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June 29, 2016
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Home > Environment > Green Infrastructure > Maps


The Council of Governments' Green Infrastructure program produced the following maps in 2004. You may also find these maps in the Publications section. Limited free copies are available.

Map # 1 – Land Use / Land Cover within the Metropolitan Washington Region

This is a Land Use / Land Cover map depicting forests, cropland, park land, water features and urban and countryside development in more than 3000 square miles of the Metropolitan Washington Region as defined COG membership of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) . This map was developed through Land Sat imagery analyzed by RESAC (Regional Earth Science Applications Center) in conjunction with the COG Department of Environmental Programs and the National Park Service. Analysis for this map covers the 12 major land use / land cover classifications as defined by the Chesapeake Bay Program. The nature of Land Sat imagery is such that detailed visual images are not possible as they are when using high resolution satellite imagery or low-level aerial photography. However, the 30 meters per pixel resolution of Land Sat imagery is very useful for high altitude land cover analysis using spectral analysis techniques. Sophisticated digital analysis software has been used to calculate the land cover data for this map and has been ‘trained’ on higher resolution data to achieve accurate analysis to the 90th percentile.

This map was produced through the Metropolitan Washington Green Infrastructure Demonstration Project funded through the National Park Service National Capital Region.

Map # 2 – Increase in Developed Land

This map shows the increase in developed land via increase or change in impervious surface over 3 time periods; 1990, 1996 & 2000 using 1986 as the base time period. And as regional impervious surface increased within the same study area, it is logical to conclude that regional green space / open space decreased. Analysis of the COG portion of the Washington Metropolitan Area using satellite imagery revealed that our region’s impervious surface (paved, developed or otherwise non-vegetated) increased 5.6% from 12.2% to 17.8% in the 14-year study period between 1986 and 2000. To put this into perspective, our analysis looked at the 1986 development conditions and measured the existence of impervious surface. This data was then compared to the data for the subsequent analysis periods (1990, 1996 & 2000), it showed that this region had increased its impervious surface by nearly half between 1986 and 2000.

Map # 3 – Impervious Surfaces within the Metropolitan Washington Region

Impervious surface (paved, developed or otherwise non-vegetated) calculations were derived from analysis of multi-spectral and multi-temporal Landsat imagery acquired between 1999 and 2000. The map shows a range of percent imperviousness from 0 – 50 +, with white being the least impervious to deep red being the most impervious. Each 30 meter pixel has a percent imperviousness value associated with it (RESAC, 2003; http://www.geog.umd.edu/resac/).

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