A GIS-based decision-support tool for public facility planning
The installation and operation of public facilities, such as schools or hospitals, involve important amounts of public spending, and therefore need to be carefully planned. Research efforts made since the early 1960s led to the development of a rich collection of optimization models and solution methods for public facility planning problems. It must be recognized, however, that the practical impact of the efforts made up to now is rather weak. This paper presents an interactive, user-friendly decision-support tool for public facility planning where the capabilities of geographic iformation systems and advanced optimization methods are put together. We hope that it will contribute to bridge the gap between research and practice that characterizes the way public facility planning is made at present. The application of the decision-support tool is illustrated for a real-world setting.