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Geospatial information for sustainable food systems

Jordan Land Cover Atlas

Year published: 07/03/2019

The Jordanian Land Cover Database and Atlas were developed under the Regional Food Security Analysis Network (RFSAN) project. The main objective of the project is to increase and improve provision of goods and services from agriculture, forestry and fisheries in a sustainable manner as well as to increase the understanding of the bio-physical conditions of land in Jordan.

The Land Cover Atlas of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan provides information on the land cover distribution by sub-national administrative boundaries (governorates and districts) provided by the Royal Jordanian Geographic Centre (RJGC).

The Land Cover Database is compliant with the ISO\FAO standard (ISO 19144-2:2012) based on the land cover classification system (LCCS): Land Cover Meta Language (LCML).

LCML was implemented to support the standardization and integration of a national land cover classification system across the world.

It provides a set of standard diagnostic attributes that are independent of the scale of interpretation. Its use advocates for a more transparent and comparable way of reporting land cover information. The LCML land cover legend was designed with the software LCCSv3.

The main data source includes multispectral Sentinel-2 imagery at 10 m of spatial resolution acquired from April to November 2016 and ancillary georeferenced data (land cover and land use map, vegetation cover, soil map) obtained from different institutions. Sentinel-2 imagery were pre-processed and mosaicked to provide a temporal sequence of free-cloud, calibrated images. Then, an Object-Based Image Analysis workflow was applied to segment the images into homogeneous polygons, that were interpreted according to their spectral, texture and shape characteristics supported by vegetation indices and ancillary datasets. Post-processing finally removed incoherent classifications, clipping and dissolving polygons to official boundaries. The final database comprises 1 million polygons classified according to the LCCS Legend distinguished into 34 classes (23 aggregated classes).

The statistical analysis of land cover aggregated class distribution is organized into two sections:

  • National Land Cover Data Base (LCDB).
  • LCDB by governorates.

This work represents a substantial contribution to understanding land cover and land processes in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and provides valuable baseline data to further monitor land changes in the future.