Land Use - Minnesota, Forested Area

This page last updated: 02/06/2013
Metadata created using Minnesota Geographic Metadata Guidelines

Go to Section:
1. Overview
2. Data Quality
3. Data Organization
4. Coordinate System
5. Attributes
6. Distribution - Get Data
7. Metadata Reference

Section 1 Overview
Originator Manitoba Remote Sensing Centre
Title Land Use - Minnesota, Forested Area
Abstract This land cover data set was derived from 30 meter resolution LANDSAT Thematic Mapper (TM) satellite imagery. Classification is divided into 15 classes with source imagery dates ranging from September 1991 to August 1996. Both a raster and a vector version are available.
Purpose Land use planning, natural resource monitoring
Time Period of Content Date
Currentness Reference Date of source imagery (LANDSAT-5 TM, bands 3, 4, and 5) ranges from September 20, 1991 to August 30, 1996. Data production was conducted during the period of July 1996 to Summer 1998. The image date for each county is listed below:

County _ Image Date:
Aitkin _ 6/13/96
Carlton _ 6/13/96
Cass _ 6/18/95
Cook _ 6/1/94
Crow Wing _ 6/18/95
Hubbard _ 6/18/95
Itasca _ 6/18/95
Koochiching _ 6/18/95
Lake _ 6/1/94
Lake of the Woods _ 8/30/96
Mille Lacs _ 9/20/91
Pine _ 6/13/96
St. Louis _ 6/8/94
Wadena _ 6/18/95
Progress Complete
Maintenance and Update Frequency None Planned
Spatial Extent of Data Aitkin, Carlton, Cass, Cook, Crow Wing, Hubbard, Itasca, Koochiching, Lake, Lake of the Woods, Mille Lacs, Pine, St. Louis, and Wadena Counties.
Bounding Coordinates -95.4
Place Keywords Minnesota, Northeastern Minnesota, Iron Range, Mesabi Range, Aitkin, Carlton, Cass, Cook, Crow Wing, Hubbard, Itasca, Koochiching, Lake, Lake of the Woods, Mille Lacs, Pine, St. Louis, and Wadena Counties
Theme Keywords imageryBaseMapsEarthCover, Land Cover, Land Use, Vegetation Cover
Theme Keyword Thesaurus ISO 19115 Topic Category
Access Constraints None
Use Constraints See Disclaimer field for complete use conditions.
Contact Person Information Roy Dixon,
Manitoba Remote Sensing Centre
1007 Century Street
Winnipeg, Manitoba  R3H 0W4
Phone: 204-945-6594
Fax: 204-945-1365
Browse Graphic None available
Associated Data Sets For more information about land use/cover data for Minnesota, see:

Section 2 Data Quality
Attribute Accuracy The data set exhibits a per class and overall classification accuracy of not less than 95 percent. Accuracy assessment was conducted using a random, area-based sampling scheme, with the number of samples per class chosen to reflect the relative area occupied by each class within the individual county-sized areas being evaluated. Random samples were generated within each data set being evaluated. Sample areas were then checked against NHAP color infrared photography for correctness within the fixed sample plot. Results of the analysis were plotted in confusion matrices and analyzed for conformance to the 95 percent classification accuracy specification.

The coniferous and mixed forest classifications for Lake County were checked in greater detail since there appeared to be a marked difference in classification at the borders between Lake, Cook and St. Louis Counties (there was more coniferous class in Lake than in the adjoining counties). The Manitoba Remote Sensing Centre obtained forest plot data from the U.S. Forest Service for more than 1,000 points each for Lake and Cook Counties. They found a high level of agreement between the TM-interpreted data and the plot data, but there were a number of pixels that were about two-thirds coniferous and therefore very close to the dividing line between coniferous and mixed forest classification. In Lake County, if these pixels had been classified as coniferous, they were changed to mixed forest.

Note on Category 14 'Young Forest / Regeneration': Several Minnesota Department of Natural Resources staff spot field checked the category of 'young forest/regeneration' against their forest inventory data. Their suggested rewording for the definition of this class is under review:

'This class is made up of areas that have a good likelihood of being young forest which were replanted or naturally regenerated since 1970. It includes lands that were commercially logged or affected by catastrophic events, primarily fire and wind damage.

Caution: Two significant sources of classification confusion exist that result in older forest being classed as young. (1) One source of confusion results because stands having very good conditions for regrowth (measured by site index) mature faster than stands with poor regrowth conditions. The result is older stands with a low site index look very much like younger stands having a higher site index. (2) A second source of confusion is caused by some misclassified mature hardwoods that are found in this category, possibly misclassified because the crown cover is similar to the dense cover such as that which exists in a regenerating aspen stand.'
Logical Consistency Data are stored within a valid ERDAS data structure.
Completeness Data provides complete coverage over the stated extent of the data.
Horizontal Positional Accuracy Unknown. The 30 meter source imagery sampling size automatically introduces a potential offset of this amount. Georegistration processes would likely introduce an additional 30-60 meters offset. Individual area feature boundaries may exhibit additional offsets of up to 1/2 pixel (15 meters) based on theoretical limitations in image sampling devices. Additional offsets may be present due to a lack of boundary clarity between some classes, edge pixel effects, and image post-processing (smoothing) effects.
Vertical Positional Accuracy Not applicable
Lineage Data Sources:
1. LANDSAT-5 TM imagery (bands 3, 4, and 5). The path/row number and image date for each county are listed below:

County_Path/Row_Image Date:
Crow Wing_028/027_6/18/95
Lake of the Woods_027/028_8/30/96
Mille Lacs_027/028_9/20/91
St. Louis_027/027_6/8/94

2. Road layers from the Minnesota Department of Transportation BaseMap97 CD.

3. U.S. Forest Service plot data for Lake and Cook Counties.

Manitoba Remote Sensing Centre Processing Steps:
Landsat Thematic Mapper imagery (bands 3, 4, and 5 only) was classified over county-based areas using a supervised maximum likelihood classification within PCI software. Three iterations of classification were typically performed prior to subjecting the data to an exhaustive manual verification-editing process where each classified area was compared with NHAP 1:60,000 scale color, and black and white infrared photography for correct interpretation. Areas found to be misclassified were recoded or aggregated, as appropriate, at this juncture. Transitional feature types (e.g. coniferous, mixed, deciduous forest classes) were handled by first developing a classification using relatively pure samples of individual types and performing a limited classification around a tightly controlled confidence interval. Mixed classes falling outside of the pure class confidence interval were then allowed to fall out into a single mixed class. Individual county data sets were subjected to the classification accuracy assessment process outlined in the Attribute Accuracy section of this report.

The road category was created by using the road layers from the Minnesota Dept. of Transportation BaseMap97 CD. These ARC/INFO coverages were rasterized to a 30 meter cell layer. This was then overlaid on the land use files and the road pixels replaced any existing pixel classification.

Completed PCI files were exported to ERDAS format.

The forest classifications for Lake County were somewhat revised after comparison with the U.S. Forest Service plot data (see Attribute Accuracy element).

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Processing Steps:
MnDNR created a vector version of the dataset. They converted the ERDAS files to ARC/INFO GRID format. They then used the NIBBLE function in ARC/INFO Spatial Analyst to remove road features (since the road category had not been derived from the original satellite interpretation). NIBBLE used a Euclidean distance-nearest neighbor algorithm to reassign values to the pixels that originally were assigned road class values. Because the road pixels existed singly or in groups of two, the NIBBLE function effectively reassigned all of these pixels in a single processing pass. After eliminating the road pixels, DNR staff used the GRIDPOLY command in ARC/INFO to create dissolved vector representations of the land cover areas. No splining or generalization processes were applied to the lines.

Section 3 Spatial Data Organization (not used in this metadata)

Section 4 Coordinate System
Horizontal Coordinate Scheme Universal Transverse Mercator
UTM Zone Number 15E
Horizontal Datum NAD83
Horizontal Units meters
Cell Width 30
Cell Height 30

Section 5 Attributes
Overview 1 - Cultivated Land
Includes those areas under intensive cropping or rotation, including fallow fields. Fields seeded to forage or cover crops are included. The fields exhibit linear or other patterns associated with current or recent tillage.

2 - Deciduous Forest
Includes areas with at least two-thirds or more of the total canopy cover composed of predominantly woody deciduous species. It may contain coniferous species but is dominated by deciduous species. It includes woodlots, shelter belts, and plantations.

3 - Water
Includes permanent water bodies such as lakes, rivers, reservoirs, stock ponds, ditches, and permanent and intermittently exposed palustrine open water areas where photo evidence indicates that the area is covered by water the majority of the time.

4 - Grassland
Includes areas covered by grasslands and herbaceous plants. May contain up to one third shrubs and/or tree cover. Areas may be small to extensive and range from regular to irregular in shape. These areas are often found between agricultural land and more heavily wooded areas, along right-of-ways and drains. Some areas may be used as pastures and be mowed or grazed, and may range in appearance from very smooth to quite mottled. Included are fields which show evidence of past tillage but now appear to be abandoned and grown to native vegetation or planted to a cover crop.

5 - Mixed Forest
Areas of forest where the canopy is composed of approximately equal amounts of deciduous and coniferous species.

6 - Wetlands: Marsh and Fens
Grassy, wet areas with standing or slowly moving water. Vegetation consists of grass and sedge sods, and common hydrophytic vegetation such as cattail and rushes. Areas are often interspersed with channels or pools of open water.

7 - Wetlands: Bogs
Peat covered or peat filled depressions with a high water table. The bogs are covered with a carpet of sphagnum and ericaceous shrubs and may be treeless or tree covered with black spruce and/or tamarack.

8 - Farmsteads and Rural Residences
Farmsteads include farmhouse and adjoining farmyard area. Includes machinery storage buildings, grain storage buildings, corrals, livestock holding and feeding areas directly associated with farmyard area.

9 - Coniferous Forest
Includes areas with at least two thirds or more of the total canopy composed of predominantly woody coniferous species. It may contain deciduous species but is dominated by coniferous species. It includes woodlots, shelter belts, and plantations.

10 - Other Rural Developments
Includes commercial and industrial, cultural and recreational, and agricultural developments not associated with urban areas.

Commercial/industrial developments include substations, communications facilities, power plants, private airstrips, landfills, storage maintenance yards, businesses, factories, lumber mills, commercial livestock/poultry/grain operations.

Cultural/recreational developments include built-up facilities and service areas associated with parks, rest areas, campgrounds, and golf courses. Includes churches, cemeteries, community halls, and rural schools.

Agricultural developments include agricultural facilities not directly associated with farmsteads. Includes machine and grain storage areas, barns and corrals, and isolated buildings and farmsteads that no longer have apparent road access.

11 - Shrubby Grassland
This class includes a combination of grass, shrubs, and trees in which deciduous and/or coniferous treed cover comprises from one third to two thirds of the area, and/or the shrub cover comprises more than one third of the area. This complex is often found adjacent to grassland or forested areas, but may be found alone. These areas are often irregular in shape and vary greatly in size.

12 - Gravel Pits and Open Mines
Areas are stripped of top soil revealing exposed substrate such as sand/gravel. Included are gravel quarry operations, mine tailings, burrow pits, and rock quarries. Natural beaches/sand dunes are included.

13 - Urban/Industrial
Cities, towns, villages with place names. Also includes commercial, industrial or urban developments included within or directly associated with an urban area such as manufacturing or processing plants, power plants, airports, and waste treatment plants.

Rural residences and rural residential complexes include all other non-urban residences including associated structures such as garages, sheds, and assoicated landscaped area. This category includes residences in close proximity with no distinguishable, intervening, non-residential features.

14 - Regeneration/Young Forest
Areas where commercial timber has been completely or partially removed by logging; management activities whose goal is to enhance timber productivity and/or wildlife habitat and to provide age class and species diversity; and catastrophic events, primarily fire and wind damage. These activities have taken place in the last 15 years. Almost all of these areas have been replanted or naturally regenerated into young trees.

NOTE: see Attribute Accuracy element for additional discussion of this definition.

15 - Bare Rock
Includes areas of rock outcrops that lack appreciable soil development or vegetation cover.

16 - Roads and Improved Trails and Rail Lines
Includes all highways, secondary gravel roads, and improved dirt trails, rail lines and utility easements. (This category is only included in the original ERDAS version of the dataset; it is not in the ArcGRID or Arc/INFO coverage versions.)
Detailed Citation None
Table Detail:

Section 6 Distribution
Publisher Minnesota Land Management Information Center (LMIC)
Publication Date 1999
Contact Person Information Nancy Rader, GIS Data Coordinator
Minnesota Geospatial Information Office
658 Cedar Street
St. Paul, MN  55155
Phone: 651-201-2489
Fax: 651-296-3698
Distributor's Data Set Identifier mrsc_lu
Distribution Liability MnGeo's data disclaimer is here:

If downloading the data from DNR's Data Deli, you will need to accept DNR's General Geographic Data License Agreement.
Ordering Instructions The shapefile and raster versions of the county files are distributed on the internet via the DNR Data Deli by clicking below after Online Linkage. Choose 'LandSat-Based Land Use - Land Cover' (vector or raster) from the list of available layers.
Online Linkage I AGREE to the notice in "Distribution Liability" above. Clicking to agree will either begin the download process or link to download information. See "Ordering Instructions" above for details.

Section 7 Metadata Reference
Metadata Date 02/06/2013
Contact Person Information Nancy Rader, GIS Data Coordinator
Minnesota Geospatial Information Office
658 Cedar Street
St. Paul, MN  55155
Phone: 651-201-2489
Fax: 651-296-3698
Metadata Standard Name Minnesota Geographic Metadata Guidelines
Metadata Standard Version 1.2
Metadata Standard Online Linkage

This page last updated: 02/06/2013
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