Spatial Discrete Event Simulation (SpaDES)

Develop and run spatially explicit discrete event simulation models

Easily implement a variety of simulation models, with a focus on spatially explicit models. These include raster-based, event-based, and agent-based models. The core simulation components are built upon a discrete event simulation framework that facilitates modularity, and easily enables the user to include additional functionality by running user-built simulation modules. Included are numerous tools to rapidly visualize raster and other maps. (showing above, a simple example with a mixture of an agent-based model and raster-based process models of vegetation change and fire.)

Getting Started


SpaDES User Group:!forum/spades-users




GitHub Repository:

Canadian Forest Service: Part of CFS adaptation toolkit

Proof of concept:

LandWeb Demonstration App LandWeb Demonstration App

Example Model for R-savvy users LandCoverChange. Copy the linked .Rmd file to your computer. Open it with a text editor (such as Rstudio), run all chunks in R. It is not intended to be knitted; knitting will only output the script.


We will be giving workshops about SpaDES. See here for intro workshops in the fall of 2016. We will be adding more over time.


Building packages from source requires the appropriate development libraries for your operating system (e.g., Windows users should install Rtools).

The suggested package fastshp can be installed with:

install.packages("fastshp", repos="", type="source")

Current stable release Build Status Coverage Status CRAN_Status_Badge Downloads

Install from CRAN:


Install from GitHub:

install_github("PredictiveEcology/SpaDES") # stable

Development version (unstable) Build Status Coverage Status

Install from GitHub:

install_github("PredictiveEcology/SpaDES", ref="development") # unstable

Problems installing from CRAN or GitHub:

Because SpaDES is an integrative package, it imports many R packages. As a result, users may have difficulties installing or updating versions because of the >100 dependencies (direct and indirect) currently in SpaDES. If you are experiencing install difficulties, try shutting down R, starting a vanilla R session or you can try the following from within an active R (or RStudio) session. Before attempting in install SpaDES it detaches every dependency shown in search() (including unstated dependencies in tools:rstudio). Because it detaches ALL packages, you will NEED to restart R.

# install.packages("devtools")
devtools::source_gist("bcf54af7bffab0c619196ba223e88e80", filename = "installSpaDES.R")
installSpaDES(autoRestart = TRUE) # This will restart R session if using RStudio


The above will install the CRAN version. If you need the development version too, then it should work to run the above first, restart, then proceed with the Install from GitHub: above.

Reporting bugs

Contact us via the package GitHub site:

This project is maintained by Eliot McIntire (eliot.mcintire at and Alex Chubaty (alexander.chubaty at

Hosted on GitHub Pages