Historical land-use and land-cover data, available from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) for the conterminous United States and Hawaii, have been enhanced for use in geographic information systems (GIS) applications. The original digital data sets were created by the USGS in the late 1970s and early 1980s and were later converted by USGS and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) to a geographic information system (GIS) format in the early 1990s. These data were made available on USEPA's Web site since the early 1990s and have been used for many national applications, despite minor coding and topological errors. During the 1990s, a group of USGS researchers made modifications to the data set for use in the National Water-Quality Assessment Program. These edited files have been further modified to create a more accurate, topologically clean, and seamless national data set. Several different methods, including custom editing software and several batch processes, were applied to create this enhanced version of the national data set. The data sets are included in this report in the commonly used shapefile and Tagged Image Format File (TIFF) formats. In addition, this report includes two polygon data sets (in shapefile format) representing (1) land-use and land-cover source documentation extracted from the previously published USGS data files, and (2) the extent of each polygon data file.
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USGS Numbered Series
Enhanced Historical Land-Use and Land-Cover Data Sets of the U.S. Geological Survey