Effort estimation for the development of spatial information systems

MacDonell, SG
Benwell, GL
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University of Otago

The management and control of software processes has assumed increasing importance in recent times. The ability to obtain accurate and consistent indications of, for example, system quality, developer productivity and schedule projections is an essential component of effective project management. This paper focuses on these ‘traditional’ software engineering issues in relation to the development of spatial systems. In particular, techniques for development effort estimation are considered and a case study illustrating the application of one specific estimation method (Mark II function point analysis) is presented. Given its original basis in business information systems, the method is adjusted in order to account for (some of) the differentiating characteristics of spatial systems. The method is then retrospectively applied to a recently developed hazards analysis system. The effort estimate obtained is sufficiently close to the actual effort used in development to illustrate the potential of such a technique for project management in the spatial systems domain.

Proceedings of the Eighth Annual Colloquium of the Spatial Information Research Centre (SIRC'96), Dunedin, New Zealand, pages 149 - 155
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