Dinamica EGO is not just a land use change model, but an environmental modeling platform. While other models employ a steady scheme with fixed parameters, which can only be altered by changing their coefficient values, Dinamica EGO presents a wide-open possibility for the design from the very simple to the very complex space-time model.
Dinamica EGO graphical interface allows the design of a model by simply dragging and connecting operators that perform calculations upon various types of data, such as constants, matrices, tables and raster maps. In this way, one can easily set up a model by establishing a sequence of operators involving an ample range of analytical and simulation algorithms available in Dinamica EGO library of functors – the name given to a data operator in Dinamica EGO. Because of this approach, Dinamica EGO modeling framework is referred to as a dataflow language since data flow from a functor output to a compatible input in a subsequent operator along the execution chain. Hence Dinamica EGO friendly graphical interface allows models to be designed, verified, run as well as to have their results visualized, presenting an open avenue for advanced environmental modeling.
In addition, users can design models beginning on its graphical interface and thenceforth saving them to EGO script format, a high level programming language. In order to facilitate model design for beginners, Dinamica EGO provides a large set of examples on land-use change modeling and other spatial analyses, which can be loaded and edited, thereby serving as templates for new models. Dinamica EGO also comes with a comprehensive guidebook containing a series of exercises with increasing level of complexity, aiming to easily convey its very flexible and powerful modeling toolbox to students and other professionals interested in developing skills in environmental modeling, who only need to possess some GIS experience.
The revolutionary EGO version is outstanding. First, it is the only software to simulate landscape structure thanks to its set of cellular automata transition functions, which allow the definition of form and size of patches of changes. Worthy of mention, these functions also replicate the expanding and contracting landscape elements, thereby simulating edge processes.
In terms of performance, Dinamica EGO is unbeatable. Its dataflow framework optimizes the way computer memory is used, keeping data in virtual memory only while needed. As a result, Dinamica EGO is able to handle large and multiple set of maps. In addition, its algorithms are designed to process data in a very fast way, taking advantage of multiple processor architecture. Dinamica EGO holds multiple transitions that can be easily calibrated employing the Weights of Evidence. This method calculates the influence of spatial determinants on the changes, producing as a result an integrated transition potential map, also known as the transition probability map. With this respect, it can receive inputs from external methods, such as neural networks.
Finally, Dinamica EGO is the only platform that features simultaneous multiple resolution simulation, implemented through its subregion approach, a functionality that also allows to customize the model parameters or to perform a particular calculation for a map zone, i.e. a region in a map, such as a country or state. In fact, any variable in Dinamica EGO can become dynamic receiving feedbacks from any model element. In sum, Dinamica EGO innovative modeling techniques provide a complete solution for calibrating, running and validating space-time models, no matter the complexity. In the forefront of environmental modeling, Dinamica EGO is a program freely available on the Web.
These are just some of the many reasons why Dinamica EGO has successfully been applied to numerous environmental studies. See the list of publications for the applications where Dinamica EGO was successfully used.