Gap analysis in decision support systems for real-estate in the era of the digital earth

Hamidreza Rabiei-Dastjerdi, Gavin McArdle, Stephen A. Matthews, Peter Keenan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Searching for a property is inherently a multicriteria spatial decision. The decision is primarily based on three high-level criteria composed of household needs, building facilities, and location characteristics. Location choice is driven by diverse characteristics; including but not limited to environmental factors, access, services, and the socioeconomic status of a neighbourhood. This article aims to identify the gap between theory and practice in presenting information on location choice by using a gap analysis methodology through the development of a seven-factor classification tool and an assessment of international property websites. Despite the availability of digital earth data, the results suggest that real-estate websites are poor at providing sufficient location information to support efficient spatial decision making. Based on a case study in Dublin, Ireland, we find that although neighbourhood digital earth data may be readily available to support decision making, the gap persists. We hypothesise that the reason is two-fold. Firstly, there is a technical challenge to transform location data into usable information. Secondly, the market may not wish to provide location information which can be perceived as negative. We conclude this article with a discussion of critical issues necessary for designing a spatial decision support system for real-estate decision making.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)121-138
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Digital Earth
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Computer Science Applications
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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