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Open-File Report 2008–1379

Completion of the National Land Cover Database (NLCD) 1992–2001 Land Cover Change Retrofit Product

By J.A. Fry1, M.J. Coan1, C.G. Homer2, D.K. Meyer1, and J.D. Wickham3

1 Stinger Ghaffarian Technologies (SGT), Inc., contractor to the U.S. Geological Survey. Work performed under USGS Contract 08HQCN0005.
2 U.S. Geological Survey.
3 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (2.2 MB)


The Multi-Resolution Land Characteristics Consortium has supported the development of two national digital land cover products: the National Land Cover Dataset (NLCD) 1992 and National Land Cover Database (NLCD) 2001. Substantial differences in imagery, legends, and methods between these two land cover products must be overcome in order to support direct comparison. The NLCD 1992–2001 Land Cover Change Retrofit product was developed to provide more accurate and useful land cover change data than would be possible by direct comparison of NLCD 1992 and NLCD 2001. For the change analysis method to be both national in scale and timely, implementation required production across many Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) and Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) path/rows simultaneously. To meet these requirements, a hybrid change analysis process was developed to incorporate both post-classification comparison and specialized ratio differencing change analysis techniques.

At a resolution of 30 meters, the completed NLCD 1992–2001 Land Cover Change Retrofit product contains unchanged pixels from the NLCD 2001 land cover dataset that have been cross-walked to a modified Anderson Level I class code, and changed pixels labeled with a "from-to" class code. Analysis of the results for the conterminous United States indicated that about 3 percent of the land cover dataset changed between 1992 and 2001.

Revised March 2, 2009

First posted February 24, 2009

For additional information contact:
U.S. Geological Survey Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
(605) 594-6151

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Suggested citation:

Fry, J.A., Coan, M.J., Homer, C.G., Meyer, D.K., and Wickham, J.D., 2009, Completion of the National Land Cover Database (NLCD) 1992–2001 Land Cover Change Retrofit product: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2008–1379, 18 p.








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