An Integrated Modeling Platform

ENVISION is a GIS-based tool for scenario-based community and regional integrated planning and environmental assessments.  It provides a robust platform for integrating a variety of spatially explicit models of landscape change processes and production for conducting alternative futures analyses.

ENVISION is open-source and freely available.  It is built on an open, extensible architecture that can be adapted to a variety of geographic locations and application domains.  Envision provides a variety of easily-used "plug-ins" that allow for modeling a variety of situations, and can be extended using your own custom plug-ins for specific modeling needs.

ENVISION includes a powerful "multiagent modeling" subsystem that allows for the representation of human decision-makers in landscape simulations.  Envision "actors" make management decisions in parallel with landscape change models using a variety of decision models that can reflect actor values and incorporate landscape feedbacks.

Envision Basics

Envision is a robust, spatially-explicit modeling platform specificalyl designed for scenario-based exploration of coupled human and natural systems (CHANS). Envision is open source and has been applied to a wide variety of systems. It is a highly flexible platform that can be applied to a variety of problem domains. Unique to Envision is the ability to integrate traditional simulation models with a Multi-Agent Modeling system, incorporating "actors" and "policies" capturing decision rules available to those actors.

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Application Development with Envision

Envision applications are developed using plug-in modules that simulate various aspects of the system being analyses, and, optionally, defining decision-making actors and the policy decisions that may consider for managing the system. New modules can be easily created using Envision's Applications Programming Interface (API) that allows application developers to create their own modules that have access to Envision's spatial datasets, communicate with other modules, and extend Envision's functionality.

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Envision Plugins

Envision provides a number of prebuilt plugins for simplifying application development. These plugins provide capabilities for modeling population growth and allocation processes, state transition models, wildfire dynamics, hydrologic processes, habitat suitability and other ecosystem services, output reporting, and many other commonly encountered simulation needs. These plugin modules require no programming and are configured using simple XML-based text files.

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