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This is a free and open source software (FOSS) Python version of the simulation model IMAGE-land, the land cover change model from the IMAGE 3.1 Integrated Assessment Model (IAM). Most, but not all, capabilities of the original model are included.

4 commits | Last commit 2 months ago

What IMAGE-LAND-LUE can do for you


This software is the result of the project Building Blocks for Integrated Assessment Modelling (see projects listed here), funded by FAIR Research IT of Utrecht University. It is a free and open source software (FOSS) Python version (implemented with the LUE framework) of the simulation model IMAGE-land, the land cover change model from the IMAGE 3.1 Integrated Assessment Model (IAM). IMAGE-land is a central part of IMAGE, used to make projections of future environmental change and effects of possible response strategies to support international policy processes.

Running the model

To run the model, first the repository should be cloned, then the below steps followed:

  1. Install conda if it is not already on your system.
  2. Create a conda environment from environment.yml. This will install the packages required to run the model to a conda environment named image. Do this by running the following command line prompt in the repository's top directory: conda env create -f environment.yml.
  3. Activate image conda environment by running: conda activate image.
  4. Run The number of timesteps and number of years each timestep is equivalent to can be adjusted by changing the N_STEPS and INTERVAL values in For more information, see the documentation.

Docs and contributing to IMAGE-LAND-LUE

The documentation for IMAGE-LAND-LUE is not yet available as a website, however all the source files to build the docs using Sphinx are present in the repository. If the image conda environment is already installed (see steps above), the steps to build and consult the documentation are as follows:

  1. Navigate to the docs folder in the terminal.
  2. Run the prompt: sphinx-build -M html source build. Note that source and build are the directories containing the source material to build the docs and the target directory for the build files, respectively. If the names of these folders are changed, source and build in the above command must be replaced with the new names.
  3. The docs can be consulted by navigating to docs/build/html and running index.html. The documentation landing page will open in your default web browser.

It is recommended that the docs be consulted before trying to alter the model, as they contain general information about IMAGE-LAND and the allocation process, in addition to the information contained in the file and function docstrings.


The outputs of IMAGE-LAND-LUE depend on the options selected in In general, outputs are saved in two formats: npy and tiff formats. All outputs are stored in a directory named outputs, in imagelcm, the directory in which the model is stored.

Programming language
  • Python 100%
</>Source code

Participating organisations

Utrecht University
Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency