A Dutch multi-date land use database: Identification of real and methodological changes

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Land cover and land use are important information sources for environmental issues. One of the most important changes at the Earth's surface concerns land cover and land use. Knowledge about the location and type of these changes is essential for environmental modeling and management. Remote sensing data in combination with additional spatial data are recognized as an important source of information to detect these land cover and land use changes. In this paper, we introduce the Dutch multi-date land use database (LGN). Today there are six versions of the LGN database (LGN1–LGN6) based on satellite imagery of respectively 1986, 1992/1994, 1995/1997, 1999/2000, 2003/2004 and 2007/2008. With the completion of LGN6 a time-series of land use databases covering 20 years became available. The different databases were produced according to different methodologies. The resulting inconsistencies for monitoring land use changes and possible solutions are the main themes of this paper. Emerging user requirements, increased data availability and technical improvements lead to methodological differences between the LGN5 and LGN6 Dutch land use database. Monitoring of land use changes by integrating independent spatial datasets results in a mixture of real and methodological changes. A methodology is applied to detect real land use changes for a limited number of land use monitoring classes. The detected real changes have a high probability (almost 95%) that they are real changes. Next to these real changes, differences exist between LGN5 and LGN6, i.e. so-called methodological land use changes, being the result of methodological adaptations over time.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)682-689
JournalInternational Journal of applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • cover change detection
  • identifying change
  • classification
  • accuracy
  • europe
  • uncertainty
  • netherlands
  • imagery
  • china
  • area


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