One of the main objectives in developing Path was to have a single integrated environment for simulating State and Transition Simulation Models either spatially or non spatially. For non-spatial models we have completed this goal but for spatially explicit models we are not quite there (yet). Path now has the ability to run the TELSA C++ model as a spatially explicit simulation engine. We have tried to minimize the amount of interaction between the user and the old TELSA user interface but given resource limitations there is still one step that requires the user to interact with the ArcGIS TELSA spatial tools. This requires that the user works with both a Path and a TELSA Database. Here is a brief description of the relationship between the databases:
1. Users now define all definitions and non-spatial model rules in Path
2. At any point in time, users export these definitions to a template TELSA database and use the TELSA Spatial Tools in ArcGIS to import spatial map inputs into this database. This process is generally required only once per landscape.
3. Once the TELSA template with maps has been created the user can store this database and point to it in Path.
4. Whenever a scenario is run from Path as a spatially explicit model, Path creates a copy of the TELSA template database adds additional inputs specific to that scenario and calls the TELSA.exe C++ simulation engine to run that scenario. The non spatial outputs of the simulation are imported automatically to the Path database. The spatial outputs are stored in the copied TELSA database. By default the TELSA “run” database is stored in My Path Files | Scenario.
5. Because spatially explicit outputs are stored in the copied TELSA database, users interact with this database through the ArcGIS TELSA spatial tools in order to view maps of output.