Spatial Decision Support Systems (SDSS) were a hot topic in the 1990s, when researchers tried to imbue GIS with additional decision support features. Successful practical developments such as HAZUS or CommunityViz have since been built, based on commercial desktop software and without much heed for theory other than what underlies their process models. Others, like UrbanSim, have been completely overhauled twice but without much external scrutiny. Both the practical and the theoretical foundations of decision support systems have developed considerably over the past 20 years. This article presents an overview of these developments and then looks at what corresponding tools have been developed by open source communities. In stark contrast to the abundance of OpenGeo software, there is a dearth of open source SDSS. The core of the article is a discussion of different approaches that lend themselves as platforms to develop an open source framework to build a variety of SDSS.
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