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Integrating Physical and Human-Induced Characteristics in the Decision-Making Process

Carol Mladinich1 and Richard Zirbes2

Decisions regarding land and resources are complex and emotionally charged. Features on or below the land surface often are not taken into account nor clearly portrayed. By combining the physical characteristics of the land with the human settlement patterns, we can achieve a more accurate and comprehensive depiction of the landscape, which can help communities make decisions regarding growth and its impacts. The U.S. Geological Survey Front Range Infrastructure Resources project is developing a Group Spatial Decision Support System for integrating the scientific data characterizing an area; such integrated information will help people make decisions that can mitigate many of the consequences of growth.


1U.S. Geological Survey, Box 25046, MS 516, Denver, CO 80225-0046 (

2U.S. Geological Survey, Box 25046, MS 516, Denver, CO 80225-0046 (

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