Web-based public participatory GIS
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Decision support systems (DSS) have evolved rapidly during the last decade from stand alone or limited networked solutions to online participatory solutions. One of the major enablers of this change is the fastest growing areas of geographical information system (GIS) technology development that relates to the use of the Internet as a means to access, display, and analyze geospatial data remotely. World-wide many federal, state, and particularly local governments are designing to facilitate data sharing using interactive Internet map servers. This new generation DSS or planning support systems (PSS), interactive Internet map server, is the solution for delivering dynamic maps and GIS data and services via the world-wide Web, and providing public participatory GIS (PPGIS) opportunities to a wider community (Carver, 2001; Jankowski & Nyerges, 2001). It provides a highly scalable framework for GIS Web publishing, Web-based public participatory GIS (WPPGIS), which meets the needs of corporate intranets and demands of worldwide Internet access (Craig, 2002). The establishment of WPPGIS provides spatial data access through a support centre or a GIS portal to facilitate efficient access to and sharing of related geospatial data (Yigitcanlar, Baum, & Stimson, 2003). As more and more public and private entities adopt WPPGIS technology, the importance and complexity of facilitating geospatial data sharing is growing rapidly (Carver, 2003). Therefore, this article focuses on the online public participation dimension of the GIS technology. The article provides an overview of recent literature on GIS and WPPGIS, and includes a discussion on the potential use of these technologies in providing a democratic platform for the public in decision-making.
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