Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Urban and Land Cover Modeling: The Gigalopolis Project

While not new, I thought its about time I did a blog post on the SLEUTH model. What is it? The SLEUTH model is a tightly coupled, modified cellular automaton model of urban growth (and other land class change) which has been applied to over 100 cities and regions over the last decade (Click here to see some of them). For example, it has been used to explore future land use patterns under different policy scenarios in the Washington-Baltimore metropolitan area. The name SLEUTH was derived from the simple image input requirements of the models: Slope, Land cover, Exclusion, Urbanization, Transportation, and Hillshade.

The project was released under the name Gigalopolis, (a growing urban structure containing billions of people worldwide), a collaboration between the US Geological Survey and the Department of Geography, at UC Santa Barbara, specifically Keith Clarke. I recomned checking out the site, not only does it contain the SLEUTH model (writen in C) which can be downloaded, along with a sample data set but also there is information about the background of the project (including publications), what type of data does the model require, along with application areas. Furthermore the site provides useful links to information on general CA, as well as other CA land cover models.

This image above shows the forecast of development patterns in 2030 for an ecologically sustainable scenario in the Washington-Baltimore metropolitan area (click here for more information and the source of the image).

No comments: