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Modeling Collaborative GIS Processes Using Soft Systems Theory, UML and Object Oriented Design

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The evidence from collaborative GIS problem solving indicates that although environmental problems are context dependent, meaningful solutions are framed around the core issues of multiple stakeholder interests, complexity, wicked problems, ill-defined problem specification, and their spatial characteristics. Based on subsets of these issues, there exists a number of overlapping collaborative GIS designs and processes. The goal of this study is to reconcile the overlap by modeling a core collaborative GIS design and process. General systems theory is used to classify core technical components of the collaborative GIS design, and soft systems theory characterizes the human activity dynamics of the collaborative process. Further, object oriented principles are used to generate a flexible problem domain design, and the unified modeling language (UML) visually describes the structure and behavior of the collaborative process. The core formalism facilitates GIS process integration, standardization, reusability, ontology design, and rapid solution design in new problem contexts. The collaborative spatial Delphi (CSD) methodology is a proof of concept. This research contributes to the design and specification of a core collaborative GIS model, a reusable pattern, and their ontological impacts.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Geography, Simon Fraser University

Publication date: 2006-03-01

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