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

Land Cover Map 1990 (vector, GB)

This dataset consists of the vector version of the Land Cover Map 1990 (LCM1990) for Great Britain. The vector data set is the core LCM data set from which the full range of other LCM1990 products are derived. It provides a number of attributes including land cover at the target class level (given as an integer value and also as text), the number of pixels within the polygon classified as each land cover type and a probability value provided by the classification algorithm (for full details see the LCM1990 Dataset Documentation). The 21 target classes are based on the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) Broad Habitats, which encompass the entire range of UK habitats.
LCM1990 is a land cover map of the UK which was produced at the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology by classifying satellite images (mainly from 1989 and 1990) into 21 Broad Habitat-based classes. It is the first in a series of land cover maps for the UK, which also includes maps for 2000, 2007, 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2019.

LCM1990 consists of a range of raster and vector products and users should familiarise themselves with the full range (see related records, the UKCEH web site and the LCM1990 Dataset documentation) to select the product most suited to their needs.

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: 2020-06-17


Study area
Temporal extent
1988-01-01    to    1990-12-31

Provenance & quality

For LCM1990, per-pixel classifications were conducted, using a random forest classification algorithm to classify the different land cover types. The resultant classifications were then mosaicked together, with the best classifications taking priority. This produced a per-pixel classification of the UK, which was then imported into the spatial framework, recording a number of attributes, including the majority class per polygon which is the Land Cover class for each polygon. The 25m raster classification product is the majority class per polygon i.e. the dominant class for each polygon. LCM1990 uses a spatial framework that is similar to the LCM2007 framework. For both LCM2007, LCM2015 and LCM1990 the framework is based on generalised OS MasterMap (R). The generalisation (or simplification) process was used to remove very small objects, which provided unnecessary detail. In LCM2007 larger polygons were split using image segmentation; however this was not done for LCM2015 or LCM1990.

Correspondence/contact details

Rowland, C.S.
UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Lancaster Environment Centre, Library Avenue, Bailrigg


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

Additional metadata

Topic categories
Geoscientific Information , Imagery / Base Maps / Earth Cover
Biodiversity Biodiversity Climate and land Ecosystem restoration Great Britain,  Land Land cover Land Cover Map Land use LCM1990,  Maps Net zero greenhouse gas emissions UK-SCAPE,  vector
Land Cover
Natural Environment Research Council Award: NE/R016429/1
Spatial representation type
Spatial reference system
OSGB 1936 / British National Grid
Last updated
25 June 2021 18:40