Not only can you develop and analyze different land use scenarios in UrbanFootprint, you can also test different configurations of assumptions (also called analysis inputs or parameters).

Every UrbanFootprint analysis module comes pre-loaded with a set of default assumptions. The default assumptions are regionally-specific (where inputs exhibit regional variation and where regionally-specific inputs are available). You can run a scenario with the default  assumptions or you can change the assumptions based on  your own data sources. You can use the same assumptions across scenarios, relying on land use alone to produce variation for comparative analysis. You can also test different analysis assumption configurations, which can model trends (e.g. increased adoption of electric vehicles) or policy packages (e.g. increased energy efficiency standards). 

Each module includes a link to  the methodology (technical documentation) for each module, which includes the source for default input assumptions for each project area. 

This article walks you through the nuts-and-bolts of the analysis modules manager and the parameters editor. 

Interface overview

To enter the analysis inputs manager, click on Manage in the left-hand navigation bar. Then, click on the Analysis Modules tab. On the left hand side, you will see the list of available modules for your project area, which you can use to navigate between modules. 

The manager includes:

  • Modules list: Navigate between modules in the manager.
  • Description: Each module includes a brief description. For more detail, see the Module Guide and Methodology documents.
  • Module dependencies: If the module depends on outputs from another UrbanFootprint module, there will be links to the modules. You can navigate to those modules to change parameters that impact outputs used by the current module.
  • Module guide: Link to a guide for each module that covers how it works, inputs, and outputs. It also includes steps for using the module and tips for understanding results.
  • Export: Button to export the current parameters for the module in Excel format.
  • Parameters editor: View and modify analysis module parameters. 

Open the manager from the analysis pane in explore

You can edit the analysis modules manager directly from the analysis pane in EXPLORE. Simply click the pencil icon to open the parameter editor for the given module. Unlike in EXPLORE, in the manager you can view all scenarios side-by-side. 

Modules list

All the modules available in your project area appear in the modules list. Use this list to navigate between each module. The list also includes the aggregated status for all scenarios, displayed in order of priority. The status indicators are (in  order from highest to lowest priority): 

  • Analysis running for x scenarios
  • Analysis out of date for x scenarios
  • Analysis complete for x scenarios
  • Not run for any scenarios

Parameters editor 

In this section, learn how to use the parameters editor. There are four main ways to use the analysis parameters editor for comparative analysis:

  • Vary land use only. Use identical assumptions for analysis and compare the effects of different land use patterns alone.
  • Vary assumptions only. Duplicate a scenario so that land use is identical and vary analysis assumptions to analyze the impacts of different trends or policy packages.
  • Vary both land use and assumptions. For each scenario, analyze the impacts of different land use patterns and different assumptions at the same time.
  • Mix of all the above. Analyze the impacts of land use and different trends/policies, but control for both. One way to achieve this would be to develop your land use scenarios, then duplicate each of the land use scenarios and modify the analysis parameters to reflect the trend/policy package you want to test.

The editor includes:

  • Category: Each set of parameters is grouped into a table (e.g. “Residential Building Electricity Use Rates”). 
  • Parameters: Each module parameter (input/assumption) is a row in the table, with its name on the left. 
  • Units: listed to the right of each parameter name.
  • Scenarios: All scenarios in the projects have a column in the parameter tables. 
  • Editable values: Each value has a cell - editing it changes the value for the given parameter and scenario. 

Hover to see more information

Descriptions and additional information are embedded throughout the parameters editor - just hover your cursor over these interface elements to see more information.

Hover over the table title to see a brief description of each parameter category. 

Hover over each parameter name to see a definition of each parameter. 

Hover over units to see what the abbreviation means.

Hover over values to see all decimals.


Editing parameters is similar to editing a spreadsheet. To edit a value, double-click to enter the cell. 


  • Black text: Parameter value is the default value
  • Blue text: Parameter value has been modified from the default and saved
  • Blue text with blue dot: Parameter value has been modified from the default, but not saved yet

Batch edit parameter values, duplicate a scenario

Each scenario column includes a context menu with several functions:

  • Copy values from another scenario: Select which scenario you want to copy values from. 
  • Reset to defaults: Restore UrbanFootprint’s regionally-specific default values for this scenario. Once you do this, you cannot recall the previous values you had specified (no undo is possible).
  • Duplicate scenario: Create a copy of the scenario to test alternative assumptions (you can also duplicate scenarios in explore by clicking on a scenario tab’s context menu) 

Saving edits

If there are unsaved edits, the SAVE and DISCARD buttons will be enabled. Click SAVE to persist your edits or DISCARD to remove edits you made since you last saved.

When there are no unsaved edits, the SAVE and DISCARD buttons are disabled.

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