Brown, Daniel, and J.D. Duh. 2004. "Spatial Simulation for Translating Between Land Use and Land Cover." International Journal of Geographical Information Science, 18(1): 35-60.
An approach to simulating land-cover patterns based on historical land-use maps and forecasts based on models and planning documents is described and demonstrated. The approach uses stochastic spatial simulation to generate land-cover patterns on the basis of a land-use map and stated translation rules. The translation rules take the form of (1) a table that summarizes the proportions of each land-cover type within each land-use type and (2) a description of the spatial arrangement and/or pattern of land-cover types. In a demonstration of the approach, we calibrated the translation rules using aerial photo observations and simulated current and future land-cover maps for Livingston County, Michigan, USA. We tested the approach in a test area that was not used in calibrating the translation. The proportions of land cover within each land-use type were reasonably well estimated, except where the amount of the same land use was small in the calibration site. The use of location rules significantly improved the fit of estimated land-cover patterns with observed patterns for the test area. The paper discusses how the method can be used to bridge land-use scenarios and their ecological impacts based on land-cover patterns.