Geospatial information for sustainable food systems

Land characterization system software (LCHS)

Land characterization system software a new land characterization software for editing land cover legends compliant with ISO 19144-2 – Land Cover Meta Language (LCML) standard. The objective of the new software is to enable a rapid way for editing land cover legends and classes using the LCML metalanguage. It should be noted that a graphical editor and other tools for working with LCML-based legends already exist, namely LCCS3 and LCCS3Tool.

Figure 1: High-level requirements for the design of the land characterization system software

LCML aims to classify real-world land cover features by employing a simple set of elements arranged in various ways. These elements serve as building blocks that describe more complex semantics within specific application ontologies, known as legends. LCML acts as a boundary object, facilitating and supporting negotiations among different parties on how to represent land cover, enabling understanding and expression of both similarities and differences. While LCML allows customization of classes to meet user requirements, it requires a shared identity among users. The key theoretical characteristics of LCML are as follows:

  • The language incorporates essential elements that strike a balance between globally standardized land cover terms and the need for detailed descriptions to ensure practical applicability. These elements are limited in number, encompass widely accepted terms, and effectively represent distinct land cover situations.
  • It seeks to minimize complex descriptions and definitions.
  • The fundamental concept underlying LCML is that a predefined set of basic land cover elements (referred to as BASIC OBJECTS), augmented by external qualities and attributes, and organized in different strata types, can be utilized to describe a broad range of distinctive and detailed land cover scenarios.


Getting started with Land Characterization system software.
Software available here.