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Land Use and Land Cover (LULC)


   LULC classification including political and census
   boundaries (Spokane, WA)

Land Use and Land Cover (LULC) data consists of historical land use and land cover classification data that was based primarily on the manual interpretation of 1970's and 1980's aerial photography. Secondary sources included land use maps and surveys. There are 21 possible categories of cover type. Along with the LULC files, associated maps are included which provide additional information on political units, hydrologic units, census county subdivisions, and Federal and State land ownership.

LULC data is available for the conterminous U.S. and Hawaii, but coverage is not complete for all areas. The data is based on 1:100,000- and 1:250,000-scale USGS topographic quadrangles.

All LULC files are cast to the Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) projection, and referenced to the North American Datum of 1983 (NAD83). The files are available in GIRAS (Geographic Information Retrieval and Analysis System) or CTG (Composite Theme Grid) format.

The spatial resolution for all LULC files will depend on the format and feature type. Files in GIRAS format will have a minimum polygon area of 10 acres (4 hectares) with a minimum width of 660 feet (200 meters) for manmade features. Non-urban or natural features have a minimum polygon area of 40 acres (16 hectares) with a minimum width of 1320 feet (400 meters). Files in CTG format will have a resolution of 30 meters.

LULC data are available via FTP download  in ArcInfo export format either from the EPA or from the following USGS publications web site: 

All LULC data is available at no charge.

Data Use and Citation Policies

For information on how to cite USGS data plus guidance on usage restrictions,
please see our Data Citations and Use page at

Any use of trade, firm, or product names is for descriptive purposes only and
does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

Contact Information for User Assistance

Long Term Archive User Services
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center
47914 252nd Street
Sioux Falls, SD 57198-0001

Phone Number: 605-594-6151
Toll Free: 800-252-4547
Fax: 605-594-6589

Business Hours: Monday thru Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Central Time