Learn More: Land Use/Land Cover

What does this mean?

Land Use/Land Cover is a description of how land is being used. The Florida Department of Transportation developed a classification system called the Florida Land Use, Cover and Forms Classification System (FLUCCS). These classifications include nine broad categories of use. All the following definitions are summarized from the Florida Land Use, Cover and Forms Classification System (FLUCCS) Handbook. Please consult the handbook Clicking on this link will result in leaving the Community Atlas website. for exact definitions.

  • Urban and Built Up: "areas of intensive use with much of the land occupied by man-made structures."
  • Agriculture: "those lands which are cultivated to produce food crops and livestock."
  • Rangeland: "land where the potential natural vegetation is predominantly grasses, grasslike plants, forbs or shrubs and is capable of being grazed."
  • Upland Forests: "upland areas which support a tree canopy closure of ten (10) percent or more."
  • Water: "all areas within the land mass of the United States that are predominantly or persistently water covered provided that, if linear, they are at least 1/8 mile (660 feet or 200 meters) wide or, if extended, cover at least 40 acres (16 hectares)…Those portions of a water body having emergent vegetation or observable submerged vegetation are placed in the Wetlands category."
  • Wetlands: "those areas where the water table is at, near or above the land surface for a significant portion of most years."
  • Barren Land: "very little or no vegetation and limited potential to support vegetative communities."
  • Transportation, Communication and Utilities: "Transportation facilities are used for the movement of people and goods; therefore, they are major influences on land and many land use boundaries are outlined by them."
  • Other: A category to be used for specific topics.

For the purposes of the Community Atlas, the more specific classifications associated with "Urban and Built Up" are also presented:

  • Residential Low Density: "Less than two dwelling units per acre."
  • Residential Medium Density: "Two to five dwelling units per acre."
  • Residential High Density: "Six or more dwelling units per acre (Fixed Single Family Units and Mobile Home Units); Multiple Dwelling Units, Low Rise (Two stories or less); Multiple Dwelling Units, High Rise (Three stories or more); Mixed Units (Fixed and Mobile Home Units - One, Two, or Three Stories)."
  • Commercial and Services: Retail Sales and Services, Wholesale Sales and Services , Professional Services, Cultural and Entertainment, Tourist Services, Oil and Gas Storage , Mixed Commercial and Services, Cemeteries, Commercial and Services Under Construction.
  • Industrial: Food Processing, Timber Processing, Mineral Processing, Oil and Gas Processing, Other Light Industrial, Other Heavy Industrial, Industrial Under Construction.
  • Extractive: Strip Mines, Sand and Gravel Pits, Rock Quarries, Oil and Gas Fields, Reclaimed Land, Holding Ponds.
  • Institutional: Educational Facilities, Religious, Military, Medical and Health Care, Governmental, Correctional, Other Institutional, Commercial Child Care, Institutional Under Construction.
  • Recreational: Swimming Beach, Golf Courses, Race Tracks, Marinas and Fish Camps, Parks and Zoos, Community Recreational Facilities, Stadiums , Historical Sites, Other Recreational.
  • Open Land: Undeveloped Land within Urban Areas, Inactive Land with street pattern but without structures, Urban Land in transition without positive, indicators of intended activity, Other Open Land.

Why is it important?

It can be important for people to understand land use/land cover because these categories can help describe the physical make-up of their communities. Although people can often look around their communities and know whether it is "Urban and Built Up" or "Agriculture," the standard categories make it easier to compare one community with another. It also allows for changes in land use to be more easily compared over time.

How are the data collected (methods)?

The 2011 land use/cover features categorized according to the Florida Land Use and Cover Classification System (FLUCCS). The features were photointerpreted at 1:8,000 using 2011 1- ft (CIR) digital aerial photographs. The Florida Center intersects these features with the community and neighborhood boundaries to determine land use breakdown for each.

To learn more about how land use/land cover was determined, review the metadata for this data (or information about).

Caveats and Limitations

The data presented are from data collected in 2011. Land use/land cover classifications might be different today. If you choose to use this data, please keep in mind that it is an estimate that represents how land was being used in 2011.

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