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From Wikipedia

Land cover

Land cover is the physical material at the surface of the earth. Land covers include grass, asphalt, trees, bare ground, water, etc. There are two primary methods for capturing information on land cover: field survey and analysis of remotely sensed imagery. The nature of land cover is discussed in Comber et al. (2005).

Land cover is distinct from land use despite the two terms often being used interchangeably. Land use is a description of how people utilize the land and socio-economic activity - urban and agricultural land uses are two of the most commonly known land use classes. At any one point or place, there may be multiple and alternate land uses, the specification of which may have a political dimension. The origins of the ‘land cover / land use’ couplet and the implications of their confusion are discussed in Fisher et al. (2005).

One of the major land cover issues (as with all natural resource inventories) is that every survey defines similarly named categories in different ways. For instance, there are many definitions of ‘Forest’, sometimes within the same organisation, that may or may not incorporate a number of different forest features (stand height, canopy cover, strip width, inclusion of grasses, rates of growth for timber production). Areas without trees may be classified as forest cover if the intention is to re-plant (UK and Ireland), areas with many trees may not be labelled as forest if the trees are not growing fast enough (Norway and Finland).

Land use

Land use' is also often used to refer to the distinct land use types inzoning.

Land use is the human use of land. Land use involves the management and modification of natural environment or wilderness into built environment such as fields, pastures, and settlements. It has also been defined as "the arrangements, activities and inputs people undertake in a certain land cover type to produce, change or maintain it" (FAO, 1997a; FAO/UNEP, 1999).

Land use and regulation

Land use practices vary considerably across the world. The United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization Water Development Division explains that "Land use concerns the products and/or benefits obtained from use of the land as well as the land management actions (activities) carried out by humans to produce those products and benefits." As of the early 1990s, about 13% of the Earth was considered arable land, with 26% in pasture, 32% forests and woodland, and 1.5% urban areas.

As Albert Guttenberg (1959) wrote many years ago, "'Land use' is a key term in the language of city planning."  Commonly, political jurisdictions will undertake land use planning and regulate the use of land in an attempt to avoid land use conflicts. Land use plans are implemented through land division and use ordinances and regulations, such as zoning regulations.

Land use and the environment

Land use and land management practices have a major impact on natural resources including water, soil, nutrients, plants and animals. Land use information can be used to develop solutions for natural resource management issues such as salinity and water quality. For instance, water bodies in a region that has been deforested or having erosion will have different water quality than those in areas that are forested.

The major effect of land use on land cover since 1750 has been deforestation of temperate regions. More recent significant effects of land use include urban sprawl, soil erosion, soil degradation, salinization, and desertification. Land-use change, together with use of fossil fuels, are the major anthropogenic sources of carbon dioxide, a dominant greenhouse gas.

According to a report by the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organisation, land degradation has been exacerbated where there has been an absence of any land use planning, or of its orderly execution, or the existence of financial or legal incentives that have led to the wrong land use decisions, or one-sided central planning leading to over-utilization of the land resources - for instance for immediate production at all costs. As a consequence the result has often been misery for large segments of the local population and destruction of valuable ecosystems. Such narrow approaches should be replaced by a technique for the planning and management of land resources that is integrated and holistic and where land users are central. This will ensure the long-term quality of the land for human use, the prevention or resolution of social conflicts related to land use, and the conservation of ecosystems of high biodiversity value.

Urban growth boundaries

The urban growth boundary is one form of land-use regulation. For example, Portland, Oregon is required to have an urban growth boundary which contains at least 20000|acre|km2 of vacant land. Additionally, Oregon restricts the development of farmland. The regulations are controversial, but an economic analysis concluded that farmland appreciated similarly to the other land.

Land use planning

Land use planning is the term used for a branch of public policy which encompasses various disciplines which seek to order and regulate the use of land in an efficient and ethical way, thus preventing land use conflicts.

Despite confusing nomenclature, the essential function of land use planning remains the same whatever term is applied. The Canadian Institute of Planners offers a definition that: "[Land use] planning means the scientific, aesthetic, and orderly disposition of land, resources, facilities and services with a view to securing the physical, economic and social efficiency, health and well-being of urban and rural communities"


In the English speaking world, the terms land use planning, town and country planning, regional planning, town planning, urban planning, and urban design are often used interchangeably, and will depend on the country in question but do not always have the same meaning. In Europe the preferred term is increasingly spatial planningor more recently territorial cohesion (for regional and trans-national planning).

In Australia, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand, the term town planning is common, although regional planning, statutory planning and land use planning are also used.

In the United States and Canada, the terms current planning, urban planning and regional planning are more commonly used.


At its most basic level, land use planning is likely to involve zoning and transport infrastructure planning. In most developed countries, land use planning is an important part of social policy, ensuring that land is used efficiently for the benefit of the wider economy and population as well as to protect the environment.

Land use planning encompasses the following disciplines:

Architecture, landscape planning, urban design, urban planning, landscape architecture and urban renewal usually address the selection of physical layout, scale of development, aesthetics, costs of alternatives and selection of building materials and impact upon landscape and species.

Environmental planning will often address the implications of development and plans upon the environment, for example Strategic Environmental Assessment. At the very local level environmental planning may imply the use of tools to forecast impacts of development decisions, including roadway noise, and pollution, surface runoff and flooding assessments.

Because of the many disciplines and knowledge domains involved, land use planners are increasingly making use of Information Technology, such as Geographic Information Systems, and Spatial Decision Support Systems, to assist with analysis and decision-making.


  • Soil Surveys provide extensive land use planning information such as limitations for dwellings with and without basements, shallow excavations, small commercial buildings, and septic tank adsorptions. These can be obtained most easily with the [http://websoilsurvey.nrcs.usda.gov Web Soil Survey]. With the Use of a GIS, they can be viewed with the [http://soildataviewer.nrcs.usda.gov Soil Data Viewer]

Agricultural land

Agricultural land (also agricultural area) denotes the land suitable for agricultural production, both crops and livestock. It is one of the main resources in agriculture. The standard classification (used, e.g., by FAO— Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) divides agricultural land into the following components:

  • Arable land— land under annual crops, such as cereals, cotton, other technical crops, potatoes, vegetables, and melons; also includes land left temporarily fallow.
  • Orchards and vineyards— land under permanent crops (e.g., fruit plantations).
  • Meadows and pastures— areas for natural grasses and grazing of livestock.

The first two components — arable land and land in permanent crops — constitute so-called cultivable land. The part of arable land actually under crops is called sown land or cropped land. The term farmland is ambiguous in the sense that it may refer, on the one hand, to agricultural land and, on the other hand, to cultivable or even only arable land.

Depending on the use of artificial irrigation, agricultural land is divided into irrigated and non-irrigated land. In arid and semi-arid countries agriculture is often confined to irrigated land, with very little farming possible in non-irrigated or rainfed areas.

Agricultural land constitutes only a part of any country's territory, which in addition also includes areas not suitable for agriculture, such as forests, mountains, and inland water bodies. Agricultural land covers 38% of the world's land area, with arable land representing less than one-third of agricultural land (11% of the world's land area).

In the context of zoning, agricultural land (or more properly agriculturally zoned land) refers to plots that may be used for agricultural activities, regardless of the physical type or quality of land.

From Yahoo Answers

Question:So basically I would like to know more about land pollution Here's what I got so far : Land pollution is where the earths natural surface is covered with things such as industrialized waste, domestic waste e.g scrap metal,chemicals, rubbish. Or even when people fly tip that would be classed as land pollution. Land pollution is a world wide problem. When pesticides and or insecticides are used they cause instant affects. The poisons travel through the ground and can affect drinking water and rivers etc,so it can affect towns and even cities. Do you think there is anything else i could add ? I forgot this part I have to explain the long term effect of the five human factors may be on the world around us. And also what needs to be done to avoid these long term affects. Thank you : D

Answers:An area consisting of soil,groundwater,surface water or buildings is considered contaminated when the levels of a substance exceeds the natural background levels in the area.The fact that an area is contaminated does not mean that it automatically must be dangerous-all the pollution does not require an operation.EPA has developed general guidelines adapted to the use of the land.Have the soil concentrations of a single substance in these general guidelines,it means that the risk is acceptable.However,one must always report to the environmental management of the detection levels exceed guideline values.

Question:I found this map: http://www.france-property-and-information.com/map_of_france-11.htm But I need a map with info on: Arable Land Permanent Crops Meadows And Pastures Forest and Woodland or anything else to do with France's food supply and agricultural areas.


Question:Can't seem to find one anywhere! Need it for a project due thursday, but it seems impossible to get a hold of. It would be extremely helpful if anyone who found one could link me (:

Answers:This has great maps. Hope it's useful: http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/guatemala.html


Answers:Grasslands are large, flat, treeless areas of land covered with grass

From Youtube

Thailand - Karen Land Rights :Whit Pooms family has been growing rice for 50 years on his farm in the Karen hill tribe village of Maesapaetai in Thailands northern Mae Hong Son province. While crop rotating once served as a way to keep farms big and healthy, the clearing away of precious forest cover has led to even bigger problems, including erosion and an increased risk of flash flooding. We used to have a bigger rice farm but now it has become smaller because of land erosion, Whit said. So the Government of Thailand adopted new land use policies that restrict access to forests for conservation purposes. Local residents cant farm without permission. If they do, they risk fines or arrest. The new policies have caused confusion among the Karen and other northern hill tribes; often, local residents and the Government disagree on land ownership and use. A UNDP-supported project that is constructing three dimensional models of hill tribe villages and their surrounding areas is changing that. Thanks to the project, rivers, mountains, forests and farming areas are now clearly marked, along with areas where land use and ownership must be clarified. Models have already been made of Maesapaetai and Huai Fan, with more villages to be completed in the coming months. Nitisak Toniti, the model maker, says the project is an easy way for villagers to visualize what land belongs to whom. It interests everyone, even young children, Nitisak said Elderly people can easily understand their actual locations. UNDP project ...

Normandy landings part 1 :Normandy landings "D-Day", "D Day" and "Operation Neptune" redirect here. For the use of D-Day as a general military term, see D-Day (military term). For other uses, see D-Day (disambiguation) and Operation Neptune (disambiguation). This article is about the first day of the Invasion of Normandy (D-Day). The subsequent operations are covered in Invasion of Normandy. The Normandy landings were the landing operations of the Allied invasion of Normandy, also known as Operation Neptune and Operation Overlord, during World War II. The landings commenced on Tuesday, 6 June 1944 (D-Day), beginning at 6:30 AM British Double Summer Time (UTC+2). In planning, D-Day was the term used for the day of actual landing, which was dependent on final approval. The assault was conducted in two phases: an air assault landing of 24000 American, British, Canadian and Free French airborne troops shortly after midnight, and an amphibious landing of Allied infantry and armoured divisions on the coast of France commencing at 6:30 AM. There were also subsidiary 'attacks' mounted under the codenames Operation Glimmer and Operation Taxable to distract the German forces from the real landing areas. The operation was the largest amphibious invasion of all time, with over 160000. troops landing on 6 June 1944. 195700 Allied naval and merchant navy personnel in over 5000 ships were involved. The invasion required the transport of soldiers and material from the United Kingdom by troop-laden aircraft and ...