Abstract: Belo Horizonte was one of the first Brazilian municipal administrations to develop an urban Geographic Information System. Situated within the local government tradition of local government, the development and implementation of the Geographic Information System (GIS) commenced in 1989 and has proceeded significantly to the extent that it has become the most complete experience of its kind throughout Brazil, with applications covering areas such as education, health, sanitation, urban planning, transportation and traffic, among others. This article reflects on the experiences of this GIS project, from the technology acquisition and team formation phases, through the creation of the geographic database,…to the development of applications and dissemination among users. Current perspectives for the continuing expansion of GIS technology usage in Belo Horizonte are also presented. This “successful” experience of GIS implementation is contrasted with some GIS projects in India to highlight probable areas of emphasis in future GIS projects in developing countries.
Abstract: This paper describes work carried out as part of the Economic and Social Research Council’s Virtual Society? Research Programme and presents some initial developments in the field of spatial decision support systems (SDSS) on the World Wide Web (WWW). Particular attention is paid to the development of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and web‐based SDSS with the principal aim of increasing public involvement in environmental decision‐making. Discussion focuses on public access issues and the implications for online approaches to public participation. Examples of three online SDSS are given covering local, regional and national scale case studies.