This paper aims to emphasize the importance of the calibration process in urban growth modeling studies. The application of cellular automata (CA) in urban modeling can give insights into a wide variety of urban phenomena. The SLEUTH model, being as a well-tested CA, was utilized. Calibration data for the model were acquired from different sources of remotely sensed data recorded in 1967, 1977, 1987, 1998 and 2007. In this context three different excluded maps representing different scenarios were utilized during the calibration process in order to analyze the effects of different policies on urban growth. Each calibration scenario yielded its own parameter values. Thirteen calibration metrics for each scenario were derived. Integrating different exclusion layers to the beginning of the calibration process has reduced the number of possible growth patterns. The overall growth characteristics of Adana were similar for all calibration results and defined as organic growth except for the fact that the spatial allocation and the amount of potential urban pixels were different. (C) 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.