Elevational and latitudinal shifts will occur in the flora and vegetation of the Rocky Mountains due to climate warming. If we are to specify which species are successfully migrating in tune with these changes, and which are being adversely impacted, a 4-dimensional image-based GIS is required to visualize and animate new ecological regimes imposed by changing temperature and precipitation patterns. Research at TAC aims to develop a new algorithm for a terrain model that includes the spatial, spectral, and temporal domains. It is designed to visualize changes in the Rocky Mountain flora, and to specify the predicted community compositions at any future time. The strategy is to assign unique hue, intensity, and saturation values for each of the nearly 6000 species comprising the flora of the Rockies. Hue is assigned on the basis of elevational zone; intensity on the basis of slope and aspect; and saturation, on the basis of abundance. Polygons for an associated GIS are delineated as landform facets that are expected to be stable in ecological time (i.e., over the next few thousand years). The analysis then assesses the gradual progression of species as they migrate upslope and poleward through these polygons. At any future year over the next several thousand, the modeling process can be stopped to assess both the rate and directions of change, as well as the species composition of each plant community occupying a specific polygon.