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In one way or another, all spatial decision problems are about planning in some sense. Deciding what kinds of activities to do in what landscape units is a selection problem. Allocation decisions are very similar (how much do we spend in which landscape units to accomplish our overall objectives?). Similarly, scheduling and network design problems are just further manifestations of planning processes. Many activities needed to support a spatial decision process do not directly lead to a decision, but instead provide a context for decision making. We refer to these activities as assessment. Finally, at the other end of the planning process, there are decisions to be made about how well a plan is working. We refer to this stage as plan performance.

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