Definition: LUCAS nomenclature

Land Use/Land Cover

The nomenclature of the "Land Use / Cover Area statistical Survey (LUCAS) " is a multi-purpose statistical nomenclature established following statistical principles of building nomenclatures (see Eurostat 2001: Manual on Concepts on Land Cover and Land Use information systems.- Luxembourg).

This nomenclature has been drafted in the framework of the Eurostat LUCAS pilot project. This pilot survey applies a two-stage, systematic area frame point sampling design (10 000 Primary Sampling Units that are segments with 10 Secondary Sampling Units that are points) and collects data in situ at around 100 000 observation points. It aims to provide representative data at the EU level on areas of the main agricultural crops in Europe (objective: CV < 2 %).

In the framework of this pilot project, data was first collected in 2001 and then in 2003 for a second time. As a pilot project, minor changes in the survey and the nomenclature were made after analysis of the results from the first collection. Due to its pilot character the survey is not yet implemented by towns / cities.

The nomenclature is divided into a Land COVER classification and a Land USE classification. The Land Cover part describes the bio-physical characteristics of the land while the Land Use categories describe the socio-economic functions of the land. This means that each observed land unit (area, linear or point feature) is described by two characteristics. This separation provides for multi-purpose applications of the nomenclature e.g. in agriculture statistics there is interest in crop areas using mainly cover characteristics and in urban statistics using mainly use characteristics. For the establishment of agrienvironmental indicators, for example, a postclassification might be defined according to user requirements.
Eurostat, "Urban Audit - Methodological Handbook (2004 Edition)", Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg, 2004

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