This presentation reviews work by the researchers that combines group dialogic techniques with analytic hierarchy and GIS to bring the knowledge of large groups of people to bear on a highway routing problem. A significant question is how technical knowledge and local information can be combined, either dialogically or mathematically, to provide the most faithful and practical version of a collaborative preference surface, what we call the Analytic Minimum Impedance Surface, or AMIS. While all preferences can be summed directly for this purpose, it may be more accurate and effective to partition the preference contribution to the landscape by knowledge base (citizen, environmental planner, construction engineer, etc). This approach must be evaluated against the fact that when these knowledge experts are brought together through direct dialog, different, collaborative evaluations may emerge. This question is significant because it has implications for the differences in preference input gathered in same-time-same-place venues (public meetings or focus groups) or different-time-different-place strategies (eg. internet-based polling).

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A presentation at the 2003 Public Participation in Geographic Information Systems Conference in Portland, OR.