00:02Should probably start by describing what it is I have...I do and that's basically I design decision support systems and their applications...
00:10...for landscape or environmental analysis and planning.
00:15That's such a mouthful.
00:16It doesn't fit on a business card, so I'm very happy to hear I can probably just call myself a geodesigner now and...
00:26The...oh, I think I went by a slide, sorry.
00:30Okay. First of all, I've been in charge of development of a system for a number of years.
00:34It's call EMDS which stands for Ecosystem Management Decision Support.
00:38And, I'm not really going to go into much of a description of the system, just give you a very general idea about it.
00:43Really the focus of what I'm going to be talking about is kind of the experiences of the...developing it...
00:48...with developing it as they, I think, hopefully relate to geodesign.
00:53It's a general application framework for designing and implementing knowledge-based decision support...
00:58...for environmental analysis and planning.
01:00Again, a mouthful.
01:01And...and it's designed to support any geographic skill.
01:05It integrates GIS, of course, but it also includes knowledge-based reasoning technologies and decision modeling technologies...
01:13...to provide decision support, with the idea of supporting as far as possible the adaptive management process.
01:20Just a little bit more background and then I'll get on to the main points.
01:23It's implemented as an ArcGIS ArcMap extension and for the Arc...for the GIS averse, an ArcEngine stand-alone.
01:30It integrates a logic engine from rules-of-thumb software to perform the landscape environmental val...eval...sorry, evaluations...
01:39...and a decision engine from InfoHarvest to support strategic planning.
01:45So that's as much as I'll say.
01:48Later on, at...at the five o'clock session, I will be out there with a computer if anybody would li...
01:54...like to actually see what this thing actually does.
01:56But these are some comments I thought were pertinent to the...the discussion today.
02:02Some of the experiences are and lessons learned, if you will.
02:07There was some...has been real value in the...a very generic framework design approach to delivering this technology.
02:17It not only supports large complex abstract problems, and I was very happy to hear somebody mention abductive inser...inference earlier.
02:25We use lot...logic engines, particularly because they're very well suited to handling abductive inter...inference problems.
02:32And in particular, wh...these kinds of models accommodate a very diverse array of topics.
02:38They're only constrained by, can you describe in logical terms what it is you're trying to evaluate.
02:46Some of the more important lessons learned along the way have been the importance of transparency.
02:51Decision support is more than providing just pretty maps.
02:54The things that have been critical to the success of this technology, at least to date, is that it provides a...a rational...
03:00...repeatable and full...fully documentable process that is necessary to support planning in an effective way.
03:07And perhaps most importantly, transparency.
03:11These kinds of technologies offer a way to provide very intuitive explanations of model results...
03:17...and the acid test here is that senior-level managers in the federal agencies that I work with...
03:21...can stand in front of Congress and give them an intelligent explanation what the models do that they're using.
03:28That...that's I think has been a significant point.
03:30The other thing has been...I think one thing that was learned along the way, mostly because the system has evolved over time, was...
03:38...as we put it into practice initially, it was designed to do landscape evaluations...
03:42...and we saw people trying to use it for purposes for which it was never intended.
03:47They were trying to both interpret the landscape condition and prioritize things at the same time, and it was a big muddled mess.
03:55One of the things we figured out in...in one of these V8 moments, if you will...
03:58...was that if we added an explicit decision component to complement the logic modeling component...
04:03...all of a sudden we had very sim...very much simpler problems and it was easier for people...
04:08...to conceptualize and implement models with this very simple addition.
04:14The other things that have been significant I think in terms of the success of these kinds of technologies...
04:19...is the ability to provide reasoning in the presence of very incomplete information...
04:24...particularly in...in the context of environmental or landscape analysis where missing data is a perennial and persistent problem.
04:34This is a, I think, a very valuable feature to have built into any kind of decision support system.
04:42And finally, it's a minor point I guess...
04:44...but it's been designed from the beginning with the idea of supporting multiple interdependent spatial scales of analysis.
04:51Some things I just want to conclude with, it's not a matter of boasting, but just to put in perspective...
04:58...it's been a...we...it's been around since 1997 as a production release.
05:03It was originally developed, the first three versions, by Esri under contract with the government.
05:09We're at version 4.1 now.
05:11And what I, rather than give you an extensive explanation of all the kinds of applications...
05:17...I'd refer you to the Wikipedia site that's listed up here.
05:20There you'll find a good breakdown of all...of the applications that give you some idea of the broad array of topics...
05:27...through which this kind of technology's been applied.
05:32Any number of different spatial scales and all over the world.
05:35It's a good indication of what these sort of design criteria have sort of bought along the way.
05:43And then lastly, I just refer you to the...the home page which is...
05:47...EMDS is now under the stewardship of the Redlands Institute...
05:50...which I've been extremely happy about.
05:54It doesn't sit inside the government anymore, but it's a private nonprofit.
GeoDesign in Environmental Analysis
On day one of the 2010 GeoDesign Summit, Keith Reynolds provides an overview of the Ecosystem Management Decision Support (EMDS) system, a general application framework for designing and implementing knowledge-based decision support for environmental analysis and planning at any geographic scale or scales.
- Recorded: Jan 6th, 2010
- Runtime: 06:00
- Views: 11741
- Published: Oct 25th, 2010
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