LUC classification schemes

Standardization is one of the most discussed issues in LUC classification studies, and scientist and map developers were aware that using a common classification schemes might be more comparable and available. The first standardization works started in USA. Today there are several LUC schemes on the world according to region and scale. This chapter will discuss three largely used schemes; i) USGS (US geological survey) Anderson, ii) CORINE (Coordination of information on the environment) and iii) EUNIS (European Nature Information System) habitat schemes.

2.1 USGS Anderson classification schemes

This classification scheme was utilized within large number of models in the context of land physical dynamics and natural risk assessment. USGS classification scheme is based on James Anderson’s system. This scheme is included nine main categories and four different levels (Anderson et al., 1976).

Level I is suitable for 1/250.000 – 1/150.000 scale imags like MODIS and Envisat MERIS. Level II is useful for higher spatial resolution satellite sensor images with a scale of 1:80,000. Level III is suitable for 1:20,000 to 1/80,000 scale images such as, Landsat 4-7 . Level IV is the most useful for images at scales larger than 1:20,000 (Ikonos, Kompsat, Rapid eye, Formosat, Geoeye, World view and aerial photos). Categories are designed to be adaptable to the local needs. Sample of Level I categories and forest land levels are showed in table 1.





1 Urban or Built-up

41 Broadleaved Forest

421 Upland conifers

4211 White pine


(generally deciduous)

422 Lowland

4212 Red pine

2 Agricultural Land

3 Rangeland

4 Forest Land

5 Water

6 Wetland

7 Barren Land

8 Tundra

9 Perennial Ice or Snow

42 Coniferous Forest

43 MixedConifer­Broadleaved Forest


4213 Jack pine

4214 Scotch pine

4215 White spruce 4219 Other

Table 1. USGS classification scheme for level I of forest cover.