Three abstracts and a summary of current research

Brenda Faber

Recent publications prepared and/or papers presented on topics related to "Collaborative Spatial Decision Making"

Faber, Brenda G., W. Wallace, R. Miller, "Collaborative Modeling for Environmental Decision Making," The Proceedings of the GIS'96 Tenth Annual Symposium on Geographic Information Systems, Vancouver, B.C., March 1996, GIS World, Inc., (published on CD).


This paper describes a collaborative resource-modeling process supported by the Active Response GIS (AR/GIS). AR/GIS is a multi-user land planning tool for non-technical decision makers. Meeting participants assess current land status, develop objectives, and propose geographic scenarios. Individual recommendations are collected via a local area network of laptop computers for group discussion, negotiation, and decision. Implications are modeled and discussed as scenarios are suggested. Decision rationale are recorded throughout the negotiation process, and are retrievable for subsequent public inquiry and regulatory review. AR/GIS provides an interactive, real-time environment for resource managers, policy specialists, scientists, and citizen groups to debate land allocation issues.

The AR/GIS collaborative modeling process is illustrated through a description of an urban planning demonstration developed in conjunction with the City of Scottsdale, Arizona, Advanced Technology Program.

Faber, Brenda G., "Aggregation of Spatial Opinion," presented at the Association of American Geographers annual meeting, Charlotte, N.C., April 1996. Abstract follows:


Negotiation of land use options is a process that is common to all facets of land planning and resource management. Collaborative Spatial Decision Making is an evolving field of study focused on supporting the land negotiation process. This typically involves enabling Geographic Information System (GIS) technology to both 1) work within a multi-participant setting and 2) support group debate.

Within the context of collaborative spatial decision making, this paper will present methods for summarizing a group's position on a spatial issue. Methods discussed will cover approaches to collecting spatial "opinion" from each individual in the group (e.g. scoring criteria, submitting textual comment, sketching graphical proposals, etc.) and techniques for aggregating these individual responses for insight into the group's position and progress toward issue resolution.

Faber, Brenda G.,"Active Response GIS: A Collaborative Modeling Tool For Environmental Decision Support," to be published in the proceedings of "ECO-INFORMA '96: Global Networks for Environmental Information", Lake Buena Vista, Florida, November 1996.


The Active Response GIS (AR/GIS) is a multi-user tool which facilitates environmental decision making in a spatial context. It is designed for groups of non-technical decision makers. For a given scenario/issue, it allows participants to assess current conditions, develop objectives, and develop geographic proposals. Individual proposals are collected via a local area network of laptop computers for group review, discussion, negotiation and decision making. Proposals are evaluated against original decision objectives through interactive modeling. This provides immediate feedback to decision makers for conflict mitigation and risk assessment.

AR/GIS has been successfully applied in projects involving ecosystem management, sustainable development, site remediation, and direct public involvement. Example applications will be described, including project with the City of Scottsdale, Arizona, and the Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forest in Colorado.

Summary of current research activities which relate to "Collaborative Spatial Decision Making"

Brenda G. Faber
1201 Oakridge Drive, Suite 100
Fort Collins CO 80525
phone: (970) 282-5488
fax: (970) 282-5499