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State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection

State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
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What is the title of the data set?

NJDEP 1995/97 Land use/Land cover Update

What does the data set describe?

Land use\land cover, impervious surface, land use land cover change.

What geographic area does the data set cover?

Statewide coverage of New Jersey

What is the date that the data describes?

Data contains land use land cover description for 1986 and 1995/97

How does the data set represent geographic features?

Features are represented by vector-based polygons (i.e. map features are traced in a “connect-the-dots” digital map model)

How are geographic features stored in the data set?

Data is stored in ESRI shapefile format

What coordinate system is used to represent geographic features?

New Jersey State Plane Feet, North American Datum 1983

How does the data set describe geographic features?

Polygons delineate over 60 different land use/land cover categories for land features greater than 1-acre  as identified by expert photo-interpretation of digital aerial photography.

What are the types of features present?

Features are grouped into 6 general categories including urban, agriculture, forest, water, wetlands, and barren.

Who produced the data set?

The data were produced for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection on contract with AIS INC. Redlands, CA.

To whom should users address questions about the data?

New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection

Why was the data set created?

The data was created for trend analysis of land use/land cover change in NJ, watershed analysis, enforcement, scientific studies and other environmental decision-making.

What is the recommend use for the data?

The data set will provide information for regulators, planners, and others interested in LU/LC changes, and allow them to quantify those changes over time using GIS. The use of the updated 1995/97 LU/LC layer and impervious surface (IS) code in change analysis studies will provide a means of monitoring “the health of the citizens and ecosystems of New Jersey” through the use of diverse environmental applications.
This data set is intended to serve as a resource for analysis rather than regulatory delineations.

What are aspects of concern for a non-specialist to interpret the data?

A general understanding of the concepts of land use land cover are required and are provided in the metadata (explanatory texts) that accompany this GIS dataset.

How was the data set created?

Expert  interpretation of aerial photography using “heads-up” delineation techniques to digital aerial imagery.

Were the source data compiled at a particular scale?

Digital imagery produced at 1:12,000.  “Heads-up” delineation captured at scales as large as 2,400.

How reliable are the data; what problems remain in the data set?

While all data have inherent limitations, this dataset was compiled to a high level of accuracy.  A full description of the data accuracy and limitations is provided in the metadata available at:

What can you say about the accuracy of the observations?

Although accuracy was not performed, per se, over 40,000 ground site visits were made. Impervious surface coding accuracy has been measured at above 95%.

How can someone get a copy of the data set?

Data are freely downloadable by watershed management area (WMA):

Are there legal restrictions on access or use of the data?

Yes, although this dataset is freely available to the public, there are a number of restrictions for its use for which the user must agree.  For example, data must not be reproduced or redistributed without permission of the NJDEP and all secondary maps that utilize this dataset must provide a proscribed source statement.  These and other restrictions are fully described in the metadata available at:

Who distributes the data?

Data is distributed via the internet by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Office of Information Resources Management, GIS Unit

How can people download or order the data?

In what formats are the data available?

Data is available in ESRI Inc. shapefile format.

What hardware or software do people need in order to use the data set?

Data can be utilized as is by all ESRI, Inc.  GIS softwares including Arcview 3.x, ArcINFO, ArcGIS Arc Explorer (a free GIS viewer available at and any other GIS software that can read or reformat ESRI shapefiles.

What are some suggested uses of the Data for New Jersey’s various communities of user?

The data can be utilized for many applications including; local and regional planning, analysis of land use trends (sprawl, etc), landscape modeling, watershed analysis,  and any application or analysis that requires detailed information about the current land conditions.

Potential applications:

(environmental management)

The NJDEP LULC95  data can be employed to evaluate environmental quality in relationship to environmental indicators of land and water.

Potential applications:

(regional planning)

The NJDEP LULC95  data can be employed in environmental analysis for any region or area of interest including watershed analysis/characterization, build out scenarios, developable land, etc.

Potential applications:

(local planning)

The NJDEP LULC95  data can be used to evaluate the distribution of impervious surfacing and relate that data to water quality and municipal stormwater management.

Potential applications:

(habitat analysis)

The NJDEP LULC95  data can support habitat analysis for fragmentation, acquisition, and protection.

Potential applications:

(open space preservation)

The NJDEP LULC95  data can assist in the identification of opportunities for open space acquisition by locating undeveloped land, defining  corridors, and target acquisitions based on habitat compos composition.

Division of Science, Research and Environmental Health
Dr. Gary A. Buchanan, Director
Mailing Address:
Mail code 428-01, P.O. Box 420
Trenton, NJ 0862

Phone: (609) 984-6070
Fax: (609) 292-7340