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Development of a web application based on MCDA and GIS for the decision support of river and floodplain rehabilitation projects

Chang-Wailing Spitteler, Alexia LU (2014) In LUMA-GIS Thesis GISM01 20142
Dept of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science
Abstract
Rivers have been modified significantly during the last 200 years in Switzerland. These modifications were done for protection purposes (protection against floods), construction of hydropower plants, gain of land or other human activities. These artificial transformations have reduced, sometimes drastically, the natural dynamic of the rivers, which has reduced biodiversity, and has also increased the risk of flood.

The awareness of the importance of river in a more natural state has conducted to a modification of the law on water protection in Switzerland (2011) and the rehabilitation of heavily affected rivers has now become a task that all cantons have to tackle. However the choice of which measures are the best to apply is not... (More)
Rivers have been modified significantly during the last 200 years in Switzerland. These modifications were done for protection purposes (protection against floods), construction of hydropower plants, gain of land or other human activities. These artificial transformations have reduced, sometimes drastically, the natural dynamic of the rivers, which has reduced biodiversity, and has also increased the risk of flood.

The awareness of the importance of river in a more natural state has conducted to a modification of the law on water protection in Switzerland (2011) and the rehabilitation of heavily affected rivers has now become a task that all cantons have to tackle. However the choice of which measures are the best to apply is not simple for decision makers who have to take into account multiple factors, but who are also confronted with different stakeholders who do not necessarily all share the same point of view (scientists, farmers, inhabitants, policy makers, ...)

The present study has consisted of the development of a Web-GIS (geographic information systems) application to help decision makers in this task, by using the multicriteria decision analysis (MCDA) method and by automating all the needed computations. Beside the MCDA computation, the production of maps is also a central functionality. To ensure the reliability of the result, a sensitivity analysis tool was added, which uses the Monte Carlo simulation technique.

The application was developed using PHP, Javascript and Java, and by using open source libraries and softwares (for instance Geoserver, Geotools, MySQL,…). It was designed to let possible extensions be added easily, by using a modular approach to perform the different processes. The web application enables a fast and easy computation and enables each user to set his own preferences (including the weights of the different factors). A score for each alternative is given as result, as well as maps. The ease of sharing data and results is also a great advantage in projects such as river restorations, where multiple stakeholders' desires must be taken into account. (Less)
Abstract (French)
Résumé
Les rivières suisses ont été fortement modifiées durant les 200 dernières années. Ces modifications ont été faites pour diverses raisons, protection contre les crues, construction de centrales hydro-électriques, gain de terrain ou autres activités humaines. Ces
transformations artificielles ont parfois réduit de manière drastique la dynamique naturelle des rivières, ce qui a fortement affecté la biodiversité, mais a également fait accroître le danger lors de crues.

De nos jours la réhabilitation de rivières fortement modifiées est devenue une tâche à laquelle chaque canton doit s'atteler. Cependant le choix des mesures à prendre n'est pas aisé pour les décideurs, qui doivent prendre en compte de nombreux critères, mais sont... (More)
Résumé
Les rivières suisses ont été fortement modifiées durant les 200 dernières années. Ces modifications ont été faites pour diverses raisons, protection contre les crues, construction de centrales hydro-électriques, gain de terrain ou autres activités humaines. Ces
transformations artificielles ont parfois réduit de manière drastique la dynamique naturelle des rivières, ce qui a fortement affecté la biodiversité, mais a également fait accroître le danger lors de crues.

De nos jours la réhabilitation de rivières fortement modifiées est devenue une tâche à laquelle chaque canton doit s'atteler. Cependant le choix des mesures à prendre n'est pas aisé pour les décideurs, qui doivent prendre en compte de nombreux critères, mais sont également confrontés à divers groupes d'intérêt qui n'ont pas nécessairement le même point de vue (scientifiques, agriculteurs, habitants, politiciens, ...).

La présente étude a consisté dans le développement d'une application web - sig (système d'information géographique) dans le but d'aider les décideurs dans cette tâche, en utilisant une méthode d'analyse multicritères d'aide à la décision (MCDA) et en automatisant tous
les calculs nécessaires. A côté de l'analyse multicritères, la production et visualisation de cartes est aussi une fonctionnalité centrale. Pour s'assurer de la fiabilité des résultats, un outil d'analyse de sensibilité, utilisant une méthode de simulation (Monte Carlo), a été ajoutée.

L'application a été développée en PHP, Java et Javascript, utilisant des outils open source (par exemple Geoserver, Geotools, MySQL, …) et laissant le champ ouvert à de possibles extensions par la modularisation des différents processus.

L'application web permet une analyse multicritère simple et rapide, et permet à chaque utilisateur d'utiliser ses propres préférences dans le calcul (en donnant les poids de son choix aux différents critères). Un score pour chaque alternative est donné comme résultat, ainsi que des cartes. La facilité d'échange de données et de résultats qu'offre une
application web, est aussi un grand avantage dans un projet tel que la restauration d'une rivière, où de multiple groupes d'intérêts doivent être pris en compte. (Less)
Popular Abstract
Rivers have been modified significantly during the last 200 years in Switzerland. These modifications were done for protection purposes (protection against floods), construction of hydropower plants, gain of land or other human activities. These artificial transformations have reduced, sometimes drastically, the natural dynamic of the rivers, which has reduced biodiversity, and has also increased the risk of flood.

The awareness of the importance of river in a more natural state has conducted to a modification of the law on water protection in Switzerland (2011) and the rehabilitation of heavily affected rivers has now become a task that all cantons have to tackle. However the choice of which measures are the best to apply is not... (More)
Rivers have been modified significantly during the last 200 years in Switzerland. These modifications were done for protection purposes (protection against floods), construction of hydropower plants, gain of land or other human activities. These artificial transformations have reduced, sometimes drastically, the natural dynamic of the rivers, which has reduced biodiversity, and has also increased the risk of flood.

The awareness of the importance of river in a more natural state has conducted to a modification of the law on water protection in Switzerland (2011) and the rehabilitation of heavily affected rivers has now become a task that all cantons have to tackle. However the choice of which measures are the best to apply is not simple for decision makers who have to take into account multiple factors, but who are also confronted with different stakeholders who do not necessarily all share the same point of view (scientists, farmers, inhabitants, policy makers, ...)

The present study has consisted of the development of a Web-GIS (geographic information systems) application to help decision makers in this task, by using the multicriteria decision analysis (MCDA) method and by automating all the needed computations. Beside the MCDA computation, the production of maps is also a central functionality. To ensure the reliability of the result, a sensitivity analysis tool was added, which uses the Monte Carlo simulation technique.

The application was developed using open source libraries and softwares and was designed to let possible extensions be added easily, by using a modular approach to perform the different processes. The web application enables a fast and easy computation and enables each user to set his own preferences (including the weights of the different factors). A score for each alternative is given as result, as well as maps. The ease of sharing data and results is also a great advantage in projects such as river restorations, where multiple stakeholders' desires must be taken into account. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Chang-Wailing Spitteler, Alexia LU
supervisor
organization
course
GISM01 20142
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Physical Geography and Ecosystem analysis, GIS, MCDA, river restoration, web application
publication/series
LUMA-GIS Thesis
report number
36
language
English
additional info
External supervisors: Dr Michael Doering, Eawag, Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology and Dr Perter Burgherr, PSI, Paul Scherrer Institut, Switzerland.
id
4939926
date added to LUP
2015-01-23 14:22:11
date last changed
2015-01-23 14:22:11
@misc{4939926,
  abstract     = {Rivers have been modified significantly during the last 200 years in Switzerland. These modifications were done for protection purposes (protection against floods), construction of hydropower plants, gain of land or other human activities. These artificial transformations have reduced, sometimes drastically, the natural dynamic of the rivers, which has reduced biodiversity, and has also increased the risk of flood. 

The awareness of the importance of river in a more natural state has conducted to a modification of the law on water protection in Switzerland (2011) and the rehabilitation of heavily affected rivers has now become a task that all cantons have to tackle. However the choice of which measures are the best to apply is not simple for decision makers who have to take into account multiple factors, but who are also confronted with different stakeholders who do not necessarily all share the same point of view (scientists, farmers, inhabitants, policy makers, ...)

The present study has consisted of the development of a Web-GIS (geographic information systems) application to help decision makers in this task, by using the multicriteria decision analysis (MCDA) method and by automating all the needed computations. Beside the MCDA computation, the production of maps is also a central functionality. To ensure the reliability of the result, a sensitivity analysis tool was added, which uses the Monte Carlo simulation technique.

The application was developed using PHP, Javascript and Java, and by using open source libraries and softwares (for instance Geoserver, Geotools, MySQL,…). It was designed to let possible extensions be added easily, by using a modular approach to perform the different processes. The web application enables a fast and easy computation and enables each user to set his own preferences (including the weights of the different factors). A score for each alternative is given as result, as well as maps. The ease of sharing data and results is also a great advantage in projects such as river restorations, where multiple stakeholders' desires must be taken into account.},
  author       = {Chang-Wailing Spitteler, Alexia},
  keyword      = {Physical Geography and Ecosystem analysis,GIS,MCDA,river restoration,web application},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  series       = {LUMA-GIS Thesis},
  title        = {Development of a web application based on MCDA and GIS for the decision support of river and floodplain rehabilitation projects},
  year         = {2014},
}