Tree Cover Mapping Tool—Documentation and user manual

Open-File Report 2016-1067
By:  and 



The Tree Cover Mapping (TCM) tool was developed by scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey Earth Resources Observation and Science Center to allow a user to quickly map tree cover density over large areas using visual interpretation of high resolution imagery within a geographic information system interface. The TCM tool uses a systematic sample grid to produce maps of tree cover. The TCM tool allows the user to define sampling parameters to estimate tree cover within each sample unit. This mapping method generated the first on-farm tree cover maps of vast regions of Niger and Burkina Faso. The approach contributes to implementing integrated landscape management to scale up re-greening and restore degraded land in the drylands of Africa. The TCM tool is easy to operate, practical, and can be adapted to many other applications such as crop mapping, settlements mapping, or other features. This user manual provides step-by-step instructions for installing and using the tool, and creating tree cover maps. Familiarity with ArcMap tools and concepts is helpful for using the tool.

Suggested Citation

Cotillon, Suzanne, and Mathis, Melissa, 2016, Tree cover mapping tool—documentation and user manual (ver. 1.0, March 2016): U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2016–1067, 11 p.,

ISSN: 2331-1258 (online)

Table of Contents

  • Abstract
  • Disclaimer
  • Introduction
  • Overview
  • Software Requirements
  • Installation
  • Tool Requirements
  • How to Use the Tool
  • From the Sample Grid to the Tree Cover Map
  • Application Examples
  • FAQ—Troubleshooting
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Tree Cover Mapping Tool—Documentation and user manual
Series title Open-File Report
Series number 2016-1067
DOI 10.3133/ofr20161067
Year Published 2016
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center
Description v, 11 p.
First page 1
Last page 11
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details