Design of spatial decision support systems for property professionals using MapObjects and Excel

Yunbo Li, Qiping Shen, Heng Li

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Spatial decision support systems (SDSS) are a branch of data-driven decision support systems that utilize spatial data in the decision-making process. This paper introduces a simple and inexpensive way of designing SDSS to support property professionals in their decisions concerning locations, throughout the property development process. The proposed SDSS integrate traditional decision support systems with geographical information systems (GIS) to have the best of both worlds: GIS capabilities and modeling ability. The design of the SDSS utilizes two widely used software packages: Excel and MapObjects. Excel is a spreadsheet program that has the strong capability to construct models using its built-in functions and Visual Basic for Application (VBA). MapObjects is a collection of embeddable mapping and GIS components from ESRI. Using these ActiveX automation objects, application developers can add mapping and GIS capabilities to applications. When MapObjects controls are integrated with an Excel sheet, they have the ability to save and show maps, query addresses, and carry out other interactive functions. The development environment and the working mechanism for the proposed systems are introduced, which is further elaborated by providing a case study on how the proposed SDSS can be used by property professionals.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)565-573
Number of pages9
JournalAutomation in Construction
Issue number5 SPEC. ISS.
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2004


  • DSS
  • Excel
  • GIS
  • MapObjects
  • Property valuation
  • SDSS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction

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