North American Land Use: Test Map of Middle America

Middle America Land Use


  • It was originally published on June 7, 2016 by the Digital Scholarship Lab of the LSU Libraries in anticipation of the June 15-16, 2016 meeting of the LandCover6k working group in Utrecht so that the participants could refer to it during discussions.
  • The Agriculture 1500 CE layers and documentation were revised on July 6, 2016 on the basis of information provided by Mats Widgren at the Utrecht meeting.
  • At its meeting in Paris in October 2015, the working group agreed on three target years (6000 BP, 1500 CE, and 1850 CE) and five broad land-use categories (No Land Use, Agriculture, Urban-Extractive, Pastoralism, and Hunting-Fishing-Gathering).
  • Not all of those categories pertain to each target year for each region; moreover, the 1850 CE layer group for Middle America is incomplete because its Pastoralism, Agriculture, and Hunting-Fishing-Gathering layers remain in progress.
  • Users can turn layers and base maps on by checking boxes in the Map Layers panel; they can open the legends with the "I" next to each layer and layer group; they can open the attribute table for a given polygon by using the Object Identification tool from the toolbar;and they can use this link to open the map directly in the QGIS Web Client in a separate browser window: View Map in Browser.
  • Note that feature download in vector format (as DXF files) is not enabled at this time.
  • The five Agriculture 1500 CE layers could not have been completed without the assistance of Thomas M. Whitmore; the Urban-Extractive 1850 CE layer could not have been completed without the assistance of Andrew Layman; and the map could not have been published online without the assistance of Jason R. Peak.
  • At this point, the next steps in this project seem to be as follows:
    1. The meeting in June 2016 in Utrecht with those working on other regional test maps and the ALCC modelers should further specify common terms of reference and procedures to complete the maps;
    2. Complete and publish the Pastoralism, Agriculture, and Hunting-Fishing-Gathering layers for 1850 CE;
    3. Revise all layers to conform to common procedures agreed on at the June 2016 meeting;
    4. Publish the maps online as editable layers;
    5. Invite regional and topical experts to edit the land-use polygons and attribute tables in order to improve their accuracy and precision.
  • Last revision: July 6, 2016.
  • © 2016 by Andrew Sluyter