster (1997) Simulation of land development through the integration of cellular automata and multicriteria evaluation, Environment and Planning B 25: 103 – 126.

Abstract Cellular automata (CA) simulation has become a popular method of exploring the behaviour of all kinds of self-organising systems. The city may clearly be viewed as such a system but one with a particularly complex set of transition rules. Many natural processes such as the spread of fire or vegetation can be modelled by a simple set of local rules. Insofar as the development of a piece of land depends on the neighbourhood situation as well as on the characteristics of a site, urban evolution can be treated in much the same way, with transition rules translating the evaluation of the location into a land conversion outcome. If this modelling paradigm is to be used to gain insight into real-world urban development processes, there is a need to discover ways of capturing the richness of land conversion behaviour in the simplifying mechanisms of CA. Our paper contributes to this research agenda by integrating multicriteria evaluation (MCE) into a CA simulation in order to define nondeterministic, multidimensional, and multilevel transition rules. An analytical hierarchy process is used to implement MCE-derived transition rules. The integrated MCE - CA model may be used in a gaming mode to explore how urban form evolves under different development regimes caricatured by the set of multicriteria weights. We use it to test loosely hypotheses about the nature of the regimes that have governed the expansion of a fast-growing southern Chinese city.


Wu Q., S. Ye, X. Wu and P. Chen (2004) Risk assessment of earth fractures by constructing an intrinsic vulnerability map, a specific vulnerability map, and a hazard map, using Yuci City, Shanxi, China as an example, Environmental Geology  46(1): 104-112.

Abstract  Risk assessment of earth fracture hazards is particularly useful for regulatory, managerial, and decision-making purposes at all levels of government. A ldquothree-maprdquomethod that includes intrinsic vulnerability, specific vulnerability, and hazard maps is developed to assess the earth fracture hazards in Yuci City, Shanxi, China. The intrinsic (natural) vulnerability map is based on the assessment of various natural factors by coupling the technologies of a Geographical Information System (GIS) to an Artificial Neural Network (ANN). The specific vulnerability map is generated by coupling the technologies of a GIS and an Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP). According to the overlapping principles of multiple geo-information systems, the hazard map is therefore defined by overlapping the intrinsic and specific vulnerability maps using a spatial-operation function in the GIS. Unlike the intrinsic vulnerability map, the hazard map takes into account human activities and the importance of the area to be assessed. The proposed ldquothree-maprdquoapproach is not only scientifically valuable, but provides a more realistic assessment of earth fracture hazards as well.


Xiang W-N. (1993) A GIS/MMP-based coordination model and its application to distributed environmental planning Environment and Planning B 20(1): 195 – 220.

Abstract There is no mystery as to why people coordinate or cooperate. In a distributed problem-solving environment, self-interested problem solvers coordinate to improve their own self-interests, and to achieve collective goals. However, despite the prevalence of this paradigm of coordination through self-interest in human society, coordination remains a poorly understood phenomenon. Because in part of this status quo, computer technology in general has been conventionally developed to support people's individual work. Computer systems have been built for and used by people to pursue their own isolated tasks. The GLS/MMP-based (geographic information system and multiobjective mathematical programming) coordination model presented in this paper is among the recent efforts to remedy this deficiency. As a prototype organizational decision support system, it provides a framework in which self interested problem solvers can operate independently but coherently. The case study demonstrated its capability to facilitate distributed environmental planning. The model can be further developed into a distributed artificial intelligence system.


Xiang W-N. (1996) A GIS based method for trail alignment planning, Landscape and Urban Planning, 35 1 l-23.

Abstract Presented in this article is a new method for park trail alignment planning. With the assistance of a computerized geographic information system (GE), it searches, through extensive survey and analysis of area’s physical, ecological, and land use conditions, for a connecting path (i.e. trail alignment) that links a future trail’s origin and destination by land parcel cells of the greatest trail potential. Trail alignments that are delineated and selected by the mode1 provide a basis for quality site design. Tested in a North Carolina state park, the method proves to be effective, efficient, and practical.


Xiang W-N. and F. W. Salmon (2001) Button design for weighted map overlays Environment and Planning B 28(5): 655 – 670.

Abstract Buttons or tabs are function keys on a computer screen that are designed to facilitate users' direct manipulations. One increasingly popular application of the button technique in a GIS environment is weighted map overlays for land suitability assessment. Here, buttons are coded with weighting values to indicate maps' importance to their associations. There are, however, a number of flaws in the existing button designs that can affect the quality of land-suitability assessment. In this paper, we first examine two common problems of redundancy and underrepresentation in button design, and then present a button system that is free from these problems.


Xiao N., D. A. Bennett, M. P. Armstrong (2002) Using evolutionary algorithms to generate alternatives for multiobjective site-search problems, Environment and Planning A 34(4): 639 – 656.

Abstract  Multiobjective site-search problems are a class of decision problems that have geographical components and multiple, often conflicting, objectives; this kind of problem is often encountered and is technically difficult to solve. In this paper we describe an evolutionary algorithm (EA) based approach that can be used to address such problems. We first describe the general design of EAs that can be used to generate alternatives that are optimal or close to optimal with respect to multiple criteria. Then we define the problem addressed in this research and discuss how the EA was designed to solve it. In this procedure, called MOEA/Site, a solution (that is, a site) is encoded by using a graph representation that is operated on by a set of specifically designed evolutionary operations. This approach is applied to five different types of cost surfaces and the results are compared with 10 000 randomly generated solutions. The results demonstrate the robustness and effectiveness of this EA-based approach to geographical analysis and multiobjective decisionmaking. Critical issues regarding the representation of spatial solutions and associated evolutionary operations are also discussed.


Xu X. , H. Lin and Z. Fu (2004) Probe into the method of regional ecological risk assessment—a case study of wetland in the Yellow River Delta in China, Journal of Environmental Management 70(3): 253-262

Abstract Ecological risk assessment (ERA) is a new field of study for evaluating the risks associated with a possible eco-environmental hazard under uncertainty. Regional ERA is more complex than general ERA, as it requires that risk receptors, risk sources, risk exposure, uncertainty and especially spatial heterogeneity all be taken into account. In this paper, a five-step process of regional ERA is developed and tested through a wetland case study in the Yellow River Delta in China. First, indices and formulas are established for measuring degrees of ecological risk and damage to ecosystems. Using a combination of remote sensing data, historical records and survey data, and with the assistance of GIS techniques, the indices and formulas are then applied to the wetland in the study area. On the basis of the assessment results, we propose a number of countermeasures for the various risk zones in the Yellow River Delta.


Yaldir A. K. and T. Rehman (2002) A methodology for constructing multicriteria decision support systems for agricultural land consolidation using GIS and API: an illustration from Turkey, Computers and Electronics in Agriculture, 36(1): 55-78.
Abstract Numerous multiple criteria problems related to land consolidation are not readily amenable to conventional optimisation techniques. They require logical search procedures leading to feasible solutions that represent acceptable compromise amongst the conflicting demands of the various stakeholders. Necessary solution procedures can be designed as Spatial Decision Support Systems (SDSS). The commercially available Geographic Information Systems (GISs) offer an appropriate technology for data inventory, routine manipulation, and visualisation, but they lack the necessary advanced analytical capabilities and search procedures. The challenge is how to customise GIS to incorporate individual SDSS designs efficiently and at a relatively low cost. One promising approach is to customise a GIS using an Application Programming Interface (API). This paper presents the formalisation of a land related decision-making problem into a decision support framework and the subsequent customisation of GIS into a SDSS. This is made operational and tested for an agricultural land consolidation scheme in Southeastern Anatolia Region of Turkey.




Zeng T. Q. and Q. Zhou (2001) Optimal spatial decision making using GIS: a prototype of a real estate geographical information system (REGIS), International Journal of Geographical Information Science, 15 (4): 307-321.

Abstract  In the real estate business, it is a common understanding that the value and potential of a property are fundamentally determined by its location. This emphasises the significance of spatial factors in decision making in real estate. A geographical information system (GIS) is undoubtedly useful in this decision making. This paper reports on the development of a prototype real estate GIS (REGIS) by integrating fuzzy set (FZ) theory, a rule-based system (RBS) and GIS. The role of this system in the real estate business is in assisting decision makers for sellers and buyers, as well as property managers. For real estate agencies, the system can be used as an aid to selling and managing properties. For the buyers, the REGIS can function as a consultant in their decision making in purchasing properties. Methodologies are demonstrated using case studies. Developed as a generic tool with capabilities to deal with uncertainties, this prototype REGIS can also be applied to other fields, which involves optimal spatial decision making.


Zhang B., Y. Zhang, D. Chen, R. E. White and Y. Li (2004) A quantitative evaluation system of soil productivity for intensive agriculture in China, Geoderma 123(3-4): 319-331.

Abstract A system for the quantitative evaluation of soil productivity was developed and deployed in Gaoyou County, China. The study area, comprising 81,600 ha of cultivated land, was divided into 7367 evaluation units, and 19 soil properties were selected as factors for evaluation. Fuzzy analysis and expert score ranking combined with the Delphi method were used to quantify the membership functions of the evaluation factors selected. The weight contributions of individual factors to soil productivity were determined using the Delphi method and an analytic hierarchy process (AHP). A geographic information system (GIS) was used to manipulate the spatial database of the study area. This evaluation system, which differentiates between the concepts of land productivity and soil productivity, has several advantages compared with the China Agriculture Ministry Land Evaluation System (CAMLES), and can deliver detailed soil information to help decision makers and farmers identify the optimal agricultural management practices for achieving higher soil productivity and sustainable soil use. The proposed system has been accepted as the standard method for evaluating soil productivity in China.


Zhang Y. and J. R. Wright (2004) Global optimization of combined region aggregation and leveling model, Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering 18(2): 154-161.

Abstract The advent and widespread use of innovative spatial analysis technologies, such as geographic information systems (GIS), computer aided design (CAD) systems, and global positioning systems (GPS), have prompted great interest in spatial optimization. The tasks of selecting an optimal subregion from a larger region—region aggregation—and determining an optimal strategy for cutting and filling that subregion to a uniform elevation—land leveling—are examples of spatial analyses that can benefit from these powerful computer technologies. The combined region aggregation and leveling problem is a complex spatial problem that often involves the comprehensive consideration of multiple, incommensurate, and often conflicting objectives, while at the same time satisfying a set of prespecified physical and logical constraints. Traditionally, these two problems are solved separately, often precluding the identification of global optima. Through this research, a multiobjective integer programming model that considers these problems simultaneously is formulated, a computational algorithm for solving the model is presented, and numerical results that demonstrate the efficiency and effectiveness of this procedure are discussed. Computational experiments report polynomial complexity of the heuristic procedure against exponential worst-case complexity of traditional enumerative methods.


Zhou J. and  D. L. Civco (1996) Using genetic learning neural networks for spatial decision making in GIS, Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing, 62 (11): 1287-1295.

Abstract Traditional approaches for suitability analysis in GIS are overlay and the more complicated multicriteria evaluation (MCE). Despite being widely used, these methods have at least three problems: (1) difficulties in handling spatial data possessing inaccuracy, multiple measurement scales, and factor interdependency; (2) requirements of prior knowledge in identifying criteria, assigning scores, determining criteria preference, and selecting aggregation functions; and (3) typically, an ''unfriendly'' user interface. To solve these problems, in this paper a neural network approach is presented. The neural network uses a genetic algorithm as its learning mechanism. A set of experiments revealed that the aforementioned difficulties are overcome by the evolutionary learning of neural networks. Our conclusion is that genetic learning neural networks can provide an alternative for and improvement over traditional suitability analysis methods in GIS.


Zhu X. and A. P. Dale (2001) Java AHP: a web-based decision analysis tool for natural resource and environmental management, Environmental Modelling & Software, 16(3):  251-262.
Abstract  Natural resource and environmental management invariably involves multiple issues, multiple criteria and multiple stakeholders. A large amount of social, economic and environmental information needs to be linked to government policies, stakeholder values, public opinions and management goals. A systematic approach to decision analysis involved in natural resource and environmental management is required to improve the quality of the decision and justify the actions to be taken. The Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) provides a methodology for multi-criteria analysis and decision making. It allows critical examination of the underlying assumptions, consistency of the judgements, and facilitates the incorporation of qualitative and subjective considerations into quantitative factors for decision making. JavaAHP is a software tool, which implements the AHP. It uses the AHP methodology to model an environmental problem, evaluate relative desirability of alternatives, and organise the information and judgements used in decision making. JavaAHP is deployed on the World Wide Web (WWW) and can be accessed globally. It takes advantages of the WWW with wide availability, Web resource integration and cross-platform capabilities. This paper introduces the major features of JavaAHP and its potential applications in natural resource and environmental management.


Zhu X., J. McCosker, A. P. Dale and R. J. Bischof (2001) Web-based decision support for regional vegetation management, Computers, Environment and Urban Systems 25(6): 605-627.
Abstract Native vegetation cover plays a crucial role in conserving biodiversity, sustaining ecosystem functions and processes, and maintaining the productive capacity of land. Sustainable native vegetation management requires awareness among land managers and the wider community of the value and role of remnants of native vegetation, the major issues in their management and best-practice management arrangements. The emergence and widespread use of the World Wide Web presents an opportunity to raise awareness, improve information access, enhance detailed knowledge and build the commitment of land managers and the wider community for sustainable native vegetation management. This paper presents a prototype Web-based information system, VegMan, for regional vegetation management in the Central Highlands region of Queensland, Australia. The system provides access to facts, policies, strategies and decision support tools relevant to vegetation management in the region. The resources and services provided by VegMan and the techniques used for its implementation are described. The potential of a Web-based information system for regional vegetation management and challenges for its development are discussed.


Zografos K. G. and K. N. Androutsopoulos (2004) A heuristic algorithm for solving hazardous materials distribution problems,  European Journal of Operational Research 152(2):507-519.
Abstract A type of decision of major importance that directly affects the performance of a distribution system is the routing and scheduling of delivery trucks. The determination of hazardous materials distribution routes can be defined as a bi-objective vehicle routing problem with time windows since risk minimization accompanies the cost minimization in the objective function. The objective of this paper is to present a new heuristic algorithm for solving the bi-objective vehicle routing and scheduling problem. The proposed algorithm has been applied to several benchmark problems. The results of these applications seem to be quite encouraging. Furthermore, the proposed algorithm has been integrated within a GIS based decision support system for hazardous materials logistics operations providing valid preliminary results on a set of case studies.


Zografos K. G., C. Douligeris and P. Tsoumpas (1998) An integrated framework for managing emergency-response logistics: The case of the electric utility companies,  IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management 45(2): 115-126.

Abstract Managers of emergency response operations in electric utility companies frequently face decisions regarding the optimum deployment of the available emergency response resources. The complexity of emergency repair problems requires the development of a decision-making framework able to address strategic and tactical emergency repair issues. This paper presents an integrated framework consisting of a data-management module, a vehicle monitoring and communications module, and a modeling module. The functional characteristics of the proposed system are analyzed in the context of emergency repair operations of an electric utility company. Also presented is an extensive case study encompassing the three modules of the proposed decision-making system and showing the improvement in effectiveness of emergency response operations by introducing operations research techniques coupled with advanced information technologies.

 Jacek Malczewski