Leveraging Partnerships to Fulfill Multiple Land Cover Data Needs


Oregon’s Lower Columbia River Estuary is designated by the National Estuary Program as one of 28 estuaries of national significance. The Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership recognized the need for an up-to-date land cover map of the floodplain to coordinate the organization’s stewardship efforts.


NOAA produces land cover and change information for the coastal regions of the U.S. every five years. A new land cover update was about to get underway, so NOAA reached out to the partnership to coordinate efforts. NOAA’s C-CAP land cover team worked with the partnership and determined a higher resolution product (1 to 5 meters) was needed. Working together made this need affordable. The NOAA team provided technical assistance and quality assurance reviews of all products as they were produced. The mapping classification effort was produced by the Sanborn Map Company, which incorporated the most recent aerial imagery, lidar, Landsat, and other supporting data sets.


Through the collaboration, the Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership was able to capitalize on innovative mapping methods and approaches that had been used as part of C-CAP’s high-resolution efforts. As a result, the partnership was able to obtain a more detailed classification than initially planned with the budget they had available. While the data served through NOAA conform to C-CAP’s national standard, both products are very similar and will continue to benefit users when future updates to either product occur.

C-CAP High-Resolution Land Cover and High-Resolution Orthoimagery of the Lower Columbia Estuary
Left: high-resolution land cover classification map for the lower Columbia showing the Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership’s classification. Right: same product classified according to the C-CAP scheme.

Contributing Partners

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