GIS and GeoSkills: New Ways to Achieve New Evidence for Better Decisions


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The PowerPoint slides created for the 2009 GIS Day keynote address at the University of Ottawa are contained in this file. The presentation begins by identifying a number of problematic decision points faced by citizens, governments and business, and illustrates the weakness of the anatomical sourcing approach when parts of the anatomy other than the brain are used to make decisions, A total of 20 different ways of using GIS and geomatics to obtain new evidence about spatial matters are listed, and 34 methods and techniques used in decision making are also listed. The ways that GIS and geomatics obtain new evidence are graphically combined with the methods and techniques as a means for achieving better decisions through better information.

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GIS and GeoSkills: New Ways to Achieve New Evidence for Better Decisions

  1. 1. Dr. Barry Wellar  Professor Emeritus of Geography and  g p y Distinguished Geomatics Scientist,  Lab for Applied Geomatics and GIS Science  University of Ottawa, Program Director, Geography Awareness Week,  Canadian Association of Geographers C di A i ti fG h PowerPoint Slides for Keynote Address GIS Day 2009 University of Ottawa University of Ottawa November 18, 2009 Slide 1
  2. 2. QUESTION: WHY DO WE NEED NEW WAYS TO ACHIEVE  NEW EVIDENCE FOR BETTER DECISIONS? Answer: Because too often Decisions Based on the  “Anatomical Sourcing” Approach Fail the Logic Test.  g pp g Slide 2
  3. 3. DECISION PRESSURE POINTS? YES, A FEW COME TO MIND • End of oil  • Pandemics • Climate change • Rainforest destruction Slide 3
  4. 4. DECISION PRESSURE POINTS? AS DO A FEW MORE • Toxic waste • Urban sprawl • Loss of habitat • Holes in the ozone layer Slide 4
  5. 5. DECISION PRESSURE POINTS? AND A FEW MORE • Auto industry • Immigration levels • Drought there and there • Flooding here, here, and here Slide 5
  6. 6. DECISION PRESSURE POINTS? AND A FEW MORE • Air pollution • National security • Solid waste disposal • Threats to fish stocks Slide 6
  7. 7. DECISION PRESSURE POINTS? AND A FEW MORE • Urban intensification • Regional development • Extreme weather events • Threats to the boreal forest  Slide 7
  8. 8. DECISION PRESSURE POINTS? AND A FEW MORE • Infrastructure deterioration • Interdependent infrastructures • National high‐speed rail system • National spatial data infrastructure Slide 8
  9. 9. DECISION PRESSURE POINTS? AND A FEW MORE • Loss of prime agricultural land • Need for alternative energy supplies • Shift to more sustainable urban transport • Water quality problems there, there, and there Slide 9
  10. 10. PHRASES THAT ILLUSTRATE THE  “ANATOMICAL SOURCING” APPROACH  TO MAKING DECISIONS  Was that comment right off the top of your  head? I support this policy from the bottom of my heart! I hi li f h b f h ! I have a gut feeling about this LRT plan. When asked questions she often gives off‐the‐cuff q g ff ff opinions. Slide 10
  11. 11. MORE PHRASES THAT ILLUSTRATE THE  “ANATOMICAL SOURCING” APPROACH  TO MAKING DECISIONS  Simple rule of thumb notions ignore reality. The mayor is flying by the seat of his pants on this one! That is another knee‐jerk reaction based on ideology.  Are there people in that department who use their  brains before policies are adopted?  Slide 11
  12. 12. “ANATOMICAL SOURCING” Q&A  Question: Can the “Anatomical Sourcing” approach  effectively deal with the challenges represented  by the decision pressure points?  Answer: On the evidence, only when our brains are fully  engaged, and the other parts of the anatomy play little  to no role. to no role. Slide 12
  13. 13. AS FOR “OUR” BRAINS, “OUR” INCLUDES • I di id l Individuals and families d f ili • Institutions • Governments • Corporations • Advocacy groups • Interest groups • Professional groups Slide 13
  14. 14. NEW WAYS TO ACHIEVE NEW EVIDENCE?  This listing of the ways that GIS and GeoSkills contribute evidence pertinent to  decision pressure points is illustrative. decision pressure points is illustrative 1. Cartography 11. GIS fundamentals 2. Digital imaging 12. GIS principles 3. Geographic field methods 3 G hi fi ld h d 13. GIS science 13 GIS i 4. Geographic research     14. GIS technology methods 15. GPS applications 5. Geographic research 16. Mapping systems techniques q 17. Remote sensing g 6. Geomatics 18. Spatial analysis 7. Geomodelling 19. Spatial decision support   8. Geoscience methodology systems 9. Geostatistics 20. Spatial synthesis 10. GIS applications 10 GIS applications Slide 14
  15. 15. WHERE TO FIND EXAMPLES OF NEW WAYS TO ACHIEVE NEW EVIDENCE? Geography Awareness Week Applied Geography Showcase http://www.cag‐ Slide 15
  16. 16. WHERE TO FIND EXAMPLES OF NEW WAYS TO ACHIEVE NEW EVIDENCE? Geography Awareness Week Guide to Applied Geography Resources http://www.cag‐ GAW_2009_Guide_Applied_Resources.pdf Slide 16
  17. 17. WHERE TO FIND EXAMPLES OF NEW WAYS  TO ACHIEVE NEW EVIDENCE? Geography Awareness Week GeoSkills Showcase http://www.cag‐ Slide 17
  18. 18. WHERE TO FIND EXAMPLES OF NEW WAYS  TO ACHIEVE NEW EVIDENCE? Geography Awareness Week Guide to GeoSkills Resources GAW_2009_Guide_GeoSkills_Resources.pdf Slide 18
  19. 19. WHERE TO FIND EXAMPLES OF NEW WAYS  TO ACHIEVE NEW EVIDENCE? Geography Awareness Week Theme Day Websites Climate and Weather Climate and Weather Water Energy Transportation Food and Health http://www.cag‐ Slide 19
  20. 20. WHERE TO FIND EXAMPLES OF NEW WAYS  TO ACHIEVE NEW EVIDENCE? GIS Day Websites http://www.cag‐ p // g g / /p / / yp Slide 20
  21. 21. WHERE TO FIND EXAMPLES OF NEW WAYS  TO ACHIEVE NEW EVIDENCE? Professional organizations such as the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA) Slide 21
  22. 22. WHERE TO FIND EXAMPLES OF NEW WAYS  TO ACHIEVE NEW EVIDENCE? GIS Day Posters The following URL illustrates how universities, colleges, and  other academic institutions could make student  other academic institutions could make student GIS Day posters available online. Slide 22
  23. 23. FIRST STEP TO ACHIEVE  BETTER DECISIONS? Ask the pointed question:  What are the names of the  decision‐making methodologies  that you use when making decisions? Slide 23
  24. 24. SECOND STEP TO ACHIEVE  BETTER DECISIONS? If an informed answer is not received,  repeat the question:  What are the names of the  decision‐making methodologies  that you use when making decisions? Slide 24
  25. 25. THIRD STEP TO ACHIEVE  BETTER DECISIONS? Crank up the juice: If you hear the Humma, Humma, Humma chorus instead of an informed  answer, be ready with a list of names of decision methods and techniques to  answer be ready with a list of names of decision methods and techniques to raise the level of the discussion and apply pressure. The following approach may be helpful. Slide 25
  26. 26. “CAN’T REMEMBER THE NAMES OF THE METHODS AND  “CAN’T REMEMBER THE NAMES OF THE METHODS AND TECHNIQUES YOU USE TO MAKE DECISIONS?  PERHAPS  THIS LIST MAY JOG YOUR MEMORY.” 1. Attitudinal Surveys 18. Input‐Output Analysis 2. Brainstorming 19. Life‐Cycle Analysis 3. Charrette 20. Modelling 4. Committee Approach 21. Normative Delphi 5. 5 Comparative A l i C ti Analysis 22. 22 Optimization Techniques 6. Cost‐Benefit Analysis 23. Panel Evaluation 7. Cost‐Effectiveness Analysis 24. Pilot Study 8. Counterfoil Research 25. Policy Delphi 9. Cross‐Impact Analysis 26. Pre‐Test 10. Econometric Analysis 27. Referenda 11. Expert Panels 28. 28 Risk Assessment Ri k A t 12. Focus Groups 29. Roundtables 13. Forecasting Delphi 30. Scaling 14. Highest and Best Use 31. Sensitivity Analysis 15. Impact Assessment 32. Simulation 16. Indicators 33. Trial Run 17. Indexing 34. Workshops Slide 26
  27. 27. GETTING OUR ACT TOGETHER: NEW WAYS TO ACHIEVE  BETTER DECISIONS? Combine the ways that GIS and GeoSkills provide  evidence (Slide 14) with the methods and techniques  of rational decision making (Slide 26). Slide 27
  28. 28. GETTING OUR ACT TOGETHER: NEW WAYS TO ACHIEVE  BETTER DECISIONS? GIS and GeoSkills X  = BETTER DECISIONS Decision Methods and Techniques   Slide 28
  29. 29. CHALLENGE 1 TO THE  GIS AND GEOSKILLS COMMUNITIES: Build a casebook demonstrating how GIS and GeoSkills are  combined with decision methods and techniques to  bi d i h d i i h d d h i produce better decisions.  Slide 29
  30. 30. CHALLENGE 2 TO THE  GIS AND GEOSKILLS COMMUNITIES: Build a casebook demonstrating how GIS and GeoSkills could be  combined with decision methods and techniques to  bi d i h d i i h d d h i produce better decisions.  Slide 30
  31. 31. CHALLENGE 3 TO THE  GIS AND GEOSKILLS COMMUNITIES: Build a casebook demonstrating how GIS and GeoSkills should be  combined with decision methods and techniques to  bi d i h d i i h d d h i produce better decisions. Slide 31
  32. 32. CLOSING COMMENT  The GIS and Geoskills communities have a distinguished record of devising new ways to achieve new evidence for better decision making. However, Canada faces a number of major social, economic, g , j , , environmental, governance, and other challenges, and few if any of them are self‐correcting. We have much good work yet to do. LET’S GET IT DONE!! Slide 32
  33. 33. REFERENCES and SOURCES 1 I wish to acknowledge the contributions made to this presentation by previous  presentations and published reports. The following list identifies some of these  references, and includes the URLs for the convenience of readers who may  wish to examine the original materials. wish to examine the original materials Wellar, B. 2006. Geography and Geographic Information Systems (GIS):  New Realities of Canada as an Emerging Information Society. GIS Day Keynote, University of Ottawa. http://www slideshare net/ Wellar, B. 2007. Sustainable Transport: Does Anybody Here Know How to Win This Game? Presentation to the Kiwanis Club of  Ottawa. Wellar, B. 2007.  Making Weather Connections: From Science to Common Sense, and Public Lethargy to Activism. CMOS Lecture. http://www slideshare net/ Wellar, B. 2008. From NASA Satellite Images (1966) to Google Earth (2008): Geography, Geomatics and GIS Have Come a Long Way. Sigma Xi Lecture. Slide 33
  34. 34. REFERENCES and SOURCES 2 Wellar, B. 2009. Sampler of Commentaries on Methods and Techniques that Could be Used in Making Decisions about  Identifying, Adopting, or Implementing Sustainable Transport Practices. Transport Canada Project, Research Report 3. Wellar, B. 2009.  Core Information Challenges and Opportunities, 2010‐2020: Building on Strengths. URISA Annual Conference  Keynote Address. Wellar, B. 2009. Elements of a Framework for GeoSkills as the Focus of New Approaches in Applied Geography Education and  Training. Wellar GeoSkills Lecture, University of Ottawa. Wellar, B. and W.L. Garrison 2009. Enriching Sustainable Transport Decisions:  Inputs from Operations Research and the  Management Sciences. Research Report. Berkeley, CA: University of California at Berkeley, Institute for Transportation Studies.  Posted at the eScholarship Repository,‐ITS‐2009‐1/ Acknowledgement. Thanks are given to Sam Herold for the graphics work. A k l d t Th k i t S H ld f th hi k Slide 34