Project Gigalopolis, USGS

The US Geological Survey in collaboration with the Department of Geography, UC Santa Barbara, presents to the professional and academic communities cutting-edge research regarding urban dynamics through environmental simulation modeling of urban growth. SLEUTH is the evolutionary product of the Clarke Urban Growth Model that uses cellular automata, terrain mapping and land cover deltatron modeling to address urban growth. It has been successfully implemented in San Francisco, Chicago, Washington-Baltimore, Sioux Falls and now on the South Coast of California. A database has been generated for the South Coast with multiple historical landuse layers on a building-by-building basis from 1929 to the present that assures the precision of the data used for the model inputs and calibrations. The modeling results and created databases are being turned over to the South Coast communities to guide local community planners in achieving desired smart and responsible urban growth throughout the region. The long-term goal of the project is to develop these tools to best predict urban growth on a regional, continental and eventually global scale. Please consult the project web page (, the web page of a parallel project entitled UCIME ( and/or call Jeannette Candau at the USGS or Dr. Keith Clarke at the Geography Department or for more information.