Personal profile

Personal information

Eric Koomen is associate professor at the Department of Spatial Economics of the VU University Amsterdam in the Netherlands. His research interests include land-use change analysis, spatial modelling and policy support. In the past 15 years he managed many research projects related to these topics in the Netherlands and abroad. Eric has edited or co-authored three books and published numerous papers in scientific and applied journals and books. He teaches courses on 'Land-use change' and 'Imaging and Assessing Landscapes' in the Earth sciences and Economics programme. In addition he is tutor for 'GIS and Environmental Impact Assessment' in the UNIGIS MSc programme and coordinator of the 'Urban Environment Lab' at Amsterdam University Collega. Furthermore, he is a regular supervisor of BSc and MSc theses and co-supervisor of several PhD candidates.

Eric graduated in Physical Geography and got his first working experience with GIS at the nature conservation section of a water company. Subsequently he worked as a GIS-adviser at the Dutch Ministry of Transport and Water Management where he focussed on the use of GIS for environmental impact assessment. He managed projects for impact assessment, data collection and data construction. His work also involved the adaptation and construction of GIS-tools. In the past few years Eric worked part-time at the Geodan Next Company where he managed projects for regional authorities that inform planners about likely spatial developments, their potential impacts and possible policy alternatives.

He is editorial board member of: Computers, Environment and Urban Systems (since 2015) and Applied Spatial Analysis and Policy (since 2017).


Spatial data analysis; land-use change analysis and modelling; policy support.


  • ‘Land-use change’ and ‘Imaging and Assessing landscapes’ in the Earth and Economics programme at VU University Amsterdam.
  • ‘Urban environment lab’ at Amsterdam University College.
  • ‘GIS and Environmental Impact Assessment’ in the postgraduate UNIGIS-course (UNIGIS website).
  • Supervisor of BSc and MSc theses (overview of theses supervised in our group).
  • Co-supervisor of PhD research on: the interrelationships between accessibility and land-use change; understanding and simulating agricultural land-use patterns; analysing and modelling urban development; and more.
  • Curriculum development for Geographic Information Science Education in Europe and South Asia (Intergis project).

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Research Output 1993 2018

Analysing and simulating urban density: Exploring the difference between policy ambitions and actual trends in the Netherlands

Koomen, E., Dekkers, J. E. C. & Broitman, D. Jan 2018 Spatial Analysis and Location Modeling in Urban and Regional Systems. Thill, J. C. (ed.). Berlin/Heidelberg: Springer, p. 145-171 27 p. (Advances in Geographic Information Science Series)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Assessing the impact of road development on household welfare in rural Papua New Guinea

Edmonds, C., Wiegand, M., Koomen, E., Pradhan, M. P. & Andree, B. P. J. Jan 2018 Financing Infrastructure in Asia and the Pacific: Capturing Impacts and New Sources. Yoshino, N., Helble, M. & Abidhadjaev, U. (eds.). Tokyo: Asian Development Bank Institute, p. 189 235 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Open Access

Lessons and challenges in land change modeling derived from synthesis of cross-case comparisons

Pontius Jr., R. G., Castella, J. C., de Nijs, T., Duan, Z., Fotsing, E., Goldstein, N., Kok, K., Koomen, E., Lippitt, C. D., McConnel, W., Mohd Sood, A., Pijanowski, B. C., Verburg, P. H. & Veldkamp, A. T. 2018 Trends in spatial analysis and modelling. Behnisch, M. & Meine, G. (eds.). Cham: Springer International Publishing AG, p. 143-164 (Geotechnologies and the Environment; vol. 19)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Simulating past land use patterns: The impact of the Romans on the Lower-Rhine delta in the first century AD

de Kleijn, M., Beijaard, F., Koomen, E. & van Lanen, R. 1 Aug 2018 In : Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports. 20, p. 244-256

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle