DSS News
                       by D. J. Power
             February 25, 2001 -- Vol. 2, No. 5
         A Bi-Weekly Publication of DSSResources.COM
     Check the DSS Glossary at
* DSS Wisdom
* Ask Dan! -- What is a Spatial DSS?
* What's New at DSSResources.COM
* DSS News Stories
Each week, we have about 3000 unique visitors at DSSResources.COM. 
This newsletter has more than 450 subscribers from 50 countries. Please 
forward this newsletter to people interested in Decision Support 
Call for chapter proposals for a book on Decision Making Support Systems 
(DMSS). Submission deadline March 31. More information 
please contact any of the co-editors at, or
DSS Wisdom
For this DSS Wisdom feature, I wanted to find a quotation from Herbert 
A. Simon who passed away on February 9, 2001. My search was greatly 
aided by the resources on the World-Wide Web (cf.,  For a few hours, I 
enjoyed re-reading a number of his early writings available at the 
Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics 
( As Simon was creating a more limited, 
more realistic, satisficing view of human rationality, he held out the 
possibility that computers and decision protocols could improve and 
support human rationality. Thanks Professor Simon.
Simon (1955) wrote "A survey of possible definitions of rationality 
might suggest directions for the design and use of computing equipment 
with reasonably good scores on some of the factors of intelligence in 
which present computers are moronic." (p. 114)
Simon, H. A. "A Behavioral Model of Rational Choice", The Quarterly 
Journal of Economics, Vol. LXIX, Feb. 1955, pps. 99-118.
Ask Dan!
What is a Spatial DSS?
:I need to know more about Spatial DSS, the difference between GIS 
SDSS, and how it's related to DSS. 
Last winter, I recommended my good friend Peter Keenan's Spatial DSS 
page at URL for an answer to this 
question.  Peter's site is still an excellent starting point, but recent 
e-mail, postings in the bulletin board and the newsletters from Robert 
Merideth at AuroraNet indicate I need a somewhat more detailed response 
at DSSResources.COM. 
During the Fall, I subscribed to AuroraNet, the listserv of the Aurora 
Partnership ( It is a consortium of 
university, government and private-sector researchers and practitioners 
that "promotes the use of integrated computer mapping and information 
tools to improve decisionmaking about places". The newsletter is 
interesting and useful.
Let's start at Peter's site (e-mail: for a 
definition. He states that "Spatial DSS refers to those systems based on 
the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology." That sets 
the stage for what this type of DSS is all about.  The problem is that 
there are many and varied definitions of GIS. 
Brett Bryan (e-mail: at Adelaide 
University in Australia has some definitions of GIS on the Web (check One of 
Brett's definitions that I like is from C. Dana Tomlin.  Tomlin argues 
GIS "is a facility for preparing, presenting, and interpreting facts 
that pertain to the surface of the earth. This is a broad definition . . 
 a considerably narrower definition, however, is more often employed. 
In common parlance, a geographic information system or GIS is a 
configuration of computer hardware and software specifically designed 
for the acquisition, maintenance, and use of cartographic data." From 
his book Geographic Information Systems and Cartographic Modeling 
(Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall,1990), page xi. 
The ARCINFO software view is that a GIS is "an organized collection of 
computer hardware, software, geographic data, and personnel designed to 
efficiently capture, store, update, manipulate, analyze, and display all 
forms of geographically referenced information." This definition is from 
Understanding GIS: The ARC/INFO Method, Redlands, CA: Environmental 
System Research Institute, 1990.
At DSSResources.COM, Spatial DSS are identified as a sub-category of 
Data-Driven Decision Support Systems. A Spatial DSS uses Geographic 
Information Systems technologies to support managers in analyzing data 
with a geographic or spatial component.
Please send me your comments or post to the DSSResources.COM Bulletin 
SUBMIT A PAPER to AMCIS 2001!  Find out about the Decision
Support Systems Minitrack .......... check
What's New at DSSResources.COM
02/17/2001 Created DSS Related Conferences page.
02/11/2001 Updated and reformatted the DSS Glossary.
If you are interested in forming an AIS special interest group 
related to data management and decision support, please contact 
me by e-mail,  
DSS News Stories - Feb. 10, 2001 to Feb. 25, 2001
02/23/2001 Microsoft(R) SQL Server(TM) 2000 won the Datamation Product 
of the Year for 2000 in the Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence 
02/22/2001 Management Reports International introduced a Web-based, 
role-centric real estate management solution.
02/22/2001 KurzweilAI.Net features Ramona, the first lifelike, 
photorealistic, conversational Web site avatar.
02/21/2001 DeltekĀ® Systems announced new software for Project Planning, 
Budgeting and Forecasting in project-based organizations.
02/21/2001 eOriginal and Guardian Mortgage Documents agree to support 
"electronic mortgage closings".
02/19/2001 ACNielsen U.S. announced the release of PRICEMAN(TM) 3.0, an 
enhanced version of its industry leading strategic pricing software.
02/19/2001 Microsoft introduces software for next-generation data 
services to mobile networks.
02/16/2001 American Water Resources Association is hosting conference on 
"Decision Support Systems for Water Resources Management", June 27-30, 
2001, in Snowbird, UT.
02/15/2001 Aberdeen Group Profile report positively reviews Comshare MPC 
02/15/2001 Hollister, a manufacturer of health care products, will use 
Cognos' Web-based solution with SAP Business Information Warehouse.
02/14/2001 Staples will deploy an IBM SP supercomputer in a new 
enterprise data warehouse. Proprietary decision support applications 
linked to DB2 Universal Database.
02/13/2001 Robert S. Seiner of CIBER, Inc. and TDAN will lead workshop 
on knowledge management systems at 13th Annual DAMA, March 4-8 in 
Anaheim, CA.
02/12/2001 MicroStrategy unveils support for Java-Based programming and 
Unix platforms.
02/12/2001 Business Objects recognized seven of its key channel partners 
for outstanding performance.
02/12/2001 digiMine business intelligence service used by 
for data warehousing and analysis.
02/12/2001 Active Decisions' new "Active Sales Assistant" increases 
e-tail conversion rate.
02/10/2001 In Memoriam: Nobel Laureate and artificial intelligence 
expert Herbert A. Simon dies.
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