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The images displayed in this section show a different way of looking at change over time. These images are part of the National Land Cover Database (NLCD), generated and distributed by the USGS EROS Center and a group of federal agencies called the Multi-Resolution Land Characteristics (MRLC) Consortium.

NLCD portrays land cover change spatially as a comprehensive “wall-to-wall” 30-meter resolution database. Its national coverage supports many different applications: fire, urban development, insect damage, mining, best practices in land management, and more.

NLCD is based on multiple dates of Landsat imagery captured across the growing season, which is combined with other ancillary data in models to finalize the products. The available editions of NLCD are from 2001, 2006, 2011, and 2016.

The legend below shows which colors correspond to the different types of land cover. For example, red indicates impervious surface. This means developed, or built-up, land. Pink is less intensively developed urban areas, and darker red is more intensively developed. Urban land shows the most obvious change seen in these NLCD maps of Las Vegas.

The dominant land cover surrounding Las Vegas is “shrub/scrub,” which is shown as tan. These areas are dominated by shrubs less than 5 meters tall.

NLCD Land Cover Classification Legend


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National Land Cover Database (NLCD) 2001, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
National Land Cover Database (NLCD) 2006, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
National Land Cover Database (NLCD) 2011, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
National Land Cover Database (NLCD) 2016, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA


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