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Björn J.E. Johansson, Jiri Trnka, & Rego Granlund. (2007). The effect of geographical information systems on a collaborative command and control task. In K. Nieuwenhuis P. B. B. Van de Walle (Ed.), Intelligent Human Computer Systems for Crisis Response and Management, ISCRAM 2007 Academic Proceedings Papers (pp. 191–200). Delft: Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management, ISCRAM.
Abstract: This paper tests the claimed benefits of using geographical information systems (GIS) in emergency response operations. An experimental study comparing command teams using GIS and paper-based maps is presented. The study utilized a combined approach using microworld simulations together with physical artefacts. Participants in the experiment took the role of command teams, facing the task of extinguishing a simulated forest fire. A total of 132 persons, forming 22 teams, participated in the study. In eleven of the teams, the participants were given access to GIS with positioning of fire-brigades as well as sensor data about the fire outbreak. In the other eleven teams, the participants were using paper-based maps. The result shows that teams using GIS performed significantly better than teams with paper-based maps in terms of saved area. Communication volume was considerably reduced in the case of GIS teams. Implications of these results on GIS are discussed as well as methodological considerations for future research.