Free and Open Source Software for Geomatics Conference FOSS4G 2010 Barcelona

Selected Presentations

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The number of scientific publications on spatial multi-criteria evaluation methodology development and applications have been steadily increasing, but institutionalization in practice is weak. Various methodologies have been available in different desktop applications. Only recently some first web applications have appeared. Most of these approaches focus more on technical delivery in geo-information software applications than on supporting planners and decision makers, let be planning and decision making processes, which determine institutionalization. We review several of the existing desktop and web applications to pinpoint shortcomings. We also review motivations to move from desktop to web application development. Additionally we discuss our experiences with the use and institutionalization of spatial multi-criteria evaluation in several projects.

Based on this understanding of software applications and practices, we establish functional requirements for web-based spatial multi-criteria evaluation that are based on a theoretical framework of spatial multi-criteria evaluation by van Herwijnen and the adaptive structuration theoretical framework. These frameworks allow us to discuss what is 'spatial' about spatial multi-criteria evaluation and the role of technology in decision making processes. Therefore we go beyond the requirements of the multi-criteria methodologies per se, and we explore extensibility towards collaborative evaluation.

Then we will discuss a number of technological and social opportunities to develop the web application and web services in an open source community that address these functional requirements and in which spatial multi-criteria evaluation services and its development process can be embedded. Together, the understanding of current shortcomings, functional requirements and technological opportunities lead us to an extensible architecture of spatial multi-criteria evaluation web-services. 

We verify the functional requirements and the architecture by reviewing the practices and needs of the forest management organizations of  Great Britain, Alsace and Rheinland-Pfalz with whom these web-services are being developed for assisting inter-regional analysis within and between organizations.


Luc Boerboom - Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation of the University of Twente
Özgün Oskay Alan - Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation of the University of Twente