OPEN SOURCE APPROACH TO URBAN GROWTH SIMULATION
Keywords: GRASS GIS, FUTURES, urbanization, land change, open science, simulation
Abstract. Spatial patterns of land use change due to urbanization and its impact on the landscape are the subject of ongoing research. Urban growth scenario simulation is a powerful tool for exploring these impacts and empowering planners to make informed decisions. We present FUTURES (FUTure Urban – Regional Environment Simulation) – a patch-based, stochastic, multi-level land change modeling framework as a case showing how what was once a closed and inaccessible model benefited from integration with open source GIS.We will describe our motivation for releasing this project as open source and the advantages of integrating it with GRASS GIS, a free, libre and open source GIS and research platform for the geospatial domain. GRASS GIS provides efficient libraries for FUTURES model development as well as standard GIS tools and graphical user interface for model users. Releasing FUTURES as a GRASS GIS add-on simplifies the distribution of FUTURES across all main operating systems and ensures the maintainability of our project in the future. We will describe FUTURES integration into GRASS GIS and demonstrate its usage on a case study in Asheville, North Carolina. The developed dataset and tutorial for this case study enable researchers to experiment with the model, explore its potential or even modify the model for their applications.