Landsat TM spectral information to enhance the land cover of Scotland 1988 dataset
Abstract. The Scottish Office's Land Cover of Scotland 1988 Survey (LCS88), was announced in May 1987 and was intended to provide the first-ever detailed census of land cover in Scotland. It came about as a result of increasing concern about the nature and rate of land use change in rural Scotland and the need to obtain objective baseline information on which to build and evaluate future countryside policy. One of the recommendations of a Scottish Office feasibility study carried out prior to the LCS88 survey, was that satellite remotely-sensed data should be considered for measuring landscape change in the future. This paper relates specifically to this recommendation and presents the results of an evaluation study to investigate the use of limited acquisition satellite imagery from Landsat Thematic Mapper, to derive a land cover classification and spectral segmentation information to enhance the existing LCS88 dataset. Although a successful land cover, primary as well as some individual cover features, was obtained from the satellite data, the overall accuracy comparison with the LCS88 cover features was limited. However, the opportunistic mapping of important agricultural crops and primary cover types, such as oilseed rape and forestry cover features, or the interpretation of some of the considerable confusion between semi-natural grassland and improved grassland cover features, provided for an enhanced LCS88 dataset. This was also true for the illustration of the considerable potential of a satellite classification and spectral data, for identifying the component parts of LCS88 Mosaic cover features and estimating vegetation quality.