11 April 2007: Clark Labs, a member of the ESRI Business Partner Program, is developing its Land Change Modeler for Ecological Sustainability as a new software extension for ArcGIS. Developed in cooperation with Conservation International, and currently available in IDRISI Andes, the incorporation of the Land Change Modeler for the ArcGIS platform will ensure the broadest possible use of this important tool. The Land Change Modeler offers an extensive suite of tools to assess and predict land cover change and determine the implications of change for ecological sustainability.
“Users will be able to easily perform a variety of change analyses with two land cover maps of different dates. For instance, the user would specify the files and immediately see area gains and losses by land cover category and net change, along with specific category transitions and exchanges in both map and graphical form”, explained James Toledano, Executive Director of Clark Labs.
Tools specifically designed for habitat and biodiversity issues include species-specific habitat assessment to develop maps of primary and secondary habitats, potential corridors and unsuitable areas. Means for biodiversity assessment, species distribution modeling, range polygon refinement and biological corridor development are also provided. Planning tools allow the user to specify infrastructural or other modifications that would impact the change to be modeled.
“These features make the Land Change Modeler unique”, said Toledano. “There are many tools on the market for change analysis and prediction, but no software has integrated them in one application. Users who are trying to understand land change and secure biodiversity will obtain great value from the Land Change Modeler. All of the analytical tools are organized into an accessible environment”.
Clark Labs has been working with the Andes Center for Biodiversity Conservation of Conservation International for several years to develop tools for analyzing and projecting land cover change and its effect on habitat and biodiversity. The scope of the project was subsequently broadened to develop a modeling environment (LCM) that could be used for a variety of land change scenarios and contexts. Further integration with the ArcGIS software extends the availability and accessibility of such important tools for users focused on land change, conservation and biodiversity. The Land Change Modeler will be released for use with ArcGIS in the summer of 2007.