The development of computerized geographic information systems (GIS) and the accompanying extensive databases, many of them utilizing desktop computers, has created a technological revolution extending directly into real estate problem solving. Real estate problems are often characterized as uncertain, complex, and dynamic. Solving them, if solutions are possible, is a multistep process with a strong emphasis on deductive reasoning and decision making, both emphases adopted from the finance and economics disciplines. This article develops a stage model that considers the fundamental reasoning activities of description, explanation, prediction, judgement, and implementation common to all problem-solving steps in order to assess how GIS may affect real estate problem solving. The model is used to demonstrate the potential of GIS to more fully incorporate problem-solving steps other than decision making into the problem-solving process and to make inductive thinking more rigorous and accessible. The article also considers the issues of rigor and relevance and potential side effects and unintended consequences associated with the use of GIS or other information technology.
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Wofford, L.E., Thrall, G. Real Estate Problem Solving and Geographic Information Systems: A Stage Model of Reasoning. Journal of Real Estate Literature 5, 177–201 (1997). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1008635216378