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1. A (bio)physical description of the earth's surface. It is that which overlays or currently covers the ground. This description enables various biophysical categories to be distinguished - basically, areas of vegetation (trees, bushes, fields, lawns), bare soil, hard surfaces (rocks, buildings) and wet areas and bodies of water (watercourses, wetlands).

2. Land-cover change describes differences in the area occupied by cover types through time.

3. That which overlays or currently covers the ground, especially vegetation, permanent snow and ice fields, water bodies, or structures. Barren land is also considered a `land cover' although technically it is lack of cover. The term land cover can be thought of as applying to the setting in which action (one or more different land uses) takes place (USDA Forest Service 1989).

4. The actual distribution of vegetation, water, desert, ice, and other physical features of the land, including those created by human activities.

5. The biophysical state of the earth's surface and immediate subsurface.

6. The composition of the features of the earth's surface. (Cihlar and Jansen 2001).

7. The ecological state and physical appearance of the land surface (e.g., closed forests, open forests, or grasslands) (Turner and Meyer 1994).

8. The habitat or vegetation type present, such as forest, agriculture, and grassland.

9. The natural landscape recorded as surface components: forest, water, wetlands, urban, etc. Land cover can be documented by analyzing spectral signatures of satellite and aerial imagery.

10. The observed (bio) physical cover on the earth's surface. Also aspects describing land itself rather than land cover have been included (e.g. bare areas, waterbodies, etc.) because in practice the scientific community is used to describe those aspects under the term land cover (Di Gregorio and Jansen 1997, 1998, Jansen and Di Gregorio 1998).

11. The observed physical and biological cover of the Earth's land as vegetation or man-made features. and

12. The physical attributes of the land that can be seen readily as opposed to the land use which describes a pattern of human activities undertaken within a social and economic context.

13. The type of surface layer of the specific land area, including vegetation, barren land, open water bodies and artificial surfaces, that can be observed in the field and recorded by aerial or satellite remote sensing. (Kalensky et al. 2002)

14. The vegetation or other kind of material that covers the land surface. and

15. Usually used to denote the nature of the Earth's surface in areas where the natural environment is dominant.

16. Land cover classification - A process of stratification and systematic grouping of land cover into multi-level, mutually exclusive classes according to selected criteria. It is independent of map scale, data source and geographic area. (Kalensky et al. 2002).

17. Land cover map legend - A subset of land cover classes compatible with the map scale, map type (forest map, forest change map, agricultural land map, land degradation map, etc.) and map accuracy requirements. Furthermore, the map legend is specific to a geographic area of the map. (Kalensky et al. 2002).

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