Land Change Monitoring, Assessment, and Projection (LCMAP)

The U.S. Geological Survey’s Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center is working on releasing the Land Change Monitoring, Assessment, and Projection (LCMAP) by early 2020. USGS scientist Jesslyn Brown and her team are working on building this new generation of land cover mapping and change monitoring. LCMAP will supposedly answer a need for higher quality results at greater frequency with additional land cover and change variables than previous efforts.

LCMAP offers a suite of 10 annual data products that depict land cover and spectral change in the conterminous United States. LCMAP uses Landsat Analysis Ready Data (ARD), which provides access to seamless, pixel-based, orthorectified time series data processed to both top of atmosphere and surface reflectance measurements, significantly reducing the magnitude of data processing for LCMAP users. The LCMAP initiative coupled with this Landsat archive modernization effort is the foundation that will help transform the USGS land cover legacy to a world leader in monitoring, assessing, and forecasting land cover and land cover change. Read more about LCMAP here:

This image shows the impact of tornadoes that struck the Tuscaloosa and Birmingham, Alabama area on April 27, 2011, as captured by USGS LCMAP’s Landcover Change product. Image downloaded from LCMAP website.

The objectives of LCMAP are to:

  1. Provide a geospatial land cover and land change record that is reliable and independently validated as scientifically accurate.
  2. Produce maps and statistics explaining how U.S. land cover is changing over time.
  3. Contribute to understanding why the changes are occurring and what their consequences are.

LCMAP characterizes historical and near real time land change at any location across the entire Landsat record and this is possible using an innovative algorithm called Continuous Change Detection and Classification (CCDC) developed at the Center for Remote Sensing, Department of Geography and Environment, Boston University. The CCDC algorithm uses all cloud free pixel observations in a time series of Landsat ARD to detect change on the landscape based on the spectral and temporal properties of the land cover observed. The algorithm further classifies a pixel to identify what land cover types were observed before and after a detected land cover change. This revolutionary continuous mapping approach provides definitive information on how the planet is changing, why it’s changing and where it’s changing, to help support evaluations and decisions relevant to environmental management and policy.

The first LCMAP product suite will be released in early 2020, with annual releases to follow. Version 1 products cover calendar years 1985-2017 at 30-meter resolution. Learn more about LCMAP here:

The LCMAP will have the following 5 LAND COVER PRODUCTS and 5 SPECTRAL CHANGE PRODUCTS .

LAND COVER PRODUCTS

1. Primary Land Cover Description: Land cover classification consisting of nine general land cover types. Note: Classes are Developed, Cropland, Tree Cover, Grass/Shrub, Wetland, Water, Ice/Snow, Barren.

2. Secondary Land Cover Description: Land cover classification consisting of nine general land cover types. Note: Alternative cover with the second-highest algorithmic probability. Same classes as primary land cover.

3. Primary Land Cover Confidence Description: A measure of confidence in the primary land cover class designation. Note: Measure from 0 to 100; higher values imply higher levels of confidence.

4. Secondary Land Cover Confidence Description: A measure of confidence in the secondary land cover class designation. Note: Measure from 0 to 100; higher values imply higher levels of confidence.

5. Annual Land Cover Change Description: Indictor of thematic land cover change that has occurred from the prior year to the current year (in other words, From: To land cover). Note: Categories that indicate two land cover states, the prior year land cover and the current year land cover.

SPECTRAL CHANGE PRODUCTS.

1. Time of Spectral Change Description: The day that a spectral change was detected for a given year. Note: Provides data indicating the location and timing of spectral breaks.

2. Change Magnitude Description: A measure of the spectral magnitude of the change found within a given year. Note: Higher values may indicate different types of change.

3. Time Since Last Change Description: The cumulative number of days since the last spectral change occurred as of July 1 of the given year Note: Provides an indication of how long a location has been in its current state.

4. Spectral Stability Period Description: A measure of the amount of time in days that a pixel has been spectrally stable. Note: Provides information of the frequency of land surface change.

5. Model quality Description: Characterization of time series model quality as it relates to model input data and model fit. Note: Provides a spatial measure for interpreting LCMAP product results.

The LCMAP sample data can be downloaded from the USGS EROS Website:

Contact U.S. Geological Survey’s Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center or Jesslyn Brown for up-to-date information about LCMAP.


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2 thoughts on “Land Change Monitoring, Assessment, and Projection (LCMAP)”

  1. Abubakar Hammantukur

    Interested on Landuse and landcover changes detection and monitoring using GIS tools for analysis

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