NaturNet-Redime virtual web portal
The NaturNet-Redime web portal will be designed and implemented as advanced distributed interoperable knowledge and educational web services that will support learning about tools solving environmental, economical and social problems of sustainability across Europe. The system will also implement advanced functionality for mobile data access; location based services, and personalised and position-sensitive services. The new geographical and location-based services will be combined with virtual presentation of objects and advanced mobile knowledge tools. The interoperability on the level of data as well as services will be an important aspect of the project.
The innovative web-based architecture will allow data sharing about the local environment across Europe and the knowledge generated by sustainable development tools. The combination of innovative methods based on virtual reality, multimedia and GIS services will create an excellent opportunity to understand the European environment in a geographical context and to learn about new methods and principles of sustainability. The NaturNet-Redime project will design and implement new distributed-knowledge and e-learning web services on the open source platform.
Learning through modelling using Qualitative Reasoning:
Qualitative reasoning (QR) is an ideal framework for teaching about thresholds of sustainability because it focuses attention on identifying and understanding the range of possible behaviours, which can be part of making a better informed decision, along with traditional quantitative analysis. With QR, attention can be focused on including more casual factors, including environmental, economic and social impacts of policies and management actions. Furthermore, because of the natural ontology used in QR, explanations are easy to generate from simulation results, in comparison to numerical models, which require an additional step of statistical analysis and interpretation before results can be explained to non-modellers, let alone non-scientists. Hence, QR models and the stakeholder involvement in developing them will facilitate incorporation of sustainability in decision-making processes.