A free and open source programming library for landscape metrics calculations

Autores UPV


Landscape metrics are used in a wide range of environmental studies such as land use change and land degradation studies, soil erosion and run-off predictions, management of hunting communities, and strategic planning for environmental management, to name just a few. Due to their utility for a variety of applications, there are many indices and software packages that have been designed to provide calculations and analysis of landscape structure patterns in categorical maps. With the purpose of making a comparison between the most used tools (Fragstats, V-Late, PA4...), this paper examines their advantages and disadvantages in order to create a list of common features that need to be incorporated into this type of software. An Application Programming Interface (API) is produced without limitations on data input, that is capable of calculating vector or raster metrics and is extensible. This API should make it possible not only to build third party applications easily, but also make it possible to add new metrics and research into new paradigms related to traditional landscape metrics. Land-metrics DIY (DoIt Yourself) is the library presented in this paper. It can calculate almost 40 landscape metrics from geometry provided by an ESRI Shapefile. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.