Mapping the (un)measurable –
knowledge through spatial integration

Global challenges require an advanced spatial and integrated understanding of potential harm. To measure, monitor and represent the constantly increasing complexity of environmental and societal processes, innovative methods are needed which consider true spatial characteristics, as well as quantitative and qualitative notions.

The research area “‘integrated spatial indicators” (ISI) develops methods to spatially represent multi-dimensional and complex phenomena at different spatial and temporal scale levels. The aim is to develop new indicator-based approaches which consider true spatial distributions, are hierarchical and decomposable, but also provide an integrated view of a specific phenomenon. ISI builds on new and established concepts in GIScience, such as object-based analysis, composite indicator development as well as spatial statistics and analysis. Benefits will arise from a new way of approaching multi-faceted challenges in the context of disaster risk reduction, public health, landscape ecology and quality of life. Building on, but not limited to these application domains, it will provide decision makers with relevant tools to tackle the “big picture” rather than looking at isolated aspects only. Current and future activities create a sound conceptual approach for integrated spatial indicators, enhance associated workflows and tools, and develop concepts for visual and cartographic exploration.

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