Land Use/Land Cover Classification Systems



The final objective of a geomatics process concerning Earth observation is the production of thematic maps. How to obtain thematic results is described in Chapter 8. With the use of informatics instruments, the possibilities to produce thematic maps are extensive. The problem is the quality and the assessment of the reliability of these maps. Few rules are fixed in image classification, and one of the most important concerns legend definition. Due to the large variability of possible terrestrial classes in the world, each map producer organizes its own legend independently. The absence of a recognized common methodology is conducive to the production of a very large variety of thematic maps. The queen of the thematic maps is the land use/land cover map. But also the definition of land use and land cover introduces misunderstanding.

Further Reading

  1. Anderson J.R., Hardy E.E., Roach J.T., 1972, A land-use classification system for use with remote sensor data. US Geological Survey Circular 671, Washington DC, USA, p. 16.Google Scholar
  2. Di Gregorio A., Jansen L.J.M., 2000, Land Cover Classification System (LCCS). Classification Concepts and User Manual. Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), Rome, Italy, pp. 80+99 of appendices.Google Scholar
  3. Heymann Y., Steenmans Ch., Croissille G., Bossard M., 1994, CORINE Land Cover. Technical Guide. Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, EUR12585 EN, Luxembourg, p. 137.Google Scholar
  4. Lambin E.F., Baulies X., Bockstael N., Fischer G., Krug Leemans T.R., Moran E.F., Rindfuss R.R., Sato Y., Skole D., Turner B.L. II, Vogel C. 1999, Land-Use and Land-Cover Change (LUCC). Implementation Strategy (IGBP Report 48, IHDP Report 10). IGBP and IHDP Secretariats, Stockholm, Bonn, p. 125.Google Scholar


  1. Alberts J., Tauch R., 1994, Mapping from space - cartographic applications of satellite image data. GeoJournal, 32(l): 29–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Belward A.S., 1996, The IGBP-DIS Global 1-Km Land Cover Data Set (DISCover): Proposal and Implementation Plans Toulouse, France, A.S. Belward (Ed.) IGBP-DIS, Toulouse, Fran Working Paper No. 13, p. 61.Google Scholar
  3. Belward A.S., Estes J.E, Kline K.D., 1999, The IGDB-DIS global 1 km land cover data set DISCover: a project overview. Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing, 65(9): 1013–1020.Google Scholar
  4. Bossard M., Feranec J., Otahel J., 2000, CORINE land cover-technical guide – Addendum 2000, European Environment Agency, Technical report n. 40.Google Scholar
  5. Büttner G. et al., 1998, The European CORINE Land Cover Database, ISPRS Commission VII Symposium, Budapest, September 1–4, 1998, Proceedings, pp. 633–638.Google Scholar
  6. Chodota M.W.L., 1996, The FAO Africover Project and a Possibility of a Unified Geodetic Datum for Africa (UGDA). Presented at the Ninth United Nations Cartographic Conference for Africa. United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. ECA/NRD/CART.9/ORG.3O Add.1, p. 8.Google Scholar
  7. Cihlar J., 2000, Land cover mapping of large areas from satellites: status and research priorities. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 21(6&7): 1093–1114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Di Gregorio A., 1991, Technical Report on Land Cover Mapping of Lebanon. FAO project document. Project NECP/LEB/001/SAU. Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), Rome, Italy.Google Scholar
  9. Di Gregorio A., Jansen L.J.M., 1996, Africover Land Cover Classification. FAO Working Paper for the Dakar Meeting of Africover Working Group on Legend and Classification. Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO). Rome, Italy, pp. 25+27 of appendices.Google Scholar
  10. Di Gregorio A., Jansen L.J.M., 1996, The Africover Land Cover Classification Scheme: A Dichotomous, Modular-Hierarchical Approach. Working Paper with the Proposal for the International Working Group Meeting, 29–31 July, Dakar.Google Scholar
  11. Ehlers M., 1995, The Promise of Remote Sensing for Land Cover Monitoring and Modeling, Joint European Conference and Exhibition on Geographical Information. The Hague, The Netherlands, 2, pp. 426–432.Google Scholar
  12. European Environmental Agency, 2002, European Topic Center-Terrestrial Environment. CORINE Land Cover Update I&CLC2000 Project. Technical Guidelines.Google Scholar
  13. European Environment Agency, 2006, The thematic accuracy of Corine Land Cover 2000 Assessment using LUCAS. EEA Technical Report No. 7/2006, ISSN 1725-2237.Google Scholar
  14. European Environment Agency, 2007, Corine Land Cover 2000 (CLC2000) 100 m - version 9/2007.Google Scholar
  15. EUROSTAT, 1999, Land Cover and Land Use Information Systems for European Union Policy Needs. Seminar Proceedings, Luxembourg. EUROSTAT, Studies and Research, Theme 5, p. 193.Google Scholar
  16. FAO, 1994, Africover. Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO). Project Document. FAO Remote Sensing Centre, Rome, Italy, p. 142.Google Scholar
  17. FAO, 1997, Africover Land Cover Classification, Remote Sensing Centre Series, n.70, FAO, Rome.Google Scholar
  18. FAO/UNEP/IAO/USAID, 2002, Proceedings of the FAO/UNEP Expert Consultation on Strategies for Global Land Cover. Mapping and Monitoring. Artimino, Florence, Italy, 6–8 May 2002.Google Scholar
  19. Feranec J., Otahel J., Pravda J., 1995, Proposal for a Methodology and Nomenclature Scale 1:50,000 CORINE Land Cover Project, Final Report, Institute of Geography, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava.Google Scholar
  20. Grossman D.H., Faber-Langendoen D., Weakley A.W., Anderson M., Bourgeron P., Crawford R., Goodin K., Landaal S., Metsler K., Patterson K.D., Pyne M., Reid M., Sneddon L., 1998, International Classification of Ecological Communities: Terrestrial Vegetation of the Unifed States, Vol. 1, The National Vegetation Classification System: Development, Status and Application. The Nature Conservancy, Arlington, Virginia, USA, p. 126.Google Scholar
  21. Iliffe J., 1994, Africover - Geodesy and Map Projections. Unpublished FAO Background Paper for the Technical and Donor Consultations on the Africover Project, 4–11 July, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.Google Scholar
  22. Kalensky S.D., 1998, Africover land cover database and map of Africa. Canadian Journal of Remote Sensing, 24(3): 292–297.Google Scholar
  23. Kalensky S.D., Cumani R., 2000, Use of Advanced Geo-Information Technologies in Land Use Planning and Management. Presented at the Geomatics Conference, Montreal, Canada, p. 12.Google Scholar
  24. Kalensky S.D., Latham J.S., 1998, The Establishment of Environmental Information Systems (EIS) in developing countries. Geomatica, 52(4): 474–480.Google Scholar
  25. Lambin E.F., Baulies X., Bockstael N., Fischer G., Krug T., Leemans R., Moran E.F., Latham J.S., He C., Alinovi L., Di Gregorio A., Kalensky S.D., 2002, FAO Methodologies for Land Cover Classification and Mapping. Chapter of the book: Remote Sensing and GIS Applications for Linking People, Place and Policy, S.J. Walsh and K.A. Crews-Meyer (Eds.) Kluwer Academic Publishers, Boston, USA.Google Scholar
  26. Loveland T., Yasuoka Y., Burgan B., Chen J., Defries R., Lund H.G., Lynham T., Mayaux P., Gregoire J.-M., 1998, GOLD-3: Global Observations of Forest Cover: Coarse resolution Product Design Strategy workshop report, Sioux Falls, USA, July.Google Scholar
  27. Rindfuss R.R., Sat Y., Skole D., Turner II B.L., Vogel C., 1999, Land Use Cover Change Implementation Strategy. IGBP Report N.48, IHDP Report: 10, Stockholm, International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme Secretariat.Google Scholar
  28. Palko S., St-Laurent L., Huffman T., Unrau E., 1996, The Canada Vegetation and Land Cover: A Raster and Vector Data Set for GIS Applications – Uses in Agriculture. Published in GIS Applications in Natural Resources 2. M. Heit, H.D. Parker and A. Shortreid, Eds. GIS World Inc. Fort Collins, Colorado, USA, pp. 185–191.Google Scholar
  29. Skole D.L., Salas W.A., Taylor V., 1998, GOLD-4: Global Observation of Forest Cover: Fine Resolution Data and Product Design Strategy Workshop Report, Paris, France, 23–25 September.Google Scholar
  30. Thompson M., 1996, A standard land-cover classification scheme for remote sensing applications in South Africa. South African Journal of Science, 92(1): 34–42.Google Scholar
  31. UNEP 1993, Vegetation Classification. Report of the UNEP-HEM/WCMC/GCTE Preparatory Meeting, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA. GEMS Report Series Publication, 19, p. 21.Google Scholar
  32. Vogelmann J.E., Sohl T.L., Campbell P.E., Shaw D.M., 1998, Regional land cover characterisation using Landsat thematic mapper data and ancillary data sources. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 51: 415–428.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Vogelmann J. et al., 2001, Completion of the 1990 s national land cover data set for the conterminous United States from Landsat thematic mapper data and ancillary data sources. Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing, 67: 650–652.Google Scholar
  34. Young A., 1994, Towards International Classifi cation Systems for Land Use and Land Cover, UNEP/FAO Report of the Export Meeting on Harmonising Land Cover And Land Use Classifications, Geneva, 23–25 November, GEMS Report Series 25, UNEP, Nairobi, Kenya, p. 45.Google Scholar
  35. Wyatt B.K. et al., 1997, Guidelines for Land Use and Land Cover Description and Classifi cation. Draft Final Report. ITE Huntingdon/ITC Enschede/WCMC Cambridge/UNDP Nairobi, p. 134.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Research Council of ItalyInstitute for the Electromagnetic Sensing of the EnvironmentMilanoItaly

Personalised recommendations