Formatting Land Cover Data for Land Change Modeler

Data preparation for Land Change Modeler is very format specific. Users that are currently using IDRISI Andes and Taiga will find this discussion most helpful, while users with later versions have the benefit of the Harmonize tab in LCM. The Harmonize tab resolves issues related to the input earlier and later land cover maps specified in the LCM Project Parameters panel in Land Change Modeler. Land Change Modeler requires that the input land cover maps meet specific requirements in terms of their spatial characteristics, backgrounds, and legend categories. 

The formatting requirements for the input land cover maps include:

  1. Consistent spatial extents
  2. Consistent references systems
  3. Consistent pixel resolution
  4. Identical legend categories
  5. A background value of zero
  6. Identical background area

How to create legends in IDRISI to comply with the requirement of the Land Change Modeler:

To create the legends, please go to the TerrSet Explorer pane and select the Files tab. You should now see all of the files either in your Working Folder or in a Resource Folder. Highlight one of the land cover maps for which you wish to update the legend. Once highlighted, scroll through the Metadata below until you come to a row titled “Categories”. Click in the adjacent cell and a pick list button (…) will appear. Click the pick list button – this is where you will fill out your legend. Make sure to include a name for every legend category, and do not skip any categories. The code is the value as it appears in your map. For example, if you have four categories (1, 2, 3, 4) representing agriculture, forest, built, and water, the table should be filled out as follows:        











Press OK and then click the save icon in the lower left hand corner of the Idrisi Explorer to save your edits. To update a second map with the same legend, highlight the file and again navigate to the Categories window. This time, in the lower left-hand corner of the window there will be a button that reads, “Copy from…”.  Click this button and select the land cover map that you just updated. This will automatically fill in the legend categories for you. Save your edits. You should now be able to input the map files into LCM.

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  • 0


    In order to run LCM change analysis step , what type of file format is used to add the road layer and elevation model? i have converted my road shapefile to vector file and then vector file to raster file, after creating road blank file. A map is created which i have added as a input in 'road layer' but it says map must contain legends..what type of legend i should add( e.g names of roads or what) and how?

  • 0
    kyihtut win

    It is all about conventional warfare for 3 S technology( GPS,GIS ,RS).

    "Congratulation for All Geographers around the World GIS2018"....


    kyihtut win(mr)

    Geographer from Myanmar.

    IDRISI Taiga16.05 Stand Alone User since 2011Dec13.


  • 0

    What should I do?  Help me!!!!

    (error. Unexpected error condition encountered. Please check the integrity of the operation performed, the data files used and the amount od disk space available.)

    Edited by t.enkhamgalan_042731
  • 0

  • 0

    Hi guys currently experiencing this problem, please help

  • 0

    how do I solve 

    1. Maps contain negative category code

    2. both land-use maps must contain identical legends

  • 0
    Paulina Contreras


    I have an issue with LCM, when I want to enter my land uses in the process, it looks this messages: 

    And read before, that IDRISI reads reference system like a plane, and i have that in  metadata. I don't know how can i fix it. Someone knows?


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