Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 39, Issue 1–3, pp 385–398 | Cite as

Linking satellite and field survey data, through the use of gis, as implemented in Great Britain in the Countryside Survey 1990 project

  • Morna K. Gillespie
  • D. C. Howard
  • M. J. Ness
  • R. M. Fuller
Global to Local Modelling


The Institute of Terrestrial Ecology (ITE) has been studying land use and the effects of land use on ecology for two decades. A series of national field surveys have been undertaken by the Land Use Section of ITE since 1978, the most recent being Countryside Survey 1990 (CS1990). The three-year project brought together field survey and remote sensing data which were analyzed using Geographical Information Systems (GIS). National and regional land-cover patterns were described and changes estimated.

The data collected by the field survey part of CS1990 recorded stratified samples based on a land classification. Thematic maps for surveyed 1-km squares covered physiography, agriculture and semi-natural vegetation, forestry, structures and boundaries. The same sites were surveyed in 1984 and 1990 with 14 000 digital maps produced describing both years. GIS was used to generate stock figures for each year, and overlay allowed change between survey dates to be estimated.

GIS was used to compare data collected from both field survey and satellite imagery so that both sets of information could be qualified when expressed as national figures.

This paper describes the historical development of the ITE Land Classification, examines the way in which data were collected for surveys, with particular reference to Countryside Survey 1990, and shows how satellite and field survey data can be linked through GIS.


Geographical Information System Historical Development Geographical Information System Field Survey Stratify Sample 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Morna K. Gillespie
    • 1
  • D. C. Howard
    • 1
  • M. J. Ness
    • 1
  • R. M. Fuller
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Terrestrial EcologyMerlewood Research StationGrange-over-SandsUnited Kingdom
  2. 2.Institute of Terrestrial EcologyAbbots RiptonUnited Kingdom

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