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Oliver Lock, Simon Pinnegar, Simone Z. Leao and Christopher Pettit

The chapter builds on open-source approaches to develop an early version of a planning support system (PSS) for scenario planning underpinned by cumulative accessibility modelling, Transport Accessibility PSS (TAPSS). In this chapter, we discuss the potential benefits of including rapid route-option testing and dynamic visual feedback on strategic goals through streamlined modifications to the timetable and route characteristics of existing and hypothetical transport networks. A case study of a potential mega-region in New South Wales, Australia, is investigated in the context of these PSS tools. The focus is on one type of access opportunity, employment, and evaluating how successful this metric performs over a combination of speed and connectivity options across the region. These are based on current and historic strategies. With the availability of similar data, the process is adaptable to other cities worldwide. It assists with an essential task for planners and decision-makers, and provides a process and medium by which to communicate and collaborate on similar tasks with other practitioners and non-expert users.

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Christopher Pettit, Bob Stimson, Jack Barton, Xavier Goldie, Philip Greenwood, Robin Lovelace and Serryn Eagleson

Open access data, open source software and cloud computing are three parallel and mutually reinforcing drivers of change in the field of applied geographical information systems (GIS). While these developments create many new opportunities for GIS users and companies, they are also associated with under-explored risks. This chapter investigates cloud GIS, focusing on the Australian Urban Research Infrastructure Network (AURIN), an online, cloud-based data portal and GIS designed explicitly for Australian urban research and public-sector planning applications. AURIN provides direct access to more than 4000 data sets, over 100 spatial analysis tools and powerful computational resources that are typically available in desktop GIS. The experience of developing, communicating and using AURIN has provided insights into the opportunities unleashed by new models of GIS research. This chapter explores those opportunities, such as greater accessibility, transparency and consistency in decision support for public policy, and risks of cloud GIS and its potential uses for social benefit.