Research of the University of Minnesota's Remote Sensing and Geospatial Analysis Laboratory
This website provides a series of maps and statistics about land cover, impervious surface area and landscape change, derived from satellite imagery, in Minnesota from 1986 to the present. Accurate and consistent information about land cover/use is critical for land managers and planners, policy makers, researchers and educators to make better informed decisions about land use in Minnesota.
Minnesota is one of the first states to have multiple dates of land cover and impervious surface, and change data, mapped statewide using satellite imagery. Other surveys have been performed by various means on smaller scales, but none have had the large area coverage as well as the historical depth of information.
Clearly, change, including in land cover and land use, is a constant. Humans have long altered the land by clearing forests, farming, and building settlements. Due to advances in civilization, human-induced changes now occur much faster, and in many ways more dramatically than in the past. It is increasingly apparent that these rapid transformations can have profound social and environmental implications.
A New Approach
We integrate several different approaches to describe and understand the processes of urbanization and land use change in Minnesota 's metropolitan and rural areas. We start by creating maps of the changing landscape based on imagery taken from satellites orbiting the planet, an approach that offers an effective method for inventory, monitoring, and analysis of land, vegetation, and water resources.
Maps were created by researchers at the Remote Sensing and Geospatial Analysis Lab at the University of Minnesota, in cooperation with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.
For further information about this research, contact:
Professor, Remote Sensing
University of Minnesota
Department of Forest Resources
1530 N. Cleveland Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55108