Falls Lake Land Cover Analysis



This project investigated the use of Raster land cover data in finding the area of various land cover types within a specified distance of streams in a portion of Wake County.


This project was part of the requirements for GIS 510, Introduction to Geospatial Information Science. Stream data and a polygon 'clip area' data was provided. The land cover data for Wake County was located and retrieved from the NCSU GIS library website.


This exercise explored the use of Raster data. The first task was to locate and download the appropriate raster file for the desired location, clip it with the 'Extract by Mask' tool, and explore the various properties of the raster data set. The given streams shapefile was used to buffer a region of the study area. This buffer region was then used to compare the calculated area between the vector and raster layers to illustrate the differences between the two data formats. The Reclassify tool was also explored to reclassify the raster level 2 categories into level 1 categories. Finally, a map layout was produced to visualize the buffered region of the study area.


This exercise showed the importance of understanding the differences between raster and vector data and knowing the situations in which each one is most appropriate. Often the goal of the project will dictact which data type is best simply by the nature of the information being presented. In other situations when it is not so clear, a complete understanding of the two becomes crucial and can have a big impact on the outcome of the project.