Land Cover Classification and Change Analysis

The landscapes and lakes of Minnesota are changing due to urbanization and other land use changes and climate change. As the composition and intensity of land use changes, there will be impacts, potentially profound, on agricultural cropland, forests, wetlands and lakes, with accompanying changes in productivity, biodiversity, habitat fragmentation, and lake and stream quality. Remote sensing and geospatial analysis tools provide capability needed for mapping, monitoring and analysis of land and lakes and critical inputs to resource management and policy.

Major projects have included statewide land cover and impervious surface classifications for 1990, 2000, and 2013, and several classifications of the seven-county Twin Cities Metropolitan Area from 1986 to 2011. The 2011 TCMA and statewide 2013 classification combined multitemporal Landsat imagery with lidar data and used object-based image analysis for the classification.

The methods and results of previous classifications are available at The classification data can be downloaded from

Twin cities Metro Area land classification for 2011

Land cover classification of the seven-county Twin Cities Metropolitan Area with multitemporal Landsat and lidar data by Object-based image analysis at 30-meter resolution.