Tree Canopy Change 2009 2014

GIS File Name



This layer is a high-resolution tree canopy change-detection layer for Cambridge, MA. It contains three tree-canopy classes for the period 2009-2014: (1) No Change; (2) Gain; and (3) Loss. It was created by extracting tree canopy from existing high-resolution land-cover maps for 2014 and 2010 and then comparing the mapped trees directly. Tree canopy that existed during both time periods was assigned to the No Change category while trees removed by development, storms, or disease were assigned to the Loss class. Trees planted during the interval were assigned to the Gain category, as were the edges of existing trees that expanded noticeably. Direct comparison was possible because both the 2014 and 2010 maps were created using object-based image analysis (OBIA) and included similar source datasets (LiDAR-derived surface models, multispectral imagery, and thematic GIS inputs). OBIA systems work by grouping pixels into meaningful objects based on their spectral and spatial properties, while taking into account boundaries imposed by existing vector datasets. Within the OBIA environment a rule-based expert system was designed to effectively mimic the process of manual image analysis by incorporating the elements of image interpretation (color/tone, texture, pattern, location, size, and shape) into the classification process. A series of morphological procedures were employed to insure that the end product is both accurate and cartographically pleasing. No accuracy assessment was conducted, but the dataset will be subjected to manual review and correction at a scale of 1:2500.


This dataset was developed as part of an Urban Tree Canopy (UTC) assessment for Cambridge, MA. It shows how tree canopy changed during the period 2009-2014, highlighting trees that were gained or lost during the 4-year period. It is intended for use in monitoring patterns of change in Cambridge, MA tree canopy.

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Name Type Details Description
CLASS_NAME type: String
width: 254
precision: 0
Classification name. Contains three tree-canopy classes for the period 2009-2014: (1) No Change; (2) Gain; and (3) Loss
SHAPE.STAREA() type: Double
width: 0
precision: 0
SHAPE.STLENGTH() type: Double
width: 0
precision: 0

Coordinate System

NAD 1983 StatePlane Massachusetts Mainland FIPS 2001 Feet