A computer program for geostatistical and spatial analysis of crop model outputs

P.K. Thornton, H.W.G. Booltink, J.J. Stoorvogel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Well-tested computer simulation models of the growth, development, and yield of annual crops are being used for a wide range of purposes, including the prediction of impacts of different management practices and land use systems on food production, farmers' profitability, and the environment. Presentation and interpretation of simulation results can be significantly enhanced through the linking of models with software that allows spatial visualization. Many users of crop simulation models, however, are located in institutions in developing countries where resources are particularly limited. Computer software to perform a variety of spatial analyses was written, which can be run on modest hardware without the need for costly third-party software. The software is an integral part of the Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer (DSSAT), a comprehensive crop simulation model and data system, but can also be run in a stand-alone mode. Users can run spatial simulation experiments and then analyze the results using (i) a geostatistical module to interpolate maps and produce probability surfaces from a network of data points and (ii) a utility that calculates agronomic and economic output statistics from model simulations and maps the results as polygons. The suite of modules, which runs on an IBM-compatible personal computer, interfaces with some widely used third-party GIS software, and the mapping facility enables users to export and import images to a number of common file formats.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)620-627
JournalAgronomy Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


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