Decision Support Systems

M.C. Er’s article on “Decision Support Systems” seem to capture the beginnings ideas that form some of the basic aspects of GIScience, where systems are used to help in the decision planning. For instance, a GIS program, such as ARC, which has the characteristics of a “Decision Support System” (DSS), will help me in deciding the placement of sample sites based on elevation and “wetness” of my study site. The data set would be too complex for analysis, without a computer program helping / supporting my determination of placement. That said, M.C. Er’s article although describing a DSS and its uses, lacks the knowledge (due to age of article) of modern computing power, which was not foreseen 25 years ago. To clarify, many of the problems mentioned with predecessors of DSSs and DSSs themselves have been solved with current day processing power, gorilla programming, AI evolution and cloud computing. Furthermore, the power of DSSs have grown beyond the constraints of the article, to the point that no matter what level of organization or field, DSSs are used in decision making. The article does leave one with the question of what is the current role of the DSS and how has it been modified and improved in view of current day GIScience’s integration of DSS to GIS systems? The progress of today, towers over the technology and its use in the past. The use and idea of the DSS is no longer for just for business but is now a integrated part of the way GIS and environmental modeling programs function. Furthermore the aspect of hardware is no longer a large component of the DSS since the PC is now is almost every home, institution, and business with a minimum computing power that can run most programs as a result of bundling with either Microsoft’s pervasive Windows or Macintosh’s use friendly interfaces.




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