Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New UK land cover map shows habitat distributions in countryside

Date:
July 5, 2011
Source:
Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
Summary:
The UK’s new Land Cover Map was recently completed, providing a continuous coverage of habitat distributions across the countryside at a 25m resolution. The map was developed using a combination of satellite images and national scale digital mapping data.

Land Cover Map laid over a Digital Terrain Model - Lake District.
Credit: Image courtesy of Centre for Ecology and Hydrology

The UK's new Land Cover Map was published July 6, providing a continuous coverage of habitat distributions across the countryside at a 25m resolution. The map was developed using a combination of satellite images and national scale digital mapping data.

Related Articles


The new map is the third in a series produced by the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology on behalf of the long running Countryside Survey partnership. Previous Land Cover Maps were produced in 1990 and 2000.

Land cover was derived from over 70 satellite images collected between 2005 and 2008. The satellite images contain spectral information which corresponds to different ground surfaces and vegetation types in both summer and winter. An automated classification process was used to assign a land cover type based on existing Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) Broad Habitats to approximately 10 million land parcels. The UK BAP Broad Habitats are widely used in monitoring and reporting on our countryside.

Land parcels -- identifying real world objects such as fields, lakes and settlements -- were derived from existing national cartography products, such as the Ordnance Survey's MasterMap Topography Layer in combination with several other sources of spatial data. This use of digital cartography makes it easy to integrate the new map with other datasets opening the door for many new potential applications, as well as improving the ability to monitor future changes in UK land cover.

The new map shows the UK land cover as being composed of mainly 'Arable and Horticulture' and 'Improved Grassland' habitats (25% each), with the other main land covers being 'Semi-natural Grassland' (13%) and 'Mountain, Heath and Bog' (16%). 'Urban areas', 'Coniferous Woodland' and 'Broadleaved Woodland' each make up 6% of the UK. 'Coastal' and 'Freshwater' habitats contribute to the remaining land surface area.

Dr Dan Morton from the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology led the Land Cover Map project. He said, "At a time when our land surface is under increasing pressure, reliable information on land cover is essential. The demands that we place on our land are often conflicting and need to be balanced to maintain and enhance our quality of life. To address these issues and plan for the future we need to know what we have on our land surface and where it is. The new map provides this information and will find many new applications."

Land Cover Map is available in a range of data formats and spatial resolutions to suit different user requirements. The most detailed data is supplied as a vector product with a Minimum Mappable Unit of 0.5ha. Each polygon represents a parcel of land and has attributes describing land cover and metadata detailing how this information was derived. Five raster products simplify the information with a 25x25m product giving the most likely Broad Habitat for each polygon. In addition four freely available products summarise the 25x25m raster at the 1x1km level.

Land Cover Map data can be obtained from the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) under licence for academic, non-commercial and commercial use. Some products, including the 1km data, are available, free of charge for non-commercial use, via the CEH Information Gateway (CIG).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Centre for Ecology and Hydrology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Centre for Ecology and Hydrology. "New UK land cover map shows habitat distributions in countryside." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 July 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110705071533.htm>.
Centre for Ecology and Hydrology. (2011, July 5). New UK land cover map shows habitat distributions in countryside. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110705071533.htm
Centre for Ecology and Hydrology. "New UK land cover map shows habitat distributions in countryside." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110705071533.htm (accessed November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Innovative recycling project in La Paz separates city waste and converts plastic garbage into school furniture made from 'plastiwood'. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers at Northwestern University are repurposing Blu-ray movies for better solar panel technology thanks to the discs' internal structures. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Antarctic Sea Ice Mystery Thickens... Literally

Antarctic Sea Ice Mystery Thickens... Literally

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — Antarctic sea ice isn't only expanding, it's thicker than previously thought, and scientists aren't sure exactly why. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
3D Map of Antarctic Sea Ice to Shed Light on Climate Change

3D Map of Antarctic Sea Ice to Shed Light on Climate Change

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 24, 2014) — A multinational group of scientists have released the first ever detailed, high-resolution 3-D maps of Antarctic sea ice. Using an underwater robot equipped with sonar, the researchers mapped the underside of a massive area of sea ice to gauge the impact of climate change. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins