A. 11 Integration of the research results for the sake of creating a geographical information system conception

Project manager: Gábor Illés (FRI)


Research plan


Analysis of field:


Geographic information system-based decision support systems are more and more often used in the realization of natural science tasks and goals (Geneletti, 2004). The development of the environment-related decision support systems is fundamentally due to the sustainable exploitation of natural resources, the increasing scientific focus and the increased social awareness. In addition, the development of these systems is justified by the foundation of policy decisions and the improvement of farming (Matthiesa et al, 2007; Giupponi, 2007). Meanwhile, the decision support systems also improve, which enables the managing of complex problems and self-organising systems (Macal-North, 2010). These decision support systems meeting the criteria of multi-prespectiveness are suitable for the evaluation of processes concerning and examining the sustainability of entire regions (Graymore et al, 2009); and they have appeared in the field of forestry, too (Reynolds et al, 2008; TACCIMO).


Justification, the problem supporting the necessity of research:


The necessity of the research task is justified by the fact that there is no such decision support system that would be able to carry out the task of establishing agreement and optimising among different sectors. It would be topical to lay the foundations of a standardised system on the basis of previous experiences, which, within agriculture, would be able to evaluate the possibilities and barriers of every major agricultural form.


Aim of research:


The adaptation to the effects of climate change is vital for the sectors doing extensive farming on large areas. The several decades long cultivation time and the pressure to adapt to the ecological conditions make the sectors particularly vulnerable against the fast and drastic environmental changes. In the present research, by aiming to realize the adaptation, we work out the conception and construction of a possible, agriculture-oriented decision support system. We touch upon its major elements and define the principles of the system and the plan and description of the algorithms that regulate the operation. We assign the directions of development and the framework necessary for cooperation, which are essential for the configuration and introduction, too.


Introduction of activity:


We achieve the research goal by the application of the following activities and principles.


The primariness of ecological and production biological starting-points: this principle fundamentally defines the operation of a system of this kind. People working in agriculture have to take into consideration most of all the ecological conditions for the planning of their farms and activities. It does not lie within our power to change these conditions, the only thing we can do is the maximal adaptation to the ecological frame conditions. The other side of this principle pays attention to the cultivation circumstances of the applicable species. According to this, the land use system is optimal when the farmer chooses species that adapt to the ecological conditions, and as a consequence, on the farming area the conditions with the greatest economic value and ecological stability and optimal production are established.


Data integration effort: The aim of the data integration effort is to make the system, as a user application, reliable and permeable to the different land use branches and special fields. As a consequence of this principle the data sources connected to territories and having ecological significance have to be integrated. The aim of this is the creation and maintenance of datasets coherent from the point of view of environmental science and information technology, which constitute the basis of the strategic planning of land use. The important increment of the principle of data integration is that during the process of collation the possible errors in the data files that are to be integrated can be found and fixed on the basis of the arising discrepancies that occur during the “colliding” of the data files of different sources.


Customizability: The assertion of this principle creates possibility for both the ecological environment that determines farming conditions, and the components of farming activity in this environment to be changeable, which makes the effects of farming methods evaluable.


Geographical information system approach: It is vital that the spatially extensive system supporting farming activity affected by influences deriving from spatiality should be based on a geographic information system. It makes it possible to illustrate the results and alternatives efficiently and it also supports the easier evaluation of those. It makes the expected consequences of the decisions visible, and it makes it interpretable even in detailed regional breakdown.


Integration of web-applications and new scientific results: By creating web user interfaces and forming user access levels the system can be published at a dash. The basic principle of it is to be able to store all the necessary information on one database server, to which the farmers can connect by allotted protocols. An important aspect is that during the session users should get access to the results of the models that were created for their farming areas, and they should be able to integrate them to their own databases easily.


Based on the principles above the steps of the workflow are the following:


a. Examination of decision support systems and their experience. Study of their strengths and weaknesses in system and in method. Concept building.

b. Detailed development of operating principles and rules. Constitution of data evaluation and weighting questions and of optimisation rules of alternative possibilities.

c. Creation of system design.




From the 4 half-years of the project the operative realization will take place in the 2-4. half-years. The examination and evaluation of the existing decision support systems will happen in the 2nd term. We will define the operating principles and rules of the system in the 3rd term. The purpose of the 3rd half-year is the creation of the system design.


Data to be used, partners:


In the realization the UWH IGCE take place as collaborating partners.