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NYS ITS GIS Program Office

Geographic Information Systems Clearinghouse

Land Use and Land Cover Work Group

Chair: Currently Vacant



Future TBA

2005-2006 (Zip File 27kb)

2003-2004 (Zip File 22kb)


Related Information


Mission Statement

The Land Use and Land Cover Work Group, a work group of the New York State GIS Coordinating Body, encourages, facilitates, coordinates and promotes the identification, research, development, effective use and sharing of both Land Use and Land Cover data in New York State.

A Land Use and Land Cover (LULC) Study Group was convened in the summer of 2002, as a subgroup of the NYS GIS Standards and Data Coordination (S/DC) Work Group. The purpose of this subgroup was to explore potential for coordination of Land Use and Land Cover (LULC) activities within New York State. The Land Use and Land Cover report represents a summary of the findings of that group; the primary recommendation is that a Land Use and Land Cover Work Group be established under the auspices of the NYS GIS Coordinating Body to receive direction from and advise the Coordinating Body on matters concerning LULC in NYS and the region. Establishing a LULC Work Group can assist in promoting and coordinating LULC mapping, management and modeling efforts within the state. This can result in better LULC information for national, state, private and research agencies across New York State at greatly reduced costs in efforts, data and program resources.

Land Use/Land Cover Definition

The terms land use and land cover are often used interchangeably, but each term has its own unique meaning. Land cover - refers to the characteristics and surface cover of Earth’s surface, as represented by vegetation, water, bare earth, impervious surfaces, and other physical features of the land. Identification of land cover establishes the baseline information for activities like thematic mapping and change detection analysis. Land use - refers to the activity, economic purpose, intended use, and/or management strategy placed on the land cover type(s) by human agents or land managers. Changes in intent or management practice likewise constitute land use change. When used together the phrase Land Use/Land Cover generally refers to the categorization or classification of human activities and natural elements on the landscape within a specific time frame based on established scientific and statistical methods of analysis of appropriate source materials.

For information on meeting minutes, please click on the previous meetings date above.