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Cartographic support for locational problem-solving by groups

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Collaborative spatial decision-making environments in which group members individually and collectively pursue solutions to semi-structured problems have a unique set of geographic visualization requirements. Group members often pursue diverse strategies as they attempt to solve such problems. As a consequence, numerous mapped representations of alternative solutions are generated. It is difficult to compare and synthesize these results, especially when decision-makers have little or no previous cartographic training. In this paper, we derive several map types that synthesize representations of alternative solutions to location-selection problems. These synthetic maps, designed to be accessible to group members, are created by decomposing solutions into a collection of atomic elements that are then placed into an accounting framework. Network map algebra operations are performed within this framework, and the results are accumulated and displayed as maps. Group members can use these maps to identify similar and dissimilar elements of alternative solutions to a problem. Such maps are intended to promote discussion and support group consensus-building activities.

Keywords: Collaborative spatial decision-making; Network map algebra; Synthetic maps

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Geography and Program in Applied Mathematical and Computational Sciences, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA 2: Department of Geography, University College London, London WC1H 0AP, UK

Publication date: 2008-01-01

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