Geovisualizing, representing, analyzing, modeling, and simulating

Complex Human-Environment Systems (CHES)

for improved envisioning, understanding, and planning




The Complex Human-Environment Systems (CHES) Center

The Complex Human-Environment Systems (CHES) Center, an official research center jointly sponsored by San Diego State University (USA) and Peking University (China), aims to achieve better CHES understanding, envisioning, planning, and policy for improved sustainability, justice, and equality. We view human-environment systems as complex systems, which are often characterized by a variety of complexity features such as high dimensionality, hierarchical structure, heterogeneity, nonlinearity, feedback, path dependence, emergence, and multi-finality. Complexity theory, landscape ecology, geographic information science, cyberinfrastructure theory and technology, (big) data science, and other relevant domain knowledge (e.g., sociology, demography, economics) leverage theoretical and methodological support toward our CHES research. We also aim to advance the theory, methodology, and applications in these disciplines. Our CHES research is currently applied to the following exemplar areas:

  • Revealing space-time dynamics & mechanisms of complex human-environment systems

  • Seeking deep insight into human decisions, behaviors, and their consequences on various CHES

  • Exploring the impact of socio-environmental context on changes in biodiversity, ecosystem services, and human health

  • Performing hazard-disaster analysis for improved planning, management, and recovery

  • Developing and advancing geospatial analytics (e.g., methods, tools, platforms)

  • Understanding the past, present, and future of landscapes and dwellers (e.g., people, animals) on them

  • Establishing and maintaining various CHES research, education, and outreach networks

To handle CHES with such complexity features, we are developing a digital, high performance (e.g., big data friendly, parallel/clouds computing enabled, web-based), and 4-D holographic methodology for landscape representation, interdisciplinary and inter-scale integration, and systems modeling. Our CHES methodology focuses on digital representation, geovisualization and representation, animation, space-time analysis, micro-level modeling, and 4-dimensional (x, y, z, time) simulation of various landscape and human processes. Below are a few exemplar models, demos, or movies (note: for test purpose only; the final versions will come up soon).

A Web-based model                                        A Street Pedestrian Demo

The CHES Center is based on the previous CHES Group. Contact us at
The most recent update: April 21, 2019.