Morton, R.D.; Marston, C.G.; O’Neil, A.W.; Rowland, C.S.

Land Cover Map 2018 (20m classified pixels, N. Ireland)

This is the 20m classified pixels dataset for the UKCEH Land Cover Map of 2018(LCM2018) representing Northern Ireland. It describes Northern Ireland's land cover in 2018 using UKCEH Land Cover Classes, which are based on UK Biodiversity Action Plan broad habitats. This dataset is the Random Forest classification result from classifying a 20m pixel raster containing multi-season spectral information combined with context layers, which help to resolve spectral confusion. It is provided as a 2-band, 8-bit integer raster. The band-1 is the UKCEH Land Cover Class identifier, band-2 is an indicator of classification confidence. For a fuller description please refer to the product documentation.

LCM2018 represents a suite of geospatial land cover datasets (raster and polygon) describing the UK land surface in 2018. These were produced at the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology by classifying satellite images from 2018. LCM2018 was simultaneously released with LCM2017 and LCM2019. These are the latest in a series of UKCEH land cover maps, which began with the 1990 Land Cover Map of Northern Ireland (now usually referred to as LCM1990) followed by UK-wide land cover maps LCM2000, LCM2007 and LCM2015.

This work was supported by the Natural Environment Research Council award number NE/R016429/1 as part of the UK-SCAPE programme delivering National Capability.

Publication date: 2020-06-22


Study area
Temporal extent
2018-01-01    to    2018-12-31

Provenance & quality

The 20m Classified Pixels datasets are the most spatially detailed in LCM2017, LCM2018 and LCM2019 product range. All other datasets were derived from these. They give land cover information in 21 classes based on UK Biodiversity Action Plan broad habitats. They result from automatic Random Forest classifications of partially overlapping, rectangular classification scenes and are given as 8-bit, 2-band integer 20m pixel rasters. Band-1 is the most likely land cover class, band-2 is the classification probability associated with this class, rescaled over the interval 0 to 100. Classification scenes comprised per-season Sentinel-2 median top of atmosphere reflectance values resampled to 20m pixel resolution, derived using the Google Earth Engine, combined with regional context layers (for example: terrain, coastal proximity). Overlapping classification results were visually ranked to determine precedence. The best classifications were compiled to form seamless national products for Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Classification used bespoke software integrated with a PostGis spatial database. The 20m rasters were exported from PostGIS using open source gdal tools to give the final product in GeoTiff format. GeoTiff is open standard format for raster data and GeoTiff files can be read by most GIS software.

Correspondence/contact details

Dr. Dan Morton
UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Lancaster Environment Centre, Library Avenue, Bailrigg


Morton, R.D.
UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Marston, C.G.
UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
O’Neil, A.W.
UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Rowland, C.S.
UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

Other contacts

NERC EDS Environmental Information Data Centre
NERC Environmental Information Data Centre
Rights Holder
UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Rights Holder
UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

Additional metadata

Topic categories
Environment , Imagery / Base Maps / Earth Cover
Biodiversity Biodiversity Climate and land Ecosystem restoration Land Land cover Land Cover Map Land use LCM2018,  Maps Net zero greenhouse gas emissions UK-SCAPE
Land Cover
Natural Environment Research Council Award: NE/R016429/1
Spatial representation type
Spatial reference system
TM75 / Irish Grid
Last updated
08 October 2021 12:00