In recent years, there is an increasing use of spatial Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (sMCDA), which combines Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) with Geographical Information System (GIS). It aims to analyze problems that have a spatial distribution of consequences, e.g., minimizing pollution to air, water and soil, identifying optimal power plant locations, etc. (e.g., Ferretti and Montibeller (2016)). The MCDA enables to consider a wide variety of aspects, e.g., environmental, socio-economic, etc., in a transparent manner, while GIS accounts for the spatial variability of the problem. In sMCDA, the criteria considered need to be spatially explicit across the region of interest (e.g., value per grid cell or municipality). For the actual implementation, several MCDA algorithms can be applied (e.g., Malczewski and Rinner (2015)). In this context, PSI has developed a tool for sMCDA, which accounts for different MCDA methodologies (i.e., weighted sum, an outranking approach and a stochastic methodology) and uncertainty of criteria. The tool has already been applied to specific case studies, such as the suitability of deep geothermal energy systems in Switzerland or to select a potential site for Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS).
A selection of references on the topic are shown below, and more publications are available here.
Ferretti, V.; Montibeller, G., Key challenges and meta-choices in designing and applying multi-criteria spatial decision support systems. Decision Support Systems 2016, 84, 41-52. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dss.2016.01.005
Spada, M.; Cinelli, M.; Burgherr, P., Sustainability Assessment of Potential Areas for Deep Geothermal Energy Systems in Switzerland. In INFORMS, Seattle, WA, USA, 2019.
Spada, M.; Ferretti, V., Toward the integration of uncertainty and probabilities in spatial multi-criteria risk analysis: an application to tanker oil spills. In Safety and Reliability – Safe Societies in a Changing World, Haugen, S.; Barros, A.; Gulijk, C. v.; Kongsvik, T.; Vinnem, J., Eds. CRC Press: London, UK, 2018.
Spada, M and Burgherr, P. (2016). Spatial Multi Criteria Decision Analysis In The Energy Sector: A Preliminary Application To Deep Geothermal Energy Systems., INFORMS Annual Meeting, Nashville, USA.
Malczewski, J., Rinner, C., 2015. Multicriteria Decision Analysis in Geographic Information Science. Springer Berlin Heidelberg, New York, USA.