Spatial Decision Support Systems

Section Editor: Peter Keenan

Spatial DSS refers to those systems based on the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology. GIS provides an important source of tools and techniques which can usefully be incorporated in a DSS system which makes use of geographic or spatial data.

SDSS technology vendors

This section contains links to various software providers who provide technology of potential interest to builders of SDSS.

  • ESRI: Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc. - ESRI are the market leaders in GIS, they provide a variety of GIS software of interest to builders of SDSS. ESRI collaborates with a wide range of partners providing specialist add on products for use with ESRI sofware.
  • Mapinfo - MapInfo are important providers of desktop GIS software. Mapinfo provide Mapx technology which allows mapping components be added to systems built using other development tools such as VB or Delphi.
  • Autodesk - Autodesk provide a range of GIS software and tools, Autodesk World a desktop package which caters for multiple data formats, Autocad Map which allows precision mapping and GIS analysis in the AutoCAD environment and Autodesk Mapguide which allows creation of an intelligent raster/vector map-driven Web site.
  • Caliper Corp - Caliper Corp provide several types of desktop GIS, including Transcad which provides routing and transportation modelling in a GIS environment. ┬╗Tactician - Tactician Corp offers a numberof types of desktop GIS software aimed at business applications.
  • ESS - Environomental Software and Services in Austria develop integrated Environmental Information and Decision Support Systems.
  • Facet Decision Systems - Facet Decision Systems develop object-oriented software for spatial analysis, environmental impact analysis, decision support and GIS.
  • Graticule - Graticule is a British based company producing a variety of different toolbox applications for including GIS functionality in Windows software
  • Nobility - Nobility develops and delivers computer-based, GIS-enabled decision support systems for Environmental Planning and Management.
  • Routesmart - Routesmart is a DSS for vehicle routing in urban areas and is a good example of the integration of GIS and Management Science techniques.
  • Sylvan maps - Sylvan maps is a OCX add-on component providing GIS functionality for Windows applications.
  • Geodirectory

SDSS related journals and publications

This section contains links to various publications which are specifically concerned with GIS and SDSS. Of course SDSS research may also be found in other DSS and specialist publications.

  • IJGIS - The International Journal of Geographical Information Science is a well established journal for GIS research (formerly International Journal of Geographical Information Systems).
  • Geographical Systems - Geographical Systems : An International Journal of Geographical Information, Analysis, Theory and Decision is particularily concerned with GIS integration with mathematical modelling and statistical analysis.
  • JGIDA - The Journal of Geographic Information and Decision Analysis (JGIDA) was an electronic journal devoted to the rapid dissemination of current research on decision analysis based on geographic information. Publication started in 1997 and continued to 2003.
  • APPLIED GIS - The Applied GIS e-journal will be published online by Monash University ePress.
  • Transactions in GIS - Transactions in GIS is an academic journal concerned with practical and theoretical issues influencing the development of GIS.
  • NCGIA publications - NCGIA publications include many of relevance to SDSS, of particular interest is Research Initiative 6 : Spatial Decision Support Systems. The NCGIA bibliographies contain many useful links to SDSS articles.
  • GIS World - GIS World and related publications provide general information on GIS software, hardware and applications.
  • Directions magazine - Directions magazine is an excellent electronic resource for general information on GIS.


Papers based on SDSS related research and applications can be found in a wide variety of conferences. These will include conferences with a general GIS or DSS orientation and the inclusion of specialized sessions in Information Systems and Management Science conferences.

  • Geoplace events listing - The Geoplace events listing provides links to numerous GIS events.


  • UCGIS - The University Consortium for Geographic Information Science(UCGIS) is a US based is a non-profit organization of universities and other research institutions dedicated to advancing the understanding of geographic processes and spatial relationships through improved theory, methods, technology, and data.
  • EUROGI - EUROGI, the European Umbrella Organisation for Geographic Information , aims to promote, stimulate, encourage and support the development and use of Geographic Information and Technology in Europe. Links can be found here to various national associations.

Useful links

  • GIS WWW Resource List - GIS WWW Resource List maintained by Bruce M. Gittings at the Department of Geography in the University of Edinburgh, in collaboration with the UK Association for Geographic Information.
  • GIS Gateway - The GIS gateway: A comprehensive list of GIS related links.
  • NCGIA Core Curriculum: SDSS - The NCGIA Core Curriculum in GIScience contains sections on Spatial Decision Support Systems and WebGIS.
  • Geoplacelinks - The site contains many useful links, including links to conferences and software.

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