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Structured Participation Toolkit (SPT)


In the age of Web 2.0, many websites support user generated content and social media integration; however, to enable collaborative problem solving in CyberGIS we must go beyond information broadcasting and provide an integrated analytic-deliberative collaboratory – an environment for high-performance collaboration. The Structured Participation Toolkit (SPT) allows structured participation methods to be seamlessly integrated into the CyberGIS Gateway to support large-scale, asynchronous participation; structured analytic-deliberation; consensus-building and decision-making; as well as to provide an open, transparent decision repository and participation metrics for reporting and analysis. The SPT is deployed as pluggable graphical user interface widgets to enable cross-platform and cross-domain communication with remotely hosted processing and persistence layers, consistent with a service-oriented architecture approach.

SPT Proof of Concept

Sencha’s open-source Ext JS 4 framework provides an extensive library of ready-made, customizable, pluggable GUI widgets, and supports both cross-platform and cross-domain communication. These widgets can be easily deployed as JavaScript files to any technological platform. The widgets allow all of the existing PGIST JavaScript functionality to be reused with minimal modifications. EXT JS 4 also supports JSONP (JavaScript Object Notation - Padded). JSONP allows the client to send data to a remote server and circumvents browser security restrictions by injecting the server response into the <script/> on the client page. DWR, the web framework used for PGIST client-server communication, can also marshal Java objects to and from JSONP, which allows the PGIST processing logic and associated persistence layer to be exposed as remote services. The SPT widgets can be embedded directly into the Gateway interface, and the PGIST server will handle processing and persistence. Security, user management and application control, currently handled by PGIST and diverse web application frameworks, are delegated to the Gateway. For more implementation details see the SPT page on the CyberGIS Wiki.