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Analytical Decisionmaking Considerations for Upgrading or Changing Geographic Information System Software

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The analysis of a decision to change or upgrade geographical information systems (GIS) software can involve both quantitative and qualitative criteria. Although some aspects of changing or upgrading GIS can be financially valued, there are a number of intangible benefits and costs that are better assessed qualitatively. Thus, a benefit/cost analysis that recognizes both quantitative and qualitative criteria would be useful in considering the tradeoffs among the options considered. Two hypothetical case studies are provided to help people think through the analysis process. One involves a major upgrade in the version of software being used and the other involves a complete change in software to a free or low-cost set of tools. In considering both the quantitative and the qualitative aspects of a change in software, one can assess the tradeoffs that might arise.

Keywords: GIS; benefit/cost analysis; intangible benefits

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2010

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