The New Zealand Land Cover Database (LCDB) is digital map of the land surface of the country. It is created by grouping together similar classes which can be identified in satellite images. Being digital, it can be used to make a number of different maps. As a map, it can be combined with other geographic information to reveal new information on patterns and trends of land use and land cover. The Land Cover Database version 2 contains snapshots of land cover at 1996-97 and 2001-02 incorporated into the data layer.
It provides the basis for better resource management decisions, more effective use of natural resources and improved environmental management.
The Land Cover Database begins with a satellite image (top). Polygons define the edges of similar land cover types (middle). Polygons are assigned LCDB values and stored in a spatial database for mapping (bottom).
The Land Cover Database is available from the following:
Based on statistics derived from LCDB 2, New Zealand's land cover is:
For more on this see the land cover environmental reporting page.
In 2002, more than 13.3 million hectares of New Zealand’s land was covered by native land cover, as estimated by the Land Cover Database 2. This equates to 49.6 per cent of New Zealand’s total land area of 26.9 million hectares.
The area of native vegetation (excluding other native land cover) equates to 43.7 per cent (11.7 million hectares) of New Zealand’s total land area.
National Priority One for protecting rare and threatened native biodiversity on private land calls for the protection of indigenous vegetation associated with land environments that have less than 20 per cent remaining in indigenous cover. The analysis relies on combining LENZ maps with satellite imagery from LCDB. In order to assess changes in this national priority vegetation we are reliant on updates of LCDB over time.
For more on this see the Protecting our Places brochure.
Some more examples of the uses of the Land Cover Database include:
More information on the background and uses for the database and a table of the land cover classes that have been mapped is provided below:
LCDB documents (produced in 2004):
July 2009: LCDB has been re-issued with a Creative Commons Attribution licence. The data is available for electronic download from Koordinates.com
For further information contact firstname.lastname@example.org
|Land cover database 2 class||
|High Producing Exotic Grassland||8,885,793||33.1%|
|Tall Tussock Grassland||2,394,695||8.9%|
|Low Producing Grassland||1,652,286||6.2%|
|Manuka and or Kanuka||1,186,103||4.4%|
|Pine Forest-Closed Canopy||977,401||3.6%|
|Alpine Gravel and Rock||698,145||2.6%|
|Broadleaved Indigenous Hardwoods||539,555||2.0%|
|Pine Forest-Open Canopy||482,766||1.8%|
|Sub Alpine Shrubland||385,284||1.4%|
|Lake and Pond||357,526||1.3%|
|Depleted Tussock Grassland||250,466||0.9%|
|Gorse and Broom||203,083||0.8%|
|River and Lakeshore Gravel and Rock||179,736||0.7%|
|Other Exotic Forest||132,338||0.5%|
|Permanent Snow and Ice||110,972||0.4%|
|Estuarine Open Water||92,499||0.3%|
|Herbaceous Freshwater Vegetation||88,674||0.3%|
|Afforestation (imaged, post LCDB 1)||85,076||0.3%|
|Mixed Exotic Shrubland||63,238||0.2%|
|Orchard and Other Perennial Crops||58,325||0.2%|
|Coastal Sand and Gravel||51,249||0.2%|
|Afforestation (not imaged)||49,502||0.2%|
|Urban Parkland/Open Space||40,164||0.1%|
|Herbaceous Saline Vegetation||19,216||0.1%|
TOTAL LAND AREA
Last updated: 1 July 2009