HERO: Human-Environment Regional Observatory

Dynamic Land-Change Modeling

This stream examines how to develop, use, and evaluate GIS-based computer models that simulate how humans change landscapes. We will examine how information concerning historic behavior and landscape dynamics can improve the way we manage landscapes. This stream is a geographic information science effort that draws substantially from ecological science and social science, while it works closely with the Vulnerability Analysis stream. This team calls itself HOLMES for HERO Object-based Lawn Mapping Exploration of Suburbia. In summer 2010, this team completed its 45-centimeter resolution land cover map for the 1143 square kilometer study area of twenty-six suburban towns north of Boston. Our maps are hundreds of times more detailed than other datasets of the area. In summer 2011, this team will use our maps in conjunction other data to to address crucial questions about how household level decisions generate the suburban landscape and how the landscape influences household decisions. The HOLMES work, along with the data collected by the LLAWMAS team, will help scientists and policy-makers better understand the suburban landscape.

The Maps and Locals Project (MALS)


Research Products

Research Publications

Pontius Jr, R.G.; D. Huffaker; and K Denman. 2005. Useful techniques of validation for spatially-explicit land-change models. Ecological Modelling. In press.

Pontius Jr. R.G.; and J. Malanson. 2005. Comparison of the structure and accuracy of two land change models. International Journal of Geographical Information Science.In press. Pontius Jr, R.G.; and N.R. Malizia. 2004. Effect of category aggregation on map comparison. In M Egenhofer, C Freksa, and H Miller (eds): GIScience2004, Lecture notes in computer science, in press. Conference proceedings of the third international conference on geographic information science. University of Maryland.

Pontius Jr, R.G.;E. Shusas; and M. McEachern. 2004. Detecting important categorical land changes while accounting for persistence. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 101(2-3): 251-268.

Pontius Jr, R.G.; A. Agrawal; and D. Huffaker. 2003. Estimating the uncertainty of land-cover extrapolations while constructing a raster map from tabular data. Journal of Geographical Systems 5(3):253-273.

Please contact Professor Gil Pontius at rpontius@clarku.edu for more information.

Visit Professor Pontius's School of Geography Web site