This dataset consists of a 1km resolution raster version of the Land Cover Map 2000 for Northern Ireland. Each 1km pixel represents the dominant target class (or 'sub class') across the 1km area. The target classes broadly represent Broad Habitats (see below). The dataset is part of a series of data products produced by the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology known as LCM2000. LCM2000 is a parcel-based thematic classification of satellite image data covering the entire United Kingdom. LCM2000 is derived from a computer classification of satellite scenes obtained mainly from Landsat, IRS and SPOT sensors and also incorporates information derived from other ancillary datasets. LCM2000 was classified using a nomenclature corresponding to the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) Broad Habitats, which encompasses the entire range of UK habitats. In addition, it recorded further detail where possible. The series of LCM2000 products includes vector and raster formats, with a number of different versions containing varying levels of detail and at different spatial resolutions.
In a major development of earlier methods, LCM2000 used image segmentation to identify land parcels in the pixel-based images. An automated procedure grouped the image pixels into spectrally 'uniform' segments. These were built around 'seedpoints' selected to avoid parcel boundaries. The segmentation recorded a field-by-field pattern, also separating land use zones within urban and suburban areas, and subdividing mosaics of semi-natural vegetation. Generalisation gave minimum mappable units of a half hectare. A vector version was then created in the geographical information system (GIS), where the boundaries between the pixel-based segments were represented by digital linework. The resultant land parcels were treated as GIS objects to which attribute data could then be attached covering such topics as land cover class, parcel area, length of boundary, processing history, knowledge-based correction and identification of the original satellite scene. The raster products have been derived from the vector dataset. LCM2000 was produced at CEH Monks Wood. For further information on the methodology developed and used to create Land Cover Map 2000, see the on-line supporting documentation.
Other useful information regarding this dataset:
Fuller, R.M., Smith, G.M., Sanderson, J.M., Hill, R.A., & Thomson, A.G. (2002). The UK Land Cover Map 2000: construction of a parcel-based vector map from satellite images. Cartographic Journal, 39. 15-25.