APACK: an analysis package for rapid calculation of landscape metrics on large scale data sets

General Information

Landscape ecologists rely on landscape metrics to compare landscapes, evaluate temporal changes, and predict landscape pattern effects. Programs that analyze large data sets in an efficient manner are needed. Our objective was to develop a computationally efficient program to calculate landscape metrics. APACK is an analysis package designed to meet these needs. It is a standalone program written in C++ that calculates landscape metrics on raster files. It runs on the Windows 95/98/NT/2000/XP platforms. Data formats supported include ERDAS GIS files and ASCII files. Output data consists of a text file and a spreadsheet readable file that can be further analyzed. APACK can calculate 25 metrics useful for determining landscape characteristics such as basic measures (e.g., area), information theoretic measures (e.g., diversity), shape measures (e.g., fractal dimension), textural measures (e.g., lacunarity), probabilistic measures (e.g., electivity), and structural measures (e.g., connectivity). In tests versus other commonly used analysis packages APACK was able to calculate upon larger maps and was significantly faster. This is in part due to APACK only calculating those metrics specified by the user. APACK fills the need for an analysis package that can easily and efficiently calculate landscape metrics from large raster maps.

For a more detailed overview of APACK and its ability to outperform another commonly used analysis package you can get the comparison in PowerPoint 97 format.

Note that APACK continues to be freely available but is no longer under development. It has been supplanted by IAN. You can get the latest version of APACK along with complete documentation by visiting FLEL's APACK registration page.


Contact Information

For any questions regarding APACK please send email to apack-mail@wisc.edu

Forest Landscape Ecology Lab
Dept. of Forest and Wildlife Ecology
Madison, WI, USA

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