Landscape Ecology

, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp 291–302 | Cite as

The r.le programs for multiscale analysis of landscape structure using the GRASS geographical information system

  • William L. Baker
  • Yunming Cai


Geographical information systems (GIS) are well suited to the spatial analysis of landscape data, but generally lack programs for calculating traditional measures of landscape structure (e.g., fractal dimension). Standalone programs for calculating landscape structure measures do exist, but these programs do not enable the user to take advantage of GIS facilities for manipulating and analyzing landscape data. Moreover, these programs lack capabilities for analysis with sampling areas of different size (multiscale analysis) and also lack some needed measures of landscape structure (e.g., texture).

We have developed the r.le programs for analyzing landscape structure using the GRASS GIS. The programs can be used to calculate over sixty measures of landscape structure (e.g., distance, size, shape, fractal dimension, perimeters, diversity, texture, juxtaposition, edges) within sampling areas of several sizes simultaneously. Also possible are moving window analyses, which enable the production of new maps of the landscape structure within windows of a particular size. These new maps can then be used in other analyses with the GIS.


landscape structure software geographical information systems GIS 


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Copyright information

© SPB Academic Publishing bv 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • William L. Baker
    • 1
  • Yunming Cai
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of GeographyUniversity of WyomingLaramieUSA
  2. 2.Prisma Software, Corp.USA

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