LGN is a raster database with a resolution of 25 meter. From LGN2018 onwards, the spatial resolution has been refined to 5m. The LGN database has been produced by Wageningen Environmental Research since the late 1980s and meets the demand for up-to-date and accurate data on land use in the Netherlands. It also provides opportunities to track changes in land cover and land use over time.
Since 1986, 10 versions of the LGN database have been produced. The latest version of the LGN series, the LGN2020 database, will be available from August 1st, 2021. From LGN2018, a new version of the database will be released every year that shows the land use for the year in question. Since LGN2018, the LGN database has a resolution of 5 meter. Aggregated versions of 25m resolution are also available. Below you will find a short sketch of the different LGN databases, the spatial and thematic detail, the source databases underlying the different versions and the production method used.
The LGN2020 database shows the land use of the Netherlands for the reference year 2020. The spatial resolution and thematic detail, 5 meters and 48 land use classes respectively, have remained the same as the LGN2018 database. However, based on the most recent versions of the Basic Registration of Parcels (BRP2020) and the Basic Registration Topography (BRT or Top10NL version November 2020), the LGN database has been updated. Land use within nature has not been updated. The same methodology was applied for the production of the LGN2020 database as for LGN2018. This has considerably accelerated the production process.
The LGN2019 database shows the land use of the Netherlands for the reference year 2019. The spatial resolution and thematic detail, 5 meters and 48 land use classes respectively, have remained the same as the LGN2018 database. However, based on the most recent versions of the Basic Registration of Parcels (BRP2019) and the Basic Registration Topography (BRT or Top10NL version November 2019), the LGN database has been updated. Land use within nature has not been updated. The same methodology was used for the production of the LGN2019 database as for LGN2018. This has considerably accelerated the production process.
The naming of the new LGN database - the 8th version of the LGN database has been given the name LGN2018 - immediately shows one of the innovations. From now on, the aim is to release a new version every year that reflects current land use. LGN2018 shows the land use for the reference year 2018, LGN2019 for the reference year 2019, etc. The annual production of the LGN has been made possible by improving and largely automating the production process (scripting), which greatly shortens the processing time.
In addition to the innovations in the production process, all kinds of changes have also been made in LGN2018 compared to LGN7. In addition to increasing the spatial detail (from 25m to 5m resolution), the nature theme in particular has been greatly improved by, among other things, the use of multi-temporal Sentinel-2 images and the AHN2/3 database. A total of 8 new nature classes have been added in LGN2018. And as a final improvement, the class 'other land use in the agricultural area' (LGN class 27) has been added. This mainly concerns the areas around greenhouses and farms (yards).
Improvements to the LGN database include integration with the most current spatial databases, such as the Kadaster’s topographic base date (Top10NL, version 2012), the Land Parcel Information System 2012 (LPIS2012), the Netherlands digital land use map 2008 (BBG2008) and the Basic Nature Map 2012 (BKN2012). In addition to this, use is made of a higher temporal satellite-information resolution made available via the National Satellite Data Portal (NSD) green monitor. This has resulted in the classification of agricultural crops being vastly improved. Furthermore the swamps have been more clearly defined due to the fact that Top10NL’s fields include swamps, reeds and bogs.
In the past, the LGN database was used in water management, spatial planning and environmental management.
The LGN 6 database has the same amount of files as LGN5. The most important improvements are:
- The geometry and main class themes are now fully based on the Top10 Vector database (2006 Version).
- In urban areas data from the Soil Use database from the Central Office of Statistics (BBG2003) and the Built-up Areas database from VROM (BG2003) is integrated.
- Natural grasslands, dunes and swamps are taken from the ‘Natural Landscape Standard Map 2007’ (BKN2007).
- The forests and heath have been reclassified based on satellite images from 2007/2008.
LGN5’s specifications are the same as LGN4’s. The most important difference is that it is based more on satellite images. These have provided improved crop classification input. There have also been several further technical improvements that have made the editing and management of the database easier, for example the geodatabase is a sheet-free version of the Top 10 Vector. The LGN5 database is a collection of databases, just as LGN4 was. In addition to the country-wide raster file, the LGN5 grid, there is also an LGN5 that maps crops, a monitoring file, ( the ‘LGN5-mon’) and further diverse thematic aggregations of the LGN5 database.
How the LGN database could be utilised was further expanded with LGN4. For example, agricultural crops could be combined with Top10 Vector property boundaries. Being able to trace changes in land use was also made possible.
Changes to land use over time have been able to be observed since LGN3. These are changes to agricultural areas , greenhouses, orchards, forests, water, urban areas, infrastructure and nature.
LGN1 and LGN2
The first two versions of the LGN database were experimental databases with limited accuracy and clear shortcomings. In LGN3 these limitations were overcome and the arrival of LGN3plus ensured that the usefulness of the database for environmental analysis was strongly improved.