Land Cover Mapping


In order to effectively plan and manage for retention of biological diversity on a regional or national scale, natural resource agencies need a method for characterizing and monitoring land cover and how it changes over time. The Gap Analysis Project of the USGS-BRD has been involved in mapping land cover in each of the 50 states and Puerto Rico in order to serve that need. In the Southeastern U.S., each of the state based projects with the exception of Alabama have completed a land cover map.

While the state-based products served local and state data needs and provided flexibility necessary to encourage state partnerships, a regional approach is being adopted in order to improve consistency across the region.

Several products were developed as a result of regional landcover mapping:

  1. General NLCD Land Cover using the protocol as outlined for the National Land Cover Dataset 2001 for seven mapping zones.
  2. Detailed GAP Land Cover based on Ecological Systems for thirteen mapping zones.
  3. A digital library of aerial photographs for the Southeastern U.S. with a stratified sample based on mapping zones.
  4. Percent impervious surface dataset for the Southeastern U.S.
  5. Percent canopy cover dataset for the Southeastern U.S.

Land Cover data is now available from our Geo-Data Server and can be viewed in our Online Tool.