Land Cover Classification - USEPA/ATtILA2 GitHub Wiki


Many ATtILA tools require a Land Cover Classification (LCC) file as one of their input parameters. The LCC file dictates how a tool processes the input Land cover grid. It:

  • Defines the text description of land cover classes based on the raster integer value.
  • Determines the inclusion or exclusion of specific land cover classes in metric calculations (e.g. limiting calculations to only terrestrial land cover types via the exclusion of water and ice/snow classes).
  • Allows for the grouping of classes (e.g. deciduous, coniferous, and mixed forest classes may be grouped into a single "forest" class).
  • Allows for the assignment of coefficients associated with specific land cover classes to calculate coefficient-based metrics (e.g. impervious percent, nitrogen loading, and phosphorous loading).

LCC files utilize XML formatting to define these properties for an associated Land cover grid. For the user's convenience, ATtILA includes LCC files for some commonly-used Land cover datasets including the National Land Cover Database (NLCD), the Coast Change Analysis Program (C-CAP), and the US EPA EnviroAtlas Meter-Scale Urban Land Cover (MULC). Descriptions of the LCC files that accompany ATtILA are in the Supplied Land Cover Classification Schemas section of this document.

LCC files may be created or edited to allow users to customize the properties of the land cover classes to meet their objectives.

It is recommended that users create or edit LCC schema XML documents using the Land Cover Classification Editor (LCC Editor) that accompanies ATtILA to reduce the possibility of introducing errors. See Land Cover Classification Editor for more information on this tool. No previous experience editing XML files is necessary to edit the XML using the LCC Editor, which provides an easy-to-use interface.

LCC XML documents may also be created or edited using any standard text editor following the syntax guidelines provided in ATtILA's LCC XML Document section.

LCC XML Document Storage

The Supplied Land Cover Classification Schemas that accompany ATtILA are stored in the ToolboxSource > LandCoverClassifications folder in the ATtILA toolbox destination folder (see Installing ATtILA). LCC XML documents stored here automatically populate the "Land cover classification scheme" dropdown in each ATtILA tool that requires a land cover classification file (Core and Edge Metrics, Floodplain Land Cover Proportions, Facility Land Cover Views, Land Cover on Slopes Proportions, Land Cover Proportions, Neighborhood Proportions, Population Land Cover Views, Patch Metrics, Riparian Land Cover Proportions, and Sample Point Land Cover Proportions).

Customized LCC XML documents can exist anywhere on a local or network computer. Each tool that requires an LCC XML document includes a parameter for navigating to the local or network path at which the XML file is stored. However, users may find it more convenient to access their customized LCC XML documents from the "Land cover classification scheme" dropdown in the ATtILA tools, particularly for frequently-used customized LCC XML documents. To facilitate this, store the customized XML files in the ToolboxSource > LandCoverClassifications folder as indicated above.

NOTE: It is recommended that the LCC file contain entries for all values in the input Land cover grid. However, if the LCC file does not define properties for a Land cover grid value, ATtILA will alert the user by providing a warning message indicating that a value occurring in the Land cover grid was not defined in the LCC file.

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