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Geovisual analytics for spatial decision support

2007 , Andrienko, Gennady , Andrienko, Natalia , Jankowski, P. , Keim, Daniel A. , Kraak, M.-J. , MacEachren, Alan M. , Wrobel, Stefan

This article summarizes the results of the workshop on Visualization, Analytics & Spatial Decision Support, which took place at the GIScience conference in September 2006. The discussions at the workshop and analysis of the state of the art have revealed a need in concerted cross-disciplinary efforts to achieve substantial progress in supporting space-related decision making. The size and complexity of real-life problems together with their ill-defined nature call for a true synergy between the power of computational techniques and the human capabilities to analyze, envision, reason, and deliberate. Existing methods and tools are yet far from enabling this synergy. Appropriate methods can only appear as a result of a focused research based on the achievements in the fields of geovisualization and information visualization, human-computer interaction, geographic information science, operations research, data mining and machine learning, decision science, cognitive science, and other disciplines. The name 'Geovisual Analytics for Spatial Decision Support' suggested for this new research direction emphasizes the importance of visualization and interactive visual interfaces and the link with the emerging research discipline of Visual Analytics. This article, as well as the whole special issue, is meant to attract the attention of scientists with relevant expertise and interests to the major challenges requiring multidisciplinary efforts and to promote the establishment of a dedicated research community where an appropriate range of competences is combined with an appropriate breadth of thinking.