WINTER 2006-7

The Newsletter of the Minnesota GIS/LIS Consortium

Table of Contents

MN GIS/LIS Consortium
2006 Conference Wrap-up
From the Chair
Scholarship Competition Results
Conference Auction Results
What is GISP?
GIS Rules of Conduct
MN GIS Speakers Bureau
North Carolinian Attends Conference

2006 Air Photos
Geospatial Services Survey
Gopher State One Call

Governor's Council
Committee Priorities 

MetroGIS DataFinder Improved
Housing/Jobs Mapping Site
Metro Land Conversion

GIS for Surveyors

2010 Census Address Program
2010 Census Options
National Land Cover Database 

Higher Education
St. Mary's Update CEU's

GITA Announces Scholarship

Other Places
Benefits of Parcel WMS



New Land Cover Data Now Available for Most of Minnesota

By Nancy Rader, Land Management Information Center

Adapted from information provided on the MRLC website


Good news for those who have been waiting for more recent land cover data! The National Land Cover Dataset 2001 is now available for free download for an area covering a large portion of Minnesota and part of northwest Wisconsin (see accompanying graphic). The website lists the project completion date as December 31, 2006, so the rest of the state should be available in the near future.

The primary goal of the NLCD project is “to provide the Nation with complete, current and consistent public domain information on its land use and land cover” at medium spatial resolution. Here are some of the details:


Data sources


Landsat imagery;
Ancillary data sources such as DEMs, slope and aspect



Imagery acquisition dates range from 4/28/1999 to 11/17/2001.

Imagery was taken in the spring, summer and fall

Classification System





30 meter grid cells



Albers Conical Equal Area


GeoTIFF, ArcGRID, BIL – via interactive download

IMG (ERDAS Imagine) – via FTP download



This landcover map and all documents pertaining to it are considered "provisional" until a formal accuracy assessment can be conducted. The MRLC website contains substantial information on methodology and on accuracy measures, including confidence estimates and decision rules for classifications.

Status map

Related Data Layers


Tree canopy – free download

Imperviousness – free download

Landsat 7 imagery used for project is available for purchase

Where to start


NLCD 2001 was produced through a cooperative project conducted by the Multi-Resolution Land Characteristics (MRLC) Consortium. MRLC is a partnership of federal agencies consisting of the U.S. Geological Survey, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Forest Service, the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. For development of data in this mapping zone, the USGS acknowledges the support of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resorces, USFS Forest Inventory and Analysis, and NRCS, National Resource Inventory.