The evolution of Spatial Decision Making

Claus Rinner delves into the increasing importance of Web 2.0 applications in spatial analysis and decision making process. He highlights the fact that, with the advent of more advanced and easy to use web apps, local geographic knowledge is increasingly being included in decision making processes.  More specifically, the emergence of web based GIS apps, such as Google maps, yahoo maps etc. has made basic spatial analysis extremely easy for the average user. Densham highlights the fact that these tools have a relatively similar interface, making them both faster and easier to use.

I find the evolution of web based apps extremely interesting. As more and more people use these apps, tons of of geodata is produced. This in turn provides of a huge database of potential data for multitudes of spatial analysis and research projects. Apart from obvious ethical issues, I believe this type of data will revolutionize both the research and decision making process, in a wide variety of fields.

One particular aspect of the case study conducted by Dersham was how the use of web based mapping software could be used to enhance a discussion forum. Throughout the discussion, the mapping feature provided for more focused discussion on the particular geographic areas that the participants were interested in. It was interesting to see how through the analysis of the geospatial data, it was visually apparent that most of the discussion members wanted to focus on improving a specific are of their school campus. This holds many implications for various fields, such as sustainable development, where policies could be better tailored to be most effective, based on the analysis of user provided spatial data.

Overall, Web based concepts seem to be evolving quickly and becoming more and more integral to spatial analysis. As these technologies continue to develop, spatial decision making should become much more effective.

Victor Manuel


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