January 2002

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Overview

The MassGIS Land Use datalayer has 37 land use classifications interpreted from 1:25,000 aerial photography. Coverage is complete statewide for 1971, 1985, and 1999. Additionally, more than half the state was interpreted from aerial photography flown during 1990, 1991, 1992, 1995 or 1997. The 15 towns on Cape Cod also contain land use data for 1951. Please see the Land Use Status Map pdf format of st_lus.pdf
, which displays the years for which land use data were interpreted for each town. In ArcSDE the layer is named LANDUSE_POLY.

The year of most recent photography used for land use data interpretation is stored in a single statewide polygon layer called LUSTAT_POLY. This layer was necessitated because some towns contain partial coverage for a certain year, which eliminated the one-to-one link between town-ID and year.

MassGIS has produced Land Use Summary Statistics , by municipality, for all three years for which land use is available statewide. These tables summarize acreage for each land use type by year, as well as land use change from 1971 to 1985 and 1985 to 1999.

Production

Photointerpretation and automation were done by the Resource Mapping Project at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. The RMP staff aggregated the 104 classes of their original 1971 interpretation into 21 categories and digitized the data into individual community digital coverages using a PC version of Arc/INFO software. The RMP staff then visually compared the 1971 photography and 1985 photography and produced a digital map of only 1971-85 change for each community. Interpretation was made from 1:40,000 9"x 9" color infrared photos flown in Summer 1985. Southeastern Mass was flown in September 1984. The flight and photography were funded by the Massachusetts Dept. of Environmental Management for another project. Several additional categories of land use were added for parts of Massachusetts. Ten communities in the Southeastern Regional Planning & Economic Development District (SRPEDD) west of Buzzards Bay plus Bourne and Falmouth have a total of 28 land use classes. The 28 classes include the original 21 categories plus 23,24,25,26,27,28 and 29 (see Code Definitions below).

In 1990, the Cape Cod Commission funded an update of Cape Cod. These data are categorized into 26 land use classifications, expanding the original codes to include 23,26,29 and 30. These additional codes, along with the original 21, are listed in LU37_CODE. The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) funded land use interpretation in 1991 for 14 towns. The 33 code scheme for this update includes codes 23,24,29,30,31,32,33,34,35,36 and 37 in addition to the original 21 codes. The Executive Office of Transportation and Construction (EOTC, now part of MassDOT Highway Division) also funded a 1991 update for 113 towns using the same set of codes as the MWRA except for code 37. The UMass RMP staff updated some other towns not included in the 1990-1991 update based on digital orthophotography flown during 1992, 1995, and 1997. The towns that have been updated between 1985 and 1999 are listed below. The minimum mapping unit used was one acre.

Each land use coverage was plotted at a scale of 1:25,000 by the RMP before delivery to MassGIS. MassGIS used a workstation version of Arc/INFO to combine data from different years. Each coverage, therefore, may have contained many small polygons that may have been one land use type in, say, 1971. Over the years the land may have been split up for different uses, and the linework in the current layer reflects the land use boundaries for all these uses during the many years of interpretation. The process of combining the data from different years created some 'sliver polygons'. These result when a theoretically coterminous line in each coverage is actually offset due to it having been digitized twice, e.g. the shore of a lake. Many of these slivers were eliminated by screening for an area/perimeter ratio beyond normal limits.

NOTE: This project was funded by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs (EOEA), the Executive Office of Transportation and Construction, Massachusetts Water Resources Authority and several regional planning agencies. Photointerpretation and digitizing were completed by the UMASS-Amherst Department of Forestry Resource Mapping Project (RMP).

In 1999, EOEA funded the acquisition of statewide 1:25,000 aerial color infrared photography for use in the latest round of land use interpretation. Again, photointerpretation and digitizing were completed by the UMASS Department of Forestry Resource Mapping Project. As part of the 1999 update RMP staff also removed slivers generated in earlier updates, fine-tuned edgematching between towns, and reinterpreted some historical land use codes.

The photography used for the land use interpretation were in hardcopy form only. They are currently housed at the UMass Amherst library as part of its aerial photo collection. Visit http://www.library.umass.edu/collections/maps/aerial-photo-collection/ for details.

The polygon data stores land use codes for 1971, 1985 and 1999. A "history table" stores codes only for years other than 1971, 1985 and 1999 (see the section Additional Land Use Interpretation).

Attributes

The layer's polygon attribute table contains the following items: 
TILE_NAME Town-ID (1-351, from Towns Layer)
LU_ID Unique polygon ID for the town
LU21_1971 21-category landuse code for 1971
LU21_1985 21-category landuse code for 1985
LU37_1985 37-category landuse code for 1985
LU21_1999 21-category landuse code for 1999
LU37_1999 37-category landuse code for 1999
RELATEID Item combining the TILE_NAME and LU_ID items, zero-filled so that the LU_ID portion of this item spans five digits. This item uniquely identifies each polygon within the state.
AREA_ACRES Area of polygon in acres
For older land use codes (1951-1997, where interpreted), see the section Additional Land Use Interpretation.

Land Use Code Definitions

The land use code items (LU21_* and LU37_*) in the polygon attribute and history tables represent two classifications of land use. The 21-category classification aggregates the categories in the 37-category classification as follows:
CODE ABBREV CATEGORY DEFINITION
1 AC Cropland Intensive agriculture
2 AP Pasture Extensive agriculture
3 F Forest Forest
4 FW Wetland Nonforested freshwater wetland
5 M Mining Sand; gravel & rock
6 O Open Land Abandoned agriculture; power lines; areas of no vegetation
7 RP Participation Recreation Golf; tennis; Playgrounds; skiing
8 RS Spectator Recreation Stadiums; racetracks; Fairgrounds; drive-ins
9 RW Water Based Recreation Beaches; marinas; Swimming pools
10 R0 Residential Multi-family
11 R1 Residential Smaller than 1/4 acre lots
12 R2 Residential 1/4 - 1/2 acre lots
13 R3 Residential Larger than 1/2 acre lots
14 SW Salt Wetland Salt marsh
15 UC Commercial General urban; shopping center
16 UI Industrial Light & heavy industry
17 UO Urban Open Parks; cemeteries; public & institutional greenspace; also vacant undeveloped land
18 UT Transportation Airports; docks; divided highway; freight; storage; railroads
19 UW Waste Disposal Landfills; sewage lagoons
20 W Water Fresh water; coastal embayment
21 WP Woody Perennial Orchard; nursery; cranberry bog
22 - No Change Code used by MassGIS only during quality checking
The additional categories in the LU37_* fields are:
CODE ABBREV CATEGORY
23 CB Cranberry bog (part of #21)
24 PL Powerlines (part of #6)
25 RSB Salwater sandy beach (part of #9; no longer used)
26 RG Golf (part of #7)
27 TSM Tidal salt marshes (part of #14; no longer used)
28 ISM Irregulary flooded salt marshes (part of #14; no longer used)
29 RM Marina (part of #9)
30 - New ocean (areas of accretion; part of #20)
31 UP Urban public (part of #17)
32 TF Transportation facilities (part of #18)
33 H Heath (part of #17)
34 CM Cemeteries (part of #17)
35 OR Orchard (part of #21)
36 N Nursery (part of #21)
37 - Forested wetland (part of #3; no longer used)
All land use categories were aggregated from 104 categories originally defined in 1971. Further information on them can be obtained from Professor William MacConnell at the Dept. of Forestry, University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Additional Land Use Interpretation

In addition to the statewide land use codes for 1971, 1985, and 1999, some towns have had land use interpreted for other years (1951, 1990, 1991, 1992 and 1997). To store these additional codes, a related "Polygon History table" (LANDUSE_POLY_HISTORY) was created. The RELATEID field joins this table to the polygons. (The history table does not contain data for 1992. To obtain this data please contact MassGIS).

Important note when joining to the historical land use tables: Users may need to define a query (e.g. a "definition query" in ArcMap) or select the history table records for a particular year and export the selected records to a new table, and then join the polygons to the subset of the table, for a one-to-one relationship between the tables for a single year.

The LANDUSE_POLY_HISTORY table contains the following items:

TILE_NAME Town-ID
LU_ID Unique polygon ID for the town
LU21_CODE 21-category landuse code (for YEAR)
LU37_CODE 37-category landuse code (for YEAR); Code will be same as LU21_CODE for pre-1990 data (except 10 SRPEDD towns for 1985, as noted above).
YEAR Date of historical data (Year of photography used in land use compilation - 1951, 1990, 1991, 1997)
RELATEID Item combining the TILE_NAME and LU_ID items, zero-filled so that the LU_ID portion of this item spans five digits. This item uniquely identifies each polygon within the state.
Download the history table from the Land Use Download page .
The following towns have been updated by UMass-Amherst using orthophotography flown during the years listed in parentheses:
  4 ADAMS(1997)
  8 AMHERST (1997)
11 ASHBURNHAM (1997)
12 ASHBY (1997)
13 ASHFIELD (1997)
15 ATHOL (1997)
29 BERNARDSTON (1997)
47 BUCKLAND (1995)
53 CHARLEMONT (1997)
66 COLRAIN (1997)
68 CONWAY (1997)
74 DEERFIELD (1997)
91 ERVING (1997)
   98 FLORIDA(1997)
103 GARDNER (1997)
106 GILL (1997)
108 GOSHEN (1997)
111 GRANBY (1997)
114 GREENFIELD (1997)
117 HADLEY (1997)
127 HATFIELD (1997)
129 HAWLEY (1997)
130 HEATH (1997)
140 HUBBARDSTON (1992, 1997)
154 LEVERETT (1997)
156 LEYDEN(1997)
 190 MONROE (1997)
192 MONTAGUE (1997)
204 NEW SALEM (1992)
209 NORTH ADAMS (1997)
214 NORTHAMPTON (1997)
217 NORTHFIELD (1997)
223 ORANGE (1997)
234 PETERSHAM (1992)
235 PHILLIPSTON (1992, 1997)
237 PLAINFIELD (1997)
253 ROWE (1997)
255 ROYALSTON (1997)
263 SAVOY (1997)
 268 SHELBURNE (1995, 1997)
279 SOUTHWICK (1997)
289 SUNDERLAND (1997)
294 TEMPLETON (1992, 1997)
312 WARWICK (1997)
319 WENDELL (1992, 1997)
331 WESTHAMPTON (1997)
332 WESTMINSTER (1992, 1997)
337 WHATELY (1997)
340 WILLIAMSBURG (1997)
341 WILLIAMSTOWN (1997)
343 WINCHENDON (1997)
UMass-Amherst also interpreted land use for 1951 for the 15 communities on Cape Cod:
20 BARNSTABLE
36 BOURNE
41 BREWSTER
55 CHATHAM
75 DENNIS
 
 
  86 EASTHAM
  96 FALMOUTH
126 HARWICH
172 MASHPEE
224 ORLEANS
 
 
242 PROVINCETOWN
261 SANDWICH
300 TRURO
318 WELLFLEET
351 YARMOUTH
The following is a list of town IDs and names for which 1990/1991 land use is available. The organization that completed the updates is listed in parentheses.
   1 ABINGTON (EOTC)
   2 ACTON (EOTC)
   7 AMESBURY (EOTC)
   9 ANDOVER (EOTC)
 10 ARLINGTON (MWRA)
 14 ASHLAND (EOTC)
 16 ATTLEBORO (EOTC)
 18 AVON (EOTC)
 19 AYER (EOTC)
 20 BARNSTABLE (CAPE)
 23 BEDFORD (EOTC)
 25 BELLINGHAM (EOTC)
 26 BELMONT (MWRA)
 28 BERLIN (EOTC)
 30 BEVERLY (EOTC)
 31 BILLERICA (EOTC)
 32 BLACKSTONE (EOTC)
 34 BOLTON (EOTC)
 35 BOSTON (MWRA)
 36 BOURNE (CAPE)
 37 BOXBOROUGH (EOTC)
 38 BOXFORD (EOTC)
 40 BRAINTREE (EOTC)
 41 BREWSTER (CAPE)
 42 BRIDGEWATER (EOTC)
 44 BROCKTON (EOTC)
 46 BROOKLINE (MWRA)
 48 BURLINGTON (EOTC)
 49 CAMBRIDGE (MWRA)
 50 CANTON (EOTC)
 51 CARLISLE (EOTC)
 52 CARVER (EOTC)
 55 CHATHAM (CAPE)
 56 CHELMSFORD (EOTC)
 57 CHELSEA (MWRA)
 64 CLINTON (EOTC)
 65 COHASSET (EOTC)
 67 CONCORD (EOTC)
 71 DANVERS (EOTC)
 73 DEDHAM (EOTC)
 75 DENNIS (CAPE)
 78 DOVER (EOTC)
 79 DRACUT (EOTC)
 81 DUNSTABLE (EOTC)
 82 DUXBURY (EOTC)
   83 EAST BRIDGEWATER (EOTC)
  86 EASTHAM (CAPE)
  88 EASTON (EOTC)
  92 ESSEX (EOTC)
  93 EVERETT (MWRA)
  96 FALMOUTH (CAPE)
  99 FOXBOROUGH (EOTC)
100 FRAMINGHAM (EOTC)
101 FRANKLIN (EOTC)
105 GEORGETOWN (EOTC)
107 GLOUCESTER (EOTC)
115 GROTON (EOTC)
116 GROVELAND (EOTC)
118 HALIFAX (EOTC)
119 HAMILTON (EOTC)
122 HANOVER (EOTC)
123 HANSON (EOTC)
125 HARVARD (EOTC)
126 HARWICH (CAPE)
128 HAVERHILL (EOTC)
131 HINGHAM (EOTC)
133 HOLBROOK (EOTC)
136 HOLLISTON (EOTC)
138 HOPEDALE (EOTC)
139 HOPKINTON (EOTC)
141 HUDSON (EOTC)
142 HULL (EOTC)
144 IPSWICH (EOTC)
145 KINGSTON (EOTC)
146 LAKEVILLE (EOTC)
147 LANCASTER (EOTC)
149 LAWRENCE (EOTC)
155 LEXINGTON (EOTC)
157 LINCOLN (EOTC)
158 LITTLETON (EOTC)
160 LOWELL (EOTC)
163 LYNN (EOTC)
164 LYNNFIELD (EOTC)
165 MALDEN (EOTC)
166 MANCHESTER (EOTC)
167 MANSFIELD (EOTC)
168 MARBLEHEAD (EOTC)
170 MARLBOROUGH (EOTC)
171 MARSHFIELD (EOTC)
172 MASHPEE (CAPE)
 174 MAYNARD (EOTC)
175 MEDFIELD (EOTC)
176 MEDFORD (MWRA)
177 MEDWAY (EOTC)
178 MELROSE (EOTC)
179 MENDON (EOTC)
180 MERRIMAC (EOTC)
181 METHUEN (EOTC)
182 MIDDLEBOROUGH (EOTC)
184 MIDDLETON (EOTC)
185 MILFORD (EOTC)
187 MILLIS (EOTC)
188 MILLVILLE (EOTC)
189 MILTON (EOTC)
196 NAHANT (EOTC)
198 NATICK (EOTC)
199 NEEDHAM (EOTC)
205 NEWBURY (EOTC)
206 NEWBURYPORT (EOTC)
207 NEWTON (EOTC)
208 NORFOLK (EOTC)
210 NORTH ANDOVER (EOTC)
211 NORTH ATTLEBOROUGH (EOTC)
213 NORTH READING (EOTC)
215 NORTHBOROUGH (EOTC)
216 NORTHBRIDGE (EOTC)
218 NORTON (EOTC)
219 NORWELL (EOTC)
220 NORWOOD (EOTC)
224 ORLEANS (CAPE)
229 PEABODY (EOTC)
231 PEMBROKE (EOTC)
232 PEPPERELL (EOTC)
238 PLAINVILLE (EOTC)
239 PLYMOUTH (EOTC)
240 PLYMPTON (EOTC)
242 PROVINCETOWN (CAPE)
243 QUINCY (EOTC)
244 RANDOLPH (EOTC)
245 RAYNHAM (EOTC)
246 READING (EOTC)
248 REVERE (EOTC)
251 ROCKLAND (EOTC)
252 ROCKPORT (EOTC)
254 ROWLEY (EOTC)
 258 SALEM (EOTC)
259 SALISBURY (EOTC)
261 SANDWICH (CAPE)
262 SAUGUS (EOTC)
264 SCITUATE (EOTC)
266 SHARON (EOTC)
269 SHERBORN (EOTC)
270 SHIRLEY (EOTC)
274 SOMERVILLE (MWRA)
277 SOUTHBOROUGH (EOTC)
284 STONEHAM (MWRA)
285 STOUGHTON (EOTC)
286 STOW (EOTC)
288 SUDBURY (EOTC)
291 SWAMPSCOTT (EOTC)
293 TAUNTON (EOTC)
295 TEWKSBURY (EOTC)
298 TOPSFIELD (EOTC)
300 TRURO (CAPE)
301 TYNGSBOROUGH (EOTC)
303 UPTON (EOTC)
304 UXBRIDGE (EOTC)
305 WAKEFIELD (MWRA)
307 WALPOLE (EOTC)
308 WALTHAM (MWRA)
314 WATERTOWN (EOTC)
315 WAYLAND (EOTC)
317 WELLESLEY (EOTC)
318 WELLFLEET (CAPE)
320 WENHAM (EOTC)
322 WEST BRIDGEWATER (EOTC)
324 WEST NEWBURY (EOTC)
328 WESTBOROUGH (EOTC)
330 WESTFORD (EOTC)
333 WESTON (EOTC)
335 WESTWOOD (EOTC)
336 WEYMOUTH (EOTC)
338 WHITMAN (EOTC)
342 WILMINGTON (EOTC)
344 WINCHESTER (MWRA)
346 WINTHROP (EOTC)
347 WOBURN (MWRA)
350 WRENTHAM (EOTC)
351 YARMOUTH (CAPE)

Land Use Status

The polygon attribute table for the LUSTAT_POLY coverage contains the following items:
TOWN-ID Town-ID (1 - 351, from Towns Layer)
TOWN Town name
ISLAND 1 = Island polygon (a coastal water area sealed off from the ocean)
SRC_CODE Code of organization that funded a pre-1999 data update (EOTC, MWRA, Cape Cod Commission)
LUYEAR Date of most recent data (all currently are 1999)
LU_YR_PREV Date of most recent previous data
The Land Use Status Map pdf format of st_lus.pdf
displays the years for which land use data were interpreted.

Maintenance

MassGIS is maintaining this layer. Data available from MassGIS prior to March 31, 2005, used the old Land Use data model, in which only the most recent year was stored in the attribute table of the polygons, with older years' data in the history table. The current model stores the three years for which land use data are available statewide with the polygons, with the history table storing codes for years where interpretation was done only regionally.

MassGIS has produced Land Use Summary Statistics , by municipality, for all three years for which land use is available statewide. These tables summarize acreages for each land use type by year, as well as land use change from 1971 to 1985 and 1985 to 1999.

For newer land use data, see Land Use (2005) .


Last Updated 6/9/2014