In their book on the "Network economy", Varian and Shapiro
argue that information can only be used to improve decisions and that
this is the only situation in which data can produce economic value. It
follows that you need know something about the problem-solving / decision-making
process and how GIS relates to this.
Decision-making is nothing new to us. You and I make decisions all the
time. Sometimes we have the pleasant task of selecting the best option
from several possible solutions and in other cases we have to make a choice
between mutually exclusive alternatives. Whilst some people survive on
a 'gut reaction' or instinct, most of us try to think through the problem
in a rational manner. This is especially true if we have to communicate
and justify that decision to others. In these situations it is helpful
to adopt a rigourous and robust procedure. In this topic you will uncover
some approaches that have been adopted by decision-makers using GIS and
consider how robust they might be under conditions of uncertainty.