Journal of Geographical Systems

, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp 49–54 | Cite as

Part 3 Specialized aspects of GIS and spatial analysis

Garage band science and dynamic spatial models
  • Paul W. Box


GIS and spatial analysis is suited mainly for static pictures of the landscape, but many of the processes that need exploring are dynamic in nature. Dynamic processes can be complex when put in a spatial context; our ability to study such processes will probably come with advances in understanding complex systems in general. Cellular automata and agent-based models are two prime candidates for exploring complex spatial systems, but are difficult to implement. Innovative tools that help build complex simulations will create larger user communities, who will probably find novel solutions for understanding complexity. A significant source for such innovations is likely to be from the collective efforts of hobbyists and part-time programmers, who have been dubbed “garage-band scientists” in the popular press.

Key words: Agent-based models, cellular automata, complex systems, tool development 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul W. Box
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Geography and Earth Resources, UMC 5240, Utah State University, Logan, Utah 84322, USA (e-mail:

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