Enhancements on the European land use database

01-01-1996 | Publication

The quality of environmental monitoring and forecasting on a European scale is influenced significantly by the accuracy of land use and land cover data. Due to an urgent need for a geo-referenced European Land Use (ELU) database the National Institute of Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) initiated the construction of a digital 10 minutes Pan-European land use database in 1994.

This version distinguishes seven classes including arable land, grassland for agricultural use, permanent crops, forest and urban areas. The database consists of three parts, all in digital format: LuStat, LuGrid and LuVec. LuStat is a tabular database, containing land use statistics on NUTS-2 (regional, if available) or NUTS-1 (national) level. LuStat is compiled from various statistical sources. LuVec is a land use map in vector format which is compiled from all map sources. LuGrid is derived from LuVec and LuStat using a calibration routine. LuGrid consists of two parts: a 'pseudo grid' in vector format covering Pan-Europe, and an attribute table. The former consists of cells measuring 10 (geographical) minutes. This map is linked to the attribute table in which for all cells the distribution of the various land use classes is stored, as a percentage of the area of the entire cell.

This report documents the enhancement which were made to the land use database. The result is a second version of the European Land Use database. ELU-2 was improved on a number of items when compared to ELU-1. In the course of 1994 and 1995, more statistical sources became available, as well as more spatial (map) data. The ELU-1 class forest was split into coniferous+mixed and deciduous forest. The calibration routine for matching statistical and map data, and assigning land use to the unit cells was improved. This allowed a better spatial distribution of the land use over the NUTS regions. The database was compared with a number of high-resolution land use and land cover databases at national level, and with a European-wide forest database. In general, ELU-2 compares well with these databases.