Toward a working taxonomy of geodesign practice

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As an emerging area of study, geodesign discussions and publications have used practice as a vital source of inspiration and evidence of the early successes of the field. A closer examination of geodesign projects reveals some similarities and differences within the practice currently discussed as geodesign. Using 28 examples of geodesign projects, this paper identifies classes of examples that are similar. Based on the practical evidence represented in the examples, a 3-level classification system is proposed for providing a basic taxonomy for geodesign projects. This taxonomic system characterizes the classes based on: (1) whether the examples ceded some design control to the computer; (2) whether public participation is incorporated into the design process; and (3) whether it employs complex substantive models. This taxonomy offers a means for understanding and describing the diversity of geodesign while also raising new questions about the boundaries and structure of the field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)635-646
Number of pages12
JournalTransactions in GIS
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


  • case studies
  • geodesign
  • practice
  • substantive models
  • taxonomy

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