What world-wide land use – clutter database can I use in TAP?

TAP6.3 release 2534 (and later), with a maintenance subscription of 31 December 2015 (and later), now supports moderate-resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS) international land use data.

The previous TAP Global Land Cover (GLC) data formed a 30×30-arcsecond grid.  The MODIS Database is a 17-class land cover classification scheme that has been applied over a 15×15-arcsecond grid. There are MODIS datasets available for 2001-2012.  SoftWright has available MODIS 2012 data in 12-by-16 degree tiles, available for purchase on a per-country basis.  Each tile is a GeoTiff file in the WGS84 datum.

This graphic shows the land use data from a MODIS tile for the big island of Hawaii.

Hawaii Land Use Data - MODIS

Hawaii Land Use Data – MODIS

The MODIS data set is integrated into TAP alongside NLCD and the older LULC and GLC data sets.  It is enabled by default in the TAP6 menu:

Land Use Configuration Settings

Land Use Configuration Settings

The land use path must be configured to contain the folder in which the MODIS tiles may be found, via the Land Use -> File Locations menu item (above).  The File Locations dialog is shown here.  To add a folder containing MODIS data, click the Add button.  Alternatively, the MODIS could also simply be copied into the LULC folder.


To install your MODIS data, you may copy it to any path accessible by your system, or use it on the distribution media; you do not need to copy it into the preset LULC folder.  You must, however, use the menu and dialog above to configure TAP to include the MODIS path if the data is not placed in one of the listed folders.

When MODIS is configured, TAP will first try to use NLCD for land use data, and then fall back to LULC, then MODIS, then GLC, in that order, if no NLCD data is found for a given point.

Performance Tip:  If you are confident that you have MODIS and/or NLCD coverage for your study, disabling LULC and GLC land use can decrease study calculation times by minutes, depending upon your devices and file organization.

The MODIS legend and TAP category mapping is below.  If desired, the mappings may be adjusted in the [Land Use] section of the SWDefaults.ini file – please contact support@softwright.com prior to making any manual adjustments within the SWDefaults.ini file.  As with the other land use data sets, the LULC code mappings are used to pre-load the default loss tables according to the TSB-88 loss categories associated with the respective LULC codes, as shown in this table.

Value MODIS Label TAP6 Mapping (LULC Code) TSB-88 Loss Category
0 Water 50: Water 4: Water
1 Evergreen Needleleaf forest 42: Forest Land: Evergreen 5: Forest Land
2 Evergreen Broadleaf forest 42: Forest Land: Evergreen 5: Forest Land
3 Deciduous Needleleaf forest 41: Forest Land: Deciduous 5: Forest Land
4 Deciduous Broadleaf forest 41: Forest Land: Deciduous 5: Forest Land
5 Mixed forest 43: Forest Land: Mixed 5: Forest Land
6 Closed shrublands 32: Rangeland: Shrub and Bush 3: Rangeland
7 Open shrublands 32: Rangeland: Shrub and Bush 3: Rangeland
8 Woody savannas 33: Rangeland: Mixed 3: Rangeland
9 Savannas 33: Rangeland: Mixed 3: Rangeland
10 Grasslands 33: Rangeland: Mixed 3: Rangeland
11 Permanent wetlands 62: Wetland: Nonforested 6: Wetland
12 Croplands 21: Agricultural Land: Cropland and Pasture 2: Agricultural
13 Urban and built-up 16: Urban or Built-Up Land: Mixed 8: Mixed Urban / Buildings
14 Cropland/Natural vegetation mosaic 21: Agricultural Land: Cropland and Pasture 2: Agricultural
15 Snow and ice 90: Perennial Snow or Ice 10: Snow and Ice
16 Barren or sparsely vegetated 77: Barren Land: Mixed 1: Open Land
254 Unclassified
255 Fill Value

MODIS source:  http://www.landcover.org/data/lc/

Citation: Friedl, M.A., D. Sulla-Menashe, B. Tan, A. Schneider, N. Ramankutty, A. Sibley and X. Huang (2010), MODIS Collection 5 global land cover: Algorithm refinements and characterization of new datasets, 2001-2012, Collection 5.1 IGBP Land Cover, Boston University, Boston, MA, USA.