Design Considerations and Evaluation of a Collaborative, Spatio-Temporal Decision Support System

Piotr Jankowski, Timothy Nyerges, Steven Robischon, Kevin Ramsey, and David Tuthill

Paper submitted to Transactions in GIS

Collaborative spatial decision support systems (C-SDSS) have been used to help groups of stakeholders understand data and search for opportunities at resolving local and regional decision problems in various domains including land use, transportation, and water resources. The key issue in designing an effective C-SDSS is the anticipation of user information needs. Knowledge of user information needs can guide system designers in achieving a SDSS that fits the decision process. In this paper we present a design approach that is informed by stakeholder concerns as part of user needs assessment. The approach is based on the premise that knowing stakeholders’ concerns can help anticipate user information needs and consequently lead to a more usable C-SDSS. We demonstrate the approach on the example of a spatio-temporal decision problem involving conjunctive water administration in the Boise River Basin in southwestern Idaho The spatial dimension of the decision task involves delineating the areas of conjunctive water administration while the temporal dimension involves selecting the year in which a given area will start to be administered. We show how the elicitation of stakeholder concerns leads to functional specification of a collaborative spatio-temporal decision support system.

decision making, SDSS, public participation GIS, conjunctive water administration, spatio-temporal decision support

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