The Seren Project
Geoinformatics: Low Carbon Toolkit
The main aim of this work package is to make an informed decision making by producing decision support tools based on spatially varied information.
Many problems, including those researched in the Seren project, require complex solutions based on limited and spatially varied data. Consequently, any solution carries a level of risk and uncertainty. This uncertainty can include environmental, economic, political and social factors, and these are all key areas of sustainable development. As a result of risk, conservative solutions are normally implemented in order to mitigate against the danger of failure. There is, in general, scope to make solutions more sustainable, thus benefiting the economy, the environment and society as a whole. The challenge is to find more robust methods of quantifying and dealing with the uncertainty. These major challenges are critical for the development of appropriate solutions.
The Seren project is:
- increasing access to information by developing tools to aide web display of information, such as subsurface GIS;
- removing barriers by producing user friendly software to display information;
- increasing confidence by dissemination of complex project information; and
- expanding high-tech skills capacity via activities and dissemination.
The basic toolkit will allow portal access to specifically tailored information. A range of user tools will be created to allow not only information display but also user interactivity. This will include a multilayer spatial information display system, termed a Geographic Information System (GIS).
The advanced toolkit will include further user interactivity, including novel data collection tools. Development will be driven by user needs and case studies, although it is anticipated that the tools created should be applicable to a range of different problems by a wider user base. A system to support the decision making process with spatially varied data will be incorporated into the web portal.
Decision Support Systems
Decision Support Systems (DSS) are a computational method that allows users to base decisions on complex data. Methods such as artificial intelligence, neural networks or fuzzy logic may be used in order to utilise and synthesis complex data. By incorporating such a system into a GIS toolkit, collected and collated data can be used in a powerful and flexible manner. User input into how a decision can be produced is key to the powerful nature of this tool.