RSL logo

Remote Sensing and Geospatial Analysis Laboratory
210 Green Hall
1530 Cleveland Ave North
St. Paul, MN 55108
(612) 624-3459


This website provides a series of maps and statistics about land cover, impervious surface area and landscape change, derived from satellite imagery, in Minnesota from 1986 to the present. Accurate and consistent information about land cover/use is critical for land managers and planners, policy makers, researchers and educators to make better informed decisions about land use in Minnesota.

Minnesota is one of the first states to have multiple dates of land cover and impervious surface, and change data, mapped statewide using satellite imagery. Other surveys have been performed by various means on smaller scales, but none have had the large area coverage as well as the historical depth of information. Quantifying the amount of impervious surface area, an important indicator of environmental quality, is particularly valuable because of its effects on stormwater runoff and lake and stream quality.

TCMA Land cover and impervious example

Maps were created by researchers at the Remote Sensing and Geospatial Analysis Lab at the University of Minnesota, in cooperation with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.