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Since 1974, the U.S. Geological Survey has been engaged in a nationwide program of baseline mapping of land use and land cover and associated data at a scale of 1:250,000. As l:100,000-scale bases have become available, they have been used for mapping certain areas and for special applications. These two scales are appropriate for mapping land use and land cover data on a nationwide basis within a practical time frame, and with an acceptable degree of standardization, accuracy, and level of detail. An essential requisite to better use of the land is current information on land use and land cover conditions and on the rates and trends of changes with time. Thus, plans are underway to update these maps and data. The major considerations in planning a nationwide program for updating U.S. Geological Survey land use and land cover maps are as follows: (1) How often should maps be updated? (2) What remotely sensed source materials should be used for detecting and compiling changes in land use and land cover? (3) What base maps should be used for presenting data on land use and land cover changes? (4) What maps or portions of a map should be updated? (5) What methods should be used for identifying and mapping changes? (6) What procedures should be followed for updating maps and what formats should be used? These factors must be considered in developing a map update program that portrays an appropriate level of information, relates to and builds upon the existing U.S. Geological Survey land use and land cover digital and statistical data base, is timely, cost-effective and standardized, and meets the varying needs of land use and land cover data users.
Additional Publication Details
USGS Numbered Series
A review and evaluation of alternatives for updating U.S. Geological Survey land use and land cover maps