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NetLogo and GIS: A Powerful Combination

8 pagesPublished: March 13, 2019


NetLogo is a popular agent-based modeling system for good reason. It is relatively easy to learn; it allows an intuitive user interface to be built with predefined objects, such as buttons, sliders, and monitors; and available documentation is extensive, both on the NetLogo Website and in public forums. The Geographic Information Systems (GIS) extension for NetLogo allows real-world geographic or demographic data to be incorporated into NetLogo projects. When GIS is combined with NetLogo, simulations can be transformed from a basic representation to one that accurately replicates the characteristics of a map or population. This paper describes the necessary steps for incorporating GIS within a NetLogo project and the primitive commands used for associating shape properties to NetLogo patches. A practical example is included that demonstrates how to import a map of Texas into a NetLogo project and use the vector data in conjunction with NetLogo patches to randomly color each county.

Keyphrases: ABS, agent-based modeling, GIS, NetLogo

In: Gordon Lee and Ying Jin (editors). Proceedings of 34th International Conference on Computers and Their Applications, vol 58, pages 257--264

BibTeX entry
  author    = {Broday Walker and Tina Johnson},
  title     = {NetLogo and GIS:  A Powerful Combination},
  booktitle = {Proceedings of 34th International Conference on Computers and Their Applications},
  editor    = {Gordon Lee and Ying Jin},
  series    = {EPiC Series in Computing},
  volume    = {58},
  pages     = {257--264},
  year      = {2019},
  publisher = {EasyChair},
  bibsource = {EasyChair,},
  issn      = {2398-7340},
  url       = {},
  doi       = {10.29007/w8gh}}
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