Abstract: The Tompkins County Planning Department utilized
inter-departmental mapping expertise of the Tompkins County
Information Technology Services GIS Division to produce a land
use and land cover data set of Tompkins County, NY. The need for
this data set has been identified by various county departments,
local municipal agencies, and other not-for-profit
organizations. Traditionally, land use and land cover maps have
been developed by interpreting aerial photographs, delineating
land use and land cover polygons onto a geo-referenced base map,
and then digitizing the line work. This project uses an
innovative methodology to develop a land use and land cover map
entirely within a digital environment. Digital Orthophoto
Quarter Quadrangles (DOQQ), a type of color infra-red digital
aerial photograph, and a number of other secondary digital data
sources (wetlands, hydrology, and planimetric base data) are
being used to interpret and delineate land use and land cover
directly on-screen. This technique is more time efficient by
reducing the number of processing steps required, as well as
more accurate by reducing cumulative errors introduced through
multiple processing steps. A land use and land cover
classification system was designed to meet the needs of the
users of these data. A needs assessment meeting was held prior
to the project to determine the needs of planners, local
municipalities, advisory boards and educators. In 1968, the Land
Use and Natural Resource Inventory (LUNR) a state-wide land use
and land cover mapping project, used aerial photographs to
identify 130 land use and land cover classes. The Tompkins
County land use and land cover classification system has been
designed to be comparable with the LUNR classification system.
Comparable classification systems will enable users to analyze
changes in land use and land cover over the previous thirty year
Purpose: Provides a county-wide data set of all tax map boundaries
for the tax parcel maps in Tompkins County. Potential uses of
these data include land use and land cover time change analysis,
comprehensive planning and development suitability analysis.
Supplemental_Information: This data set is derived from the interpretation and
delineation of land use and land cover from Color Infrared
Digital Orthophoto Quarter Quadrangles.
Currentness_Reference: ground condition
Progress: In work
Theme_Keyword: Land Cover
Theme_Keyword: Land Use
Theme_Keyword_Thesaurus: ISO 19115 Topic Category
Theme_Keyword_Thesaurus: CUGIR Category
Place_Keyword: Tompkins County, New York
Use_Constraints: The following statement must be included with any products
that use or are derived from this data set: "Data contained in this
product was originally produced by the Tompkins County ITS GIS
Division and may not be reproduced or redistributed without the
express written consent of the originator. The originator does not
warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information portrayed by
Contact_Organization: Tompkins County Planning Department
Attribute_Accuracy_Report: See the Methodology Report
Logical_Consistency_Report: See the Methodology Report (Methodology_Report.pdf)
Completeness_Report: Complete for Tompkins County and a 200-foot buffer in the
Horizontal_Positional_Accuracy_Report: Varies, depending on source of DOQQ data for each
quarter quad. Areas that are at the edges of each DOQQ have
the lowest quality positional accuracy
Originator: USGS and NYS DEC
Title: Digital Orthophoto Quarter-Quadrangles (DOQQs)
Other_Citation_Details: Digital aerial photographs
Type_of_Source_Media: CD-ROM, Removable Media
Source_Currentness_Reference: ground condition
Source_Contribution: aerial photos
Process_Description: 1. Conduct needs assessment; 2. Devise Land Use and
Land Cover Classification System and project specifications;
3. Collect raw data - In this case obtain Digital Orthophoto
Quarter Quads; 4. Interpret data and delineate land use and
land cover per-specification; 5. Digitally record data; 6.
Edit data; 7. Conduct Accuracy Assessment; 8. Final Report
Contact_Organization: Tompkins County Planning Department
Contact_Person: Sharon Heller
Contact_Position: GIS Analyst
Address_Type: mailing and physical
Address: 121 East Court Street
State_or_Province: New York
Contact_Voice_Telephone: (607) 274-5560
Contact_Facsimile_Telephone: (607) 274-5578
Hours_of_Service: 8:30 - 4:30 Monday to Friday
Grid_Coordinate_System_Name: State Plane Coordinate System 1983
Horizontal_Datum_Name: North American Datum of 1983
Ellipsoid_Name: Geodetic Reference System 80
Entity_Type_Definition: Land use or land cover class
Entity_Type_Definition_Source: Classification system is based on LUNR, but has been
adapted to meet the needs of the Tompkins County Planning
Area in square US survey feet
Positive real numbers that are automatically
Perimeter in US survey feet
Positive real numbers that are automatically
Land Use and Land Cover classes devised by the staff in
the Tompkins County Planning Department and the Tompkins
County ITS GIS Division, based in part on the LUNR
classification system from 1968.
Cropland: Tillable land used for growing
cultivated field crops, forage crops, grain, beans,
etc. Hedgerows separating defined Ac areas were
delineated as separate classes (typically Fd, Fm, Fb
or Fc) if they are greater than 20 meters wide
Cattle: Farmland used for the feeding and
milking of dairy cattle as well as for beef cattle.
Barn with silos and feedlots are included.
Horse farm: Horse barns, feed lot, and animal
recreation areas. (Pasture will be in Ap).
Fishery/Aquaculture: Fishery ponds and
High intensity cropland/horticulture: Nurseries,
including green-houses, vegetable production areas,
and other gardens more than a half-acre in size.
Inactive Agriculture: Farmland and fields that
appear to be no longer used for farming practices.
Fields may appear to be growing over with tall
grasses and small shrubs.
Orchards: Farmland dedicated to growing tree
products including associated buildings.
Pasture: Areas used for grazing. Is enclosed by
fence and may have small trees and shrubs. Located
adjacent to livestock farm
Tree farm: Areas used for cultivating trees,
primarily Xmas trees.
Vineyards: Grape growing farms and pastures
which may include winery buildings.
Other farms: Poultry, sheep, swine, game, mixed
animal farms, animal shelters, and farms that
produce livestock feeds (granaries).
Central Business District:
Commercial/residential centers of city and villages
where mixed land uses of Commercial,
Public/Institutional, and high density Residential
exist. There may be buildings that comprise more
than one type of land use, such as a storefront on
the first floor, offices on the second floor, and
residences on the third floor. Land uses are mixed
and are high in density.
Shopping Centers/Malls: Commercial areas that
are predominately shopping centers and malls
including significant surrounding parking
Offices: Buildings that contain administrative
offices, as well as facilities that include business
or technology services that are not predominantly
retail orientated. Facilities may be part of a
business/technology/industrial park. In some cases
medical offices (Ph) may be included if they do not
constitute the dominant land use.
Retail: Commercial areas along roadways not
associated with distinct commercial centers or large
shopping malls. Will include linear highway corridor
development, as well as individual retail businesses
and services that may exist within residential or
Commercial Storage: Indoor and outdoor
commercial storage facilities for public rentals and
warehouse/storage facilities not associated with
adjacent commercial or industrial land uses.
Abandoned: Areas that include buildings and
facilities that are interpreted as abandoned or
Barren Land: Land that is composed of either
rock, gravel or sand, which cannot be cultivated or
associated with any other defined land use class.
Disturbed Land: Land that has been cleared of
vegetation and the interpretation of any
identifiable or defined land use class is not
Brush: Areas that have considerable growth of
shrubs and small trees, but can not be classified as
forest. The brush land cover must occupy at least
80% of the delineated area. Forest and grassland may
be incorporated into the remaining 20%.
Coniferous Forest: Forested areas where needle
trees, such as pine, spruce, fir and hemlock make up
at least 80% of the tree cover.
Deciduous: Forested areas where broadleaf trees
make up at least 80% of the tree cover.
Grassland: Open grassy areas with no associated
adjacent land uses. May include small amounts of
shrubs, trees and brush. The grassland cover must
occupy at least 80% of the delineated area. The
remaining 20% may be trees, shrubs and brush.
Grassland areas may be naturally occurring, or may
be regularly mowed.
Mixed forest: Forested areas with mixed
coniferous and deciduous trees. The ratio of the
predominant coniferous or deciduous tree stands must
not exceed 80%.
Forest Plantation: Rows of mature trees,
primarily conifers, planted by man
Agriculture Industry: Buildings and facilities
associated with agri-business
Extractive: Salt mining operations, gravel pits,
Light Industry: Facilities and grounds that
include activities associated with the
manufacturing, processing, fabricating, assembly,
finishing, packaging, warehousing, and outdoor
storage of products.
Communication Towers: Communication tower sites
at ground level including areas occupied by guide
Utilities: Power plants and substations.
Campgrounds: Public and private camping areas,
including areas designated for camping in state and
town parks as well as private RV parks.
Recreation corridors: Areas characterized as
linear recreation ways for uses such as trails and
paths associated with outdoor recreation activities
and pedestrian connections.
Golf Course: Includes driving ranges, club house
Hunt clubs: Land areas used specifically for the
sport of hunting. May include shooting range and
fields for practice of this sport.
Parks: Public parks as well as Cornell
Plantations including picnic areas,
walking/hiking/running trails, playgrounds,
manicured lawns, and landscaped areas within park
Youth & religious camps: Cabins and
other buildings associated with summer camps and or
Recreational shoreline: Shoreline where land use
is recreational lake access. Docks and boat moorings
may exist. Consists of rocky shoreline land cover.
Boundaries vary with lake levels.
Stadiums/track/ball fields: Sporting fields that
may or may not be associated with schools and parks.
Baseball diamonds, tennis courts, running track,
soccer and football fields with goal posts, swimming
facilities. Motor tracks included.
Cemetery: Cemeteries at least one-half acre in
Solid waste disposal: Waste disposal sites such
as recycling centers, landfills, exposed dumps and
private junk yards.
Educational: All schools, university and college
academic buildings, research facilities, and
associated parking facilities and quads. College
campuses include other land uses that, if at least
one-half acre in area, is designated as distinct
LULC classes. Pe is used only for the academic and
research related buildings and the surrounding
parking lots and grounds. This class also includes
other learning centers such as the Sciencenter,
Cayuga Nature Center and the Fingerlakes School of
Community center, social hall, fraternal lodge:
American Legions, Veterans associations, and
community centers where social events, Bingo,
pancake breakfasts and chicken bbq fund raisers
Health facilities: Hospital, health clinics,
medical offices, and nursing homes.
Correctional facilities: County jail, secure
work camps, and other correctional centers.
Governmental office facilities: Includes all
local, state, and federal governmental office
facilities that are interpreted to be the dominant
land use. This class includes courthouses, town
halls, and other public service and administrative
Public works: Areas that include facilities for
highway departments, fire departments, public
safety, maintenance buildings, and related storage
areas. Public works facilities present on the
educational campuses that are at least one-half acre
in area are classified as Pp.
Church/synagogue/monastery: Houses of worship.
Delineated only if the parcel on which the
facility(s) is located is at least one-half acre in
Sewage treatment facilities: Facilities whose
primary function is the treatment of waste water.
Water Tank: Tank used as reserve of water,
either for drinking water or for filling of fire
Water management facilities: Facilities whose
primary function is management of drinking water.
High density residential: Residential land areas
with approximately 5 or more dwellings on average
per acre. Comprised mainly of urban areas of
residential land use patterns including densities
ranging from single family structures to multi-unit
Low density residential: Residential land areas
with a maximum average of 1 dwelling per acre.
Medium density residential: Residential land
areas with more than 1, but less than 5 dwellings on
average per acre.
Manufactured home park: Residential land areas
with a density of 4 or more manufactured homes on
average per acre and a designation of the property
as a manufactured home park or subdivision.
Airport or active airstrip: Includes all public
and private airport facilities, hangars, parking
facilities, and runways.
Bus depot, fleet storage, garage for public
vehicles: Places that store large number of cars,
vans, trucks or buses for purposes of public use and
transportation. Examples include Cornell?s fleet
storage, T-CAT, ISCD school bus depot.
Highway: The limited access sections of Route 13
that include at least 4 total traffic lanes.
Associated interchanges and ramps will also be
delineated within this class.
Railroads: Active railroad right of ways
Marsh, bog, shrub wetlands: Areas of wetlands
that contain grasses, scrub, brush, and are void of
Reservoir: Bodies of water that are formed from
Natural Lake/Pond: Bodies of water that are not
formed by damming creeks. Ponds may be man-made.
Wooded Wetland: Wooded areas that show
considerable amounts of water beneath the trees
Any unusual or informative characteristics associated
with the land use classification
Distribution_Liability: Cornell University provides these geographic data "as is". Cornell
University makes no guarantee or warranty concerning the accuracy of
information contained in the geographic data. Cornell University further
makes no warranty either expressed or implied, regarding the condition of
the product or its fitness for any particular purpose. The burden for
determining fitness for use lies entirely with the user. Although these
files have been processed successfully on computers at Cornell University,
no warranty is made by Cornell University regarding the use of these data
on any other system, nor does the fact of distribution constitute or imply
any such warranty.