Software for environmental modelling


  • Is a collection of software targeted at the development and deployment of spatio-temporal environmental models.

  • Executes models very fast.

  • Contains a scripting model development environment: it allows users to develop their own simulation models. Scripting languages supported include PCRcalc and Python

  • Is mainly applied in environmental modelling: geography, hydrology, ecology to name a few. But also other models can be constructed. Examples include rainfall-runoff models, vegetation competition models and slope stability models.

  • Includes a rich set of model building blocks and analytical functions for manipulating raster GIS maps.

  • Includes a framework for construction of stochastic spatio-temporal models and data assimilation.

  • Includes a tool for interactive visualisation of spatio-temporal stochastic data.

  • Is free and open source software (GPLv3, as of PCRaster version 4).

  • Runs on Linux, macOS and Windows and can easily be installed with Conda.

  • Comes with extensive documentation.

PCRaster is not developed to be a full-blown raster GIS. It lacks functionality for digitising, plotting and other typical GIS tasks. Although PCRaster can be used as a stand-alone package, we recommend to use it in combination with raster GIS. The GDAL libraries allow for converting raster maps between the various platforms.