Decision Support Tool
What is it?
The innovative Decision Support Tool (DST) is to a GIS-based support tool in the pre-planning phase of the decision-making process about a new investment in the territory. Its aim is to help looking for a better alternative or a better location of a planned infrastructure according to the ecological value of the area.
How it works?
The system is calculating the area covered by the proposed investment and evaluates to what extend it occupies protected areas and/or components of the ecological networks. This way, the user can have an information about the risk of the proposed investment in relation to the ecological connective of the area. topics:
The risk for the purposes of the DST is calculated according to the attributes of the polygons. The lowest risk value is 3 – good areas for biodiversity. The risk value 2 are the polygons covering important areas for biodiversity – ecological corridors. The highest risk value 1 are the key areas for biodiversity – critical zones, which must be protected and any investments here should be avoided.
How to use?
After opening the DST, the GIS Web Application Graphical User Interface allows the user to see the legend, find the broader area of interest using the zoom in/zoom out options or by using the search button or to select the layers to be displayed (figure 5 and 6).
Consider planning an investment in the Slovak-Hungarian cross-border area. Figure 9 shows an example of the result on the user’s screen. In this example, the user made a straight line input in two variants – variant A and variant B. The major difference between these two variants is the areas the investment is crossing. In variant A, the proposed investment is crossing over areas of risk value 1, 2 and 3, which includes risk 3 areas / critical zones from the point of view of ecological connectivity which must remain intact. Variant B is not crossing over risk 3 areas so when compared to variant A, it is less disturbing to nature from the ecological connectivity point of view.