Geographic information - Classification systems - Part 2: Land Cover Meta Language (LCML)

This part of ISO 19144 specifies a Land Cover Meta Language (LCML) expressed as a UML metamodel that
allows different land cover classification systems to be described based on the physiognomic aspects. This part
of ISO 19144 also specifies the detailed structure of a register for the extension of LCML but does not specify
the maintenance of the register. This part of ISO 19144 recognizes that there exist a number of land cover
classification systems. It provides a common reference structure for the comparison and integration of data
for any generic land cover classification system, but does not intend to replace those classification systems.

Information géographique - Systèmes de classification - Partie 2: Métalangage de couverture végétale (LCML)

Geografske informacije - Klasifikacijski sistemi - 2. del: Metajezik za pokrovnost (LCML)

Ta del standarda ISO 19144 določa metajezik za pokrovnost, ki je izražen kot metamodel UML in omogoča opis različnih klasifikacijskih sistemov za pokrovnost na osnovi fizionomije. Ta del standarda ISO 19144 določa tudi podrobno strukturo registra za razširitev metajezika za pokrovnost, vendar ne določa njegovega vzdrževanja. Ta del standarda ISO 19144 priznava, da obstaja več klasifikacijski sistemov za pokrovnost. Podaja splošno referenčno strukturo za primerjavo in integracijo podatkov za kateri koli splošen klasifikacijski sistem za pokrovnost, vendar ne namerava nadomestiti teh klasifikacijskih sistemov.

General Information

Status
Published
Public Enquiry End Date
31-Jan-2012
Publication Date
19-Jan-2015
Technical Committee
Current Stage
6060 - National Implementation/Publication (Adopted Project)
Start Date
05-Feb-2014
Due Date
12-Apr-2014
Completion Date
20-Jan-2015

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SLOVENSKI STANDARD
SIST ISO 19144-2:2015
01-februar-2015

Geografske informacije - Klasifikacijski sistemi - 2. del: Metajezik za pokrovnost

(LCML)

Geographic information - Classification systems - Part 2: Land Cover Meta Language

(LCML)
Information géographique - Systèmes de classification - Partie 2: Métalangage de
couverture végétale (LCML)
Ta slovenski standard je istoveten z: ISO 19144-2:2012
ICS:
07.040 Astronomija. Geodezija. Astronomy. Geodesy.
Geografija Geography
35.060 Jeziki, ki se uporabljajo v Languages used in
informacijski tehniki in information technology
tehnologiji
35.240.70 Uporabniške rešitve IT v IT applications in science
znanosti
SIST ISO 19144-2:2015 en

2003-01.Slovenski inštitut za standardizacijo. Razmnoževanje celote ali delov tega standarda ni dovoljeno.

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SIST ISO 19144-2:2015
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SIST ISO 19144-2:2015
INTERNATIONAL ISO
STANDARD 19144-2
First edition
2012-07-01
Geographic information —
Classification systems —
Part 2:
Land Cover Meta Language (LCML)
Information géographique — Systèmes de classification —
Partie 2: Métalangage de couverture du sol (LCML)
Reference number
ISO 19144-2:2012(E)
ISO 2012
---------------------- Page: 3 ----------------------
SIST ISO 19144-2:2015
ISO 19144-2:2012(E)
COPYRIGHT PROTECTED DOCUMENT
© ISO 2012

All rights reserved. Unless otherwise specified, no part of this publication may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means,

electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and microfilm, without permission in writing from either ISO at the address below or ISO’s

member body in the country of the requester.
ISO copyright office
Case postale 56 • CH-1211 Geneva 20
Tel. + 41 22 749 01 11
Fax + 41 22 749 09 47
E-mail copyright@iso.org
Web www.iso.org
Published in Switzerland
ii © ISO 2012 – All rights reserved
---------------------- Page: 4 ----------------------
SIST ISO 19144-2:2015
ISO 19144-2:2012(E)
Contents Page

Foreword ............................................................................................................................................................................. v

Introduction .......................................................................................................................................................................vi

1 Scope ...................................................................................................................................................................... 1

2 Conformance ........................................................................................................................................................ 1

2.1 Classes ................................................................................................................................................................... 1

2.2 Conformance of a land cover classification system ................................................................................. 1

2.3 Conformance of a register for the extension of the metalanguage ....................................................... 1

2.4 Conformance of a comparison process of land cover classification systems .................................. 1

3 Normative references ......................................................................................................................................... 1

4 Terms, definitions, and abbreviations ........................................................................................................... 2

4.1 Terms and definitions ......................................................................................................................................... 2

4.2 Abbreviations ....................................................................................................................................................... 3

5 Notation .................................................................................................................................................................. 4

6 Context ................................................................................................................................................................... 4

7 Conceptual basis ................................................................................................................................................. 6

7.1 Definition adopted for land cover ................................................................................................................... 6

7.2 LCML approach to class definition ................................................................................................................. 6

8 LCML objects ........................................................................................................................................................ 8

8.1 Introduction to LCML objects .......................................................................................................................... 8

8.2 Relation to ISO 19144-1 Classification system structure ......................................................................... 8

8.3 Composition of a LC_LandCover object ....................................................................................................... 9

8.4 Elements of the LCML metamodel ................................................................................................................10

8.5 High level structure ...........................................................................................................................................10

8.6 Land Cover Meta Language object structure ............................................................................................ 11

8.7 LC_Element .........................................................................................................................................................17

8.8 LC_VegetationElement .....................................................................................................................................18

8.9 LC_GrowthForm ................................................................................................................................................18

8.10 LC_WoodyGrowthForm ...................................................................................................................................20

8.11 LC_HerbaceousGrowthForm .........................................................................................................................22

8.12 LC_LichenAndMoss .........................................................................................................................................24

8.13 LC_AbioticElement ...........................................................................................................................................25

8.14 LC_ArtificialSurfaceElement ..........................................................................................................................26

8.15 LC_NaturalSurfaceElement ............................................................................................................................26

8.16 LC_WaterBodyAndAssociatedSurfaceElement ........................................................................................27

8.17 LC_BuiltUpSurface ...........................................................................................................................................30

8.18 LC_NonBuiltUpSurface ....................................................................................................................................33

8.19 LC_RocksSurfaceElement ..............................................................................................................................34

8.20 LC_SoilSandDepositsSurfaceElement ........................................................................................................35

8.21 LC_ClassCharacteristic ...................................................................................................................................37

8.22 LC_LandCoverElementCharacteristic .........................................................................................................40

8.23 LC_GrowthFormCharacteristic ......................................................................................................................42

8.24 LC_NameAttributionCriteria ...........................................................................................................................46

8.25 LC_CultivatedAndManagedVegetation ........................................................................................................48

8.26 LC_ArtificialSurfaceCharacteristic ...............................................................................................................52

8.27 LC_WaterAndAssociatedSurfaceCharacteristic .......................................................................................54

8.28 LC_ValueObject permitted numeric values ................................................................................................56

9 Extension of the LCML .....................................................................................................................................60

9.1 Introduction .........................................................................................................................................................60

9.2 Backward compatibility ...................................................................................................................................60

9.3 LCML register structure ...................................................................................................................................61

Annex A (normative) Abstract test suite ....................................................................................................................67

© ISO 2012 – All rights reserved iii
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SIST ISO 19144-2:2015
ISO 19144-2:2012(E)

Annex B (informative) The relationship of the LCML to the General Feature Model of ISO 19109.............69

Annex C (informative) Examples ..................................................................................................................................71

Annex D (informative) Glossary of land cover meta-elements .............................................................................89

Bibliography ...................................................................................................................................................................106

Alphabetical index to terms in glossary .................................................................................................................108

iv © ISO 2012 – All rights reserved
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SIST ISO 19144-2:2015
ISO 19144-2:2012(E)
Foreword

ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) is a worldwide federation of national standards bodies

(ISO member bodies). The work of preparing International Standards is normally carried out through ISO

technical committees. Each member body interested in a subject for which a technical committee has been

established has the right to be represented on that committee. International organizations, governmental and

non-governmental, in liaison with ISO, also take part in the work. ISO collaborates closely with the International

Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) on all matters of electrotechnical standardization.

International Standards are drafted in accordance with the rules given in the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 2.

The main task of technical committees is to prepare International Standards. Draft International Standards

adopted by the technical committees are circulated to the member bodies for voting. Publication as an

International Standard requires approval by at least 75 % of the member bodies casting a vote.

Attention is drawn to the possibility that some of the elements of this document may be the subject of patent

rights. ISO shall not be held responsible for identifying any or all such patent rights.

ISO 19144-2 was prepared jointly by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (UNFAO)

and Technical Committee ISO/TC 211, Geographic information/Geomatics under a cooperative agreement

between the two organizations.

ISO 19144 consists of the following parts, under the general title Geographic information — Classification systems:

— Part 1: Classification system structure
— Part 2: Land Cover Meta Language (LCML)
© ISO 2012 – All rights reserved v
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SIST ISO 19144-2:2015
ISO 19144-2:2012(E)
Introduction

Efficient assessment of land cover and the ability to monitor change are fundamental to sustainable management

of natural resources, environmental protection, food security and successful humanitarian programmes. Such

information is also required to help towards raising levels of nutrition, improving agricultural productivity,

enhancing the lives of rural populations and contributing to sustainable growth of the world economy. However,

in the past, policy-makers and planners have not had access to reliable and comparable land cover data, not

only for lower-income countries but also at the regional and global levels.

Access has been limited by two factors: Lack of mapping activities and lack of commonality between systems.

The solution has been to carry out separate regional mapping projects using national or regional land cover

classification systems. However, it has not been possible to compare or to exchange information between

current systems.

The aim of this part of ISO 19144 is to enable the comparison of information from existing classification systems

in a meaningful way without replacing them. The aim is to complement the development of future classification

systems that can offer more reliable collection methods for particular national or regional purposes by allowing

them to be described in a consistent manner.

A critical factor in implementing such global activities is the availability of a common, umbrella land cover

classification system structure. This then provides a reliable basis for interaction without replacing the

increasing number of national, regional and global land cover mapping and monitoring activities. This enables

comparisons of land cover classes to be made regardless of mapping scale, land cover type, data collection

method or geographic location.

Another critical factor is the availability of a common reference for land cover classification systems. This part of

ISO 19144 provides a metalanguage expressed as a UML model that allows different land cover classification

systems to be described.

This part of ISO 19144 establishes a metalanguage for a set of objects and rules (language) to describe land

cover features based on physiognomy that can be part of different land cover legends (nomenclature). This

provides a framework for comparing different systems and nomenclatures such as Corine, Africover, Anderson

(USGS), Global Map and national systems without replacing them. This is not a description of a nomenclature

nor is it a description of a specific set of classes.
vi © ISO 2012 – All rights reserved
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SIST ISO 19144-2:2015
INTERNATIONAL STANDARD ISO 19144-2:2012(E)
Geographic information — Classification systems —
Part 2:
Land Cover Meta Language (LCML)
1 Scope

This part of ISO 19144 specifies a Land Cover Meta Language (LCML) expressed as a UML metamodel that

allows different land cover classification systems to be described based on the physiognomic aspects. This part

of ISO 19144 also specifies the detailed structure of a register for the extension of LCML but does not specify

the maintenance of the register. This part of ISO 19144 recognizes that there exist a number of land cover

classification systems. It provides a common reference structure for the comparison and integration of data

for any generic land cover classification system, but does not intend to replace those classification systems.

2 Conformance
2.1 Classes
Three conformance classes are identified in this part of ISO 19144.
2.2 Conformance of a land cover classification system

A land cover classification system, as defined in accordance with the LCML defined in this part of ISO 19144,

shall satisfy the conditions specified in the following abstract test suite:
a) ISO 19144-1 (Annex A) for general conformance of the classification system;
b) A.2.
2.3 Conformance of a register for the extension of the metalanguage

The register defined in this part of ISO 19144 shall satisfy all of the conditions specified in the following

abstract test suites:
a) ISO 19135 for the general register structure;
b) A.3.1 for the minimum register content;
c) A.3.2 for uniqueness of registered metaclass names;
d) A.3.3 for backward compatibility.
2.4 Conformance of a comparison process of land cover classification systems

The process of comparison of two land cover classification systems shall be done by developing descriptions

of the two land cover classification systems, each in accordance with the abstract test suite in A.2, and then

identifying the differences in accordance with the abstract test suite in A.4.
3 Normative references

The following referenced documents are indispensable for the application of this document. For dated

references, only the edition cited applies. For undated references, the latest edition of the referenced document

(including any amendments) applies.
© ISO 2012 – All rights reserved 1
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SIST ISO 19144-2:2015
ISO 19144-2:2012(E)
ISO 19109:2005, Geographic information — Rules for application schema
ISO/TS 19103:2005, Geographic information — Conceptual schema language

ISO 19144-1:2009 Geographic information — Classification systems — Part 1: Classification system structure

ISO 19135:2005, Geographic information — Procedures for item registration
4 Terms, definitions, and abbreviations
4.1 Terms and definitions
For the purposes of this document, the following terms and definitions apply.

NOTE The technical terms applying to plant physiognomy, and terms from other disciplines used to establish the

classifiers in the classification scheme are not defined in this part of ISO 19144.

4.1.1
abstract test suite

abstract test module specifying all the requirements to be satisfied for conformance

[ISO 19105:2000, 3.4]
4.1.2
classification
abstract representation of real world phenomena using classifiers (4.1.4)
[ISO 19144-1:2009, 4.1.4]
4.1.3
classification system
system for assigning objects to classes
[ISO 19144-1:2009, 4.1.5]
4.1.4
classifier
definition used to assign objects to legend classes (4.1.11)
[ISO 19144-1:2009, 4.1.6]

NOTE Classifiers can be algorithmically defined, or defined according to a set of classification system (4.1.3)

specific rules.
4.1.5
feature
abstraction of real world phenomena
[ISO 19101:2002, 4.11]

EXAMPLE The phenomenon named “Eiffel Tower” can be classified with other similar phenomena into a feature type

named “tower”.
4.1.6
item class
set of items with common properties
[ISO 19135:2005, 4.1.6]

NOTE Class is used in this context to refer to a set of instances, not the concept abstracted from that set of instances.

2 © ISO 2012 – All rights reserved
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SIST ISO 19144-2:2015
ISO 19144-2:2012(E)
4.1.7
land cover
observed (bio)physical cover on the Earth’s surface
[UNFAO LCCS 2:2005]
NOTE Land cover is distinct from land use (4.1.9).
4.1.8
land cover metalanguage

logical general model used to describe land cover (4.1.7) features (4.1.5) from which more specific rules can

be described to create a particular classification system (4.1.3)
4.1.9
land use

arrangements, activities and inputs people undertake in a certain land cover (4.1.7) type to maintain it or

produce change
[UNFAO LCCS 2:2005]

NOTE The definition of land use in this way establishes a direct link between land cover and the actions of people in

their environment. Multiple land uses can coexist at the same location (e.g. forestry and recreation), contrary to land cover

classes that are mutually exclusive.

EXAMPLE “Recreation area” is a land use term that can be applicable to different land cover types, e.g. sandy

surfaces such as a beach; a built-up area such as a pleasure park; woodlands etc.

4.1.10
legend

application of a classification (4.1.2) in a specific area using a defined mapping scale and specific data set

[UNFAO LCCS 2:2005]
4.1.11
legend class
class resultant from the application of a classification (4.1.2) process
[ISO 19144-1:2009, 4.1.16]

NOTE In order to avoid confusion with respect to the term “class”, the result of a classification process will be termed

a “legend class”. This use of the term “class” is distinct from the term “class” as used in UML modelling.

4.1.12
physiognomy

general appearance of an object or terrain, without reference to its underlying or scientific characteristics

4.1.13
register

set of files containing identifiers assigned to items with descriptions of the associated items

[ISO 19135:2005, 4.1.9]
4.1.14
registry
information system on which a register (4.1.13) is maintained
[ISO 19135:2005, 4.1.13]
4.2 Abbreviations
CEC Commission of the European Communities
© ISO 2012 – All rights reserved 3
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SIST ISO 19144-2:2015
ISO 19144-2:2012(E)
CORINE Coordination of Information on the Environment, EU
LCCS Land Cover Classification System
LCML Land Cover Meta Language
LC Prefix used to identify classes in the Land Cover Meta Language
TDS Total Dissolved Solids
UML Unified Modelling Language
UNEP United Nations Environment Programme
UNESCO United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
UNFAO United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization
UNFAO LCCS UNFAO Land Cover Classification System
5 Notation

The conceptual schema specified in this part of ISO 19144 is described using the Unified Modelling Language

(UML), following the guidance of ISO/TS 19103.

Several model elements used in this schema are defined in other ISO geographic information standards. By

convention within ISO/TC 211, names of UML classes, with the exception of basic data type classes, include a

two letter prefix that identifies the standard and the UML package in which the class is defined. UML classes

defined in this part of ISO 19144 have the two letter prefix of LC. Examples in this part of ISO 19144 have

the two letter prefix EL. The classes in the meta model in Annex B use the prefix LM. Table 1 lists the other

standards and packages in which UML classes used in this part of ISO 19144 have been defined.

Table 1 — Sources of externally defined UML classes
Prefix Standard Package
CL 19144-1 Classification System Structure
RE 19135 Procedures for registration

In accordance with the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 2, the decimal sign used in the body of the text in this part of

ISO 19144 is a comma. However, in the UML models in figures, and in strings of Object Constraint Language

text taken from the model as quoted in curly brackets ” {} “, the decimal sign used is a period.

6 Context

The purpose of this part of ISO 19144 is to define a common reference structure for the comparison and

integration of data for any generic land cover classification system. The approach has been to define a Land

Cover Meta Language (LCML) expressed as a UML model that allows different land cover classification

systems to be described. This approach provides a rigorous logical framework for the description of any land

cover classification system. This will improve the harmonization and integration of spatial data sets defined

using different land cover classifications and the legends or nomenclatures developed from these systems and

allow them to be compared and integrated.

This part of ISO 19144 defines a LCML for a land cover classification system . It recognizes that there exist

a number of land cover classification systems and nomenclatures in a number of countries and regions, and

that these systems are well established and cannot be easily changed. In fact, portions of these systems are

1) The LCML is derived from the concepts in the land cover classification system (UNFAO LCCS version 3) established

[34], [35]

by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations . The UNFAO LCCS classification system is

one particular classification system for land cover based on plant physiognomy and does not exclude other classification

systems being established for land cover for other purposes.
4 © ISO 2012 – All rights reserved
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SIST ISO 19144-2:2015
ISO 19144-2:2012(E)

set in law in some nations with respect to land use legislation. For example, the definition of wetland is of great

importance in some nations because there is environmental legislation in many nations to protect wetlands.

Yet the definition of wetland varies between jurisdictions, and there is a need to be able to compare this and

other types of land cover object. A wide acceptance of an approach to handling the description of land cover

depends upon its flexibility to accommodate nomenclatures derived from different systems.

The approach taken in this part of ISO 19144 is to avoid specific limitations such as fixed value ranges for

attributes and the use of specific definitions for classifiers to increase the acceptability to the international

community. The LCML defined in this part of ISO 19144 avoids complex definitions, prefixed ranges of values

and specific detailed classification rules. It acts as a method to bring the land cover community together to

create a common understanding of land cover nomenclatures with the aim to produce global regional and

national data sets able to be reconciled at different scales and detail level and geographic places.

[34]

One example of a land cover classification system is the UNFAO Land Cover Classification System. The

purpose of the UNFAO LCCS, which is standardized by the UNFAO, is to give to the international community

one possible system to classify land cover with a parametric approach that is compliant with the metamodel

defined in this part of ISO 19144. Other land cover classification systems can also be defined by other regional

or national bodies. The UNFAO LCCS is described as a set of classifiers and rules expressed in terms of the

LCML. Any other national or multi-national land cover classification system can also be described in terms of

the LCML. Examples of different national or regional classification systems are given in C.10 to C.15.

The LCML complies with the general structure for classification systems defined in ISO 19144-1 in that a land

cover classification system described in the LCML can be created so as to comply with ISO 19144-1. The

structure used to represent the classified data can be that of a discrete coverage as described in ISO 19123. The

classifiers described in accordance with the LCML can be maintained in a register, compliant with ISO 19135

and with ISO 19144-1; that is, the classes described using the metalanguage defined in this part of ISO 19144

can populate a register for classifiers as described in ISO 19144-1. Registration within this part of ISO 19144 is

used in a very different way. It is used to allow for extension of the LCML.

The LCML provides a general framework of rules from which more exclusive conditions can be derived to

create specific classification systems. It is a language based on physiognomy and stratification of both biotic

and abiotic materials. The system can be used to specify any land cover feature anywhere in the world, using

a set of independent diagnostic criteria that allow correlation with existing classifications and legends.

Land cover metalanguage descriptor objects are defined by a combination of a set of land cover metalanguage-

elements. These land cover metalanguage-elements are divided in two categories: “basic metalanguage-

elements”, the elements that constitute the main physiognomic aspects of biotic and abiotic cover features, e.g.

for biotic features trees, shrubs, herbaceous vegetation, and “metalanguage-element properties” that further

define the physiognomic/structural aspect of the basic objects.

Further definition of the land cover classes can be achieved by adding the metalanguage-element characteristics.

The characteristics are of two types: land cover element characteristics and land cover class characteristics.

“LC_ClassCharacteristics” and “LC_ElementCharacteristics” are defined as optional descriptive elements not

directly related to the physiognomic/structural characterization of the land cover metalanguage-element. “LC_

ElementCharacteristics” can be applied to a single basic metalanguage-element. “LC_ClassCharacteristics”

relate to a whole land cover class, defined as the combination of single or multiple strata of single or multiple

basic meta-elements. The definition of these characteristics in this part of ISO 19144 is informative, not

normative, i.e. other sets of characteristics can be established and used with the LCML basic elements. These

characteristics do not in any way prescribe how a land cover classification system is to be established. When

used they can assist in better defining a land cover class and therefore make it easier to compare classes

between land cover classification systems.
The metalanguage generates mutu
...

INTERNATIONAL ISO
STANDARD 19144-2
First edition
2012-07-01
Geographic information —
Classification systems —
Part 2:
Land Cover Meta Language (LCML)
Information géographique — Systèmes de classification —
Partie 2: Métalangage de couverture du sol (LCML)
Reference number
ISO 19144-2:2012(E)
ISO 2012
---------------------- Page: 1 ----------------------
ISO 19144-2:2012(E)
COPYRIGHT PROTECTED DOCUMENT
© ISO 2012

All rights reserved. Unless otherwise specified, no part of this publication may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means,

electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and microfilm, without permission in writing from either ISO at the address below or ISO’s

member body in the country of the requester.
ISO copyright office
Case postale 56 • CH-1211 Geneva 20
Tel. + 41 22 749 01 11
Fax + 41 22 749 09 47
E-mail copyright@iso.org
Web www.iso.org
Published in Switzerland
ii © ISO 2012 – All rights reserved
---------------------- Page: 2 ----------------------
ISO 19144-2:2012(E)
Contents Page

Foreword ............................................................................................................................................................................. v

Introduction .......................................................................................................................................................................vi

1 Scope ...................................................................................................................................................................... 1

2 Conformance ........................................................................................................................................................ 1

2.1 Classes ................................................................................................................................................................... 1

2.2 Conformance of a land cover classification system ................................................................................. 1

2.3 Conformance of a register for the extension of the metalanguage ....................................................... 1

2.4 Conformance of a comparison process of land cover classification systems .................................. 1

3 Normative references ......................................................................................................................................... 1

4 Terms, definitions, and abbreviations ........................................................................................................... 2

4.1 Terms and definitions ......................................................................................................................................... 2

4.2 Abbreviations ....................................................................................................................................................... 3

5 Notation .................................................................................................................................................................. 4

6 Context ................................................................................................................................................................... 4

7 Conceptual basis ................................................................................................................................................. 6

7.1 Definition adopted for land cover ................................................................................................................... 6

7.2 LCML approach to class definition ................................................................................................................. 6

8 LCML objects ........................................................................................................................................................ 8

8.1 Introduction to LCML objects .......................................................................................................................... 8

8.2 Relation to ISO 19144-1 Classification system structure ......................................................................... 8

8.3 Composition of a LC_LandCover object ....................................................................................................... 9

8.4 Elements of the LCML metamodel ................................................................................................................10

8.5 High level structure ...........................................................................................................................................10

8.6 Land Cover Meta Language object structure ............................................................................................ 11

8.7 LC_Element .........................................................................................................................................................17

8.8 LC_VegetationElement .....................................................................................................................................18

8.9 LC_GrowthForm ................................................................................................................................................18

8.10 LC_WoodyGrowthForm ...................................................................................................................................20

8.11 LC_HerbaceousGrowthForm .........................................................................................................................22

8.12 LC_LichenAndMoss .........................................................................................................................................24

8.13 LC_AbioticElement ...........................................................................................................................................25

8.14 LC_ArtificialSurfaceElement ..........................................................................................................................26

8.15 LC_NaturalSurfaceElement ............................................................................................................................26

8.16 LC_WaterBodyAndAssociatedSurfaceElement ........................................................................................27

8.17 LC_BuiltUpSurface ...........................................................................................................................................30

8.18 LC_NonBuiltUpSurface ....................................................................................................................................33

8.19 LC_RocksSurfaceElement ..............................................................................................................................34

8.20 LC_SoilSandDepositsSurfaceElement ........................................................................................................35

8.21 LC_ClassCharacteristic ...................................................................................................................................37

8.22 LC_LandCoverElementCharacteristic .........................................................................................................40

8.23 LC_GrowthFormCharacteristic ......................................................................................................................42

8.24 LC_NameAttributionCriteria ...........................................................................................................................46

8.25 LC_CultivatedAndManagedVegetation ........................................................................................................48

8.26 LC_ArtificialSurfaceCharacteristic ...............................................................................................................52

8.27 LC_WaterAndAssociatedSurfaceCharacteristic .......................................................................................54

8.28 LC_ValueObject permitted numeric values ................................................................................................56

9 Extension of the LCML .....................................................................................................................................60

9.1 Introduction .........................................................................................................................................................60

9.2 Backward compatibility ...................................................................................................................................60

9.3 LCML register structure ...................................................................................................................................61

Annex A (normative) Abstract test suite ....................................................................................................................67

© ISO 2012 – All rights reserved iii
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ISO 19144-2:2012(E)

Annex B (informative) The relationship of the LCML to the General Feature Model of ISO 19109.............69

Annex C (informative) Examples ..................................................................................................................................71

Annex D (informative) Glossary of land cover meta-elements .............................................................................89

Bibliography ...................................................................................................................................................................106

Alphabetical index to terms in glossary .................................................................................................................108

iv © ISO 2012 – All rights reserved
---------------------- Page: 4 ----------------------
ISO 19144-2:2012(E)
Foreword

ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) is a worldwide federation of national standards bodies

(ISO member bodies). The work of preparing International Standards is normally carried out through ISO

technical committees. Each member body interested in a subject for which a technical committee has been

established has the right to be represented on that committee. International organizations, governmental and

non-governmental, in liaison with ISO, also take part in the work. ISO collaborates closely with the International

Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) on all matters of electrotechnical standardization.

International Standards are drafted in accordance with the rules given in the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 2.

The main task of technical committees is to prepare International Standards. Draft International Standards

adopted by the technical committees are circulated to the member bodies for voting. Publication as an

International Standard requires approval by at least 75 % of the member bodies casting a vote.

Attention is drawn to the possibility that some of the elements of this document may be the subject of patent

rights. ISO shall not be held responsible for identifying any or all such patent rights.

ISO 19144-2 was prepared jointly by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (UNFAO)

and Technical Committee ISO/TC 211, Geographic information/Geomatics under a cooperative agreement

between the two organizations.

ISO 19144 consists of the following parts, under the general title Geographic information — Classification systems:

— Part 1: Classification system structure
— Part 2: Land Cover Meta Language (LCML)
© ISO 2012 – All rights reserved v
---------------------- Page: 5 ----------------------
ISO 19144-2:2012(E)
Introduction

Efficient assessment of land cover and the ability to monitor change are fundamental to sustainable management

of natural resources, environmental protection, food security and successful humanitarian programmes. Such

information is also required to help towards raising levels of nutrition, improving agricultural productivity,

enhancing the lives of rural populations and contributing to sustainable growth of the world economy. However,

in the past, policy-makers and planners have not had access to reliable and comparable land cover data, not

only for lower-income countries but also at the regional and global levels.

Access has been limited by two factors: Lack of mapping activities and lack of commonality between systems.

The solution has been to carry out separate regional mapping projects using national or regional land cover

classification systems. However, it has not been possible to compare or to exchange information between

current systems.

The aim of this part of ISO 19144 is to enable the comparison of information from existing classification systems

in a meaningful way without replacing them. The aim is to complement the development of future classification

systems that can offer more reliable collection methods for particular national or regional purposes by allowing

them to be described in a consistent manner.

A critical factor in implementing such global activities is the availability of a common, umbrella land cover

classification system structure. This then provides a reliable basis for interaction without replacing the

increasing number of national, regional and global land cover mapping and monitoring activities. This enables

comparisons of land cover classes to be made regardless of mapping scale, land cover type, data collection

method or geographic location.

Another critical factor is the availability of a common reference for land cover classification systems. This part of

ISO 19144 provides a metalanguage expressed as a UML model that allows different land cover classification

systems to be described.

This part of ISO 19144 establishes a metalanguage for a set of objects and rules (language) to describe land

cover features based on physiognomy that can be part of different land cover legends (nomenclature). This

provides a framework for comparing different systems and nomenclatures such as Corine, Africover, Anderson

(USGS), Global Map and national systems without replacing them. This is not a description of a nomenclature

nor is it a description of a specific set of classes.
vi © ISO 2012 – All rights reserved
---------------------- Page: 6 ----------------------
INTERNATIONAL STANDARD ISO 19144-2:2012(E)
Geographic information — Classification systems —
Part 2:
Land Cover Meta Language (LCML)
1 Scope

This part of ISO 19144 specifies a Land Cover Meta Language (LCML) expressed as a UML metamodel that

allows different land cover classification systems to be described based on the physiognomic aspects. This part

of ISO 19144 also specifies the detailed structure of a register for the extension of LCML but does not specify

the maintenance of the register. This part of ISO 19144 recognizes that there exist a number of land cover

classification systems. It provides a common reference structure for the comparison and integration of data

for any generic land cover classification system, but does not intend to replace those classification systems.

2 Conformance
2.1 Classes
Three conformance classes are identified in this part of ISO 19144.
2.2 Conformance of a land cover classification system

A land cover classification system, as defined in accordance with the LCML defined in this part of ISO 19144,

shall satisfy the conditions specified in the following abstract test suite:
a) ISO 19144-1 (Annex A) for general conformance of the classification system;
b) A.2.
2.3 Conformance of a register for the extension of the metalanguage

The register defined in this part of ISO 19144 shall satisfy all of the conditions specified in the following

abstract test suites:
a) ISO 19135 for the general register structure;
b) A.3.1 for the minimum register content;
c) A.3.2 for uniqueness of registered metaclass names;
d) A.3.3 for backward compatibility.
2.4 Conformance of a comparison process of land cover classification systems

The process of comparison of two land cover classification systems shall be done by developing descriptions

of the two land cover classification systems, each in accordance with the abstract test suite in A.2, and then

identifying the differences in accordance with the abstract test suite in A.4.
3 Normative references

The following referenced documents are indispensable for the application of this document. For dated

references, only the edition cited applies. For undated references, the latest edition of the referenced document

(including any amendments) applies.
© ISO 2012 – All rights reserved 1
---------------------- Page: 7 ----------------------
ISO 19144-2:2012(E)
ISO 19109:2005, Geographic information — Rules for application schema
ISO/TS 19103:2005, Geographic information — Conceptual schema language

ISO 19144-1:2009 Geographic information — Classification systems — Part 1: Classification system structure

ISO 19135:2005, Geographic information — Procedures for item registration
4 Terms, definitions, and abbreviations
4.1 Terms and definitions
For the purposes of this document, the following terms and definitions apply.

NOTE The technical terms applying to plant physiognomy, and terms from other disciplines used to establish the

classifiers in the classification scheme are not defined in this part of ISO 19144.

4.1.1
abstract test suite

abstract test module specifying all the requirements to be satisfied for conformance

[ISO 19105:2000, 3.4]
4.1.2
classification
abstract representation of real world phenomena using classifiers (4.1.4)
[ISO 19144-1:2009, 4.1.4]
4.1.3
classification system
system for assigning objects to classes
[ISO 19144-1:2009, 4.1.5]
4.1.4
classifier
definition used to assign objects to legend classes (4.1.11)
[ISO 19144-1:2009, 4.1.6]

NOTE Classifiers can be algorithmically defined, or defined according to a set of classification system (4.1.3)

specific rules.
4.1.5
feature
abstraction of real world phenomena
[ISO 19101:2002, 4.11]

EXAMPLE The phenomenon named “Eiffel Tower” can be classified with other similar phenomena into a feature type

named “tower”.
4.1.6
item class
set of items with common properties
[ISO 19135:2005, 4.1.6]

NOTE Class is used in this context to refer to a set of instances, not the concept abstracted from that set of instances.

2 © ISO 2012 – All rights reserved
---------------------- Page: 8 ----------------------
ISO 19144-2:2012(E)
4.1.7
land cover
observed (bio)physical cover on the Earth’s surface
[UNFAO LCCS 2:2005]
NOTE Land cover is distinct from land use (4.1.9).
4.1.8
land cover metalanguage

logical general model used to describe land cover (4.1.7) features (4.1.5) from which more specific rules can

be described to create a particular classification system (4.1.3)
4.1.9
land use

arrangements, activities and inputs people undertake in a certain land cover (4.1.7) type to maintain it or

produce change
[UNFAO LCCS 2:2005]

NOTE The definition of land use in this way establishes a direct link between land cover and the actions of people in

their environment. Multiple land uses can coexist at the same location (e.g. forestry and recreation), contrary to land cover

classes that are mutually exclusive.

EXAMPLE “Recreation area” is a land use term that can be applicable to different land cover types, e.g. sandy

surfaces such as a beach; a built-up area such as a pleasure park; woodlands etc.

4.1.10
legend

application of a classification (4.1.2) in a specific area using a defined mapping scale and specific data set

[UNFAO LCCS 2:2005]
4.1.11
legend class
class resultant from the application of a classification (4.1.2) process
[ISO 19144-1:2009, 4.1.16]

NOTE In order to avoid confusion with respect to the term “class”, the result of a classification process will be termed

a “legend class”. This use of the term “class” is distinct from the term “class” as used in UML modelling.

4.1.12
physiognomy

general appearance of an object or terrain, without reference to its underlying or scientific characteristics

4.1.13
register

set of files containing identifiers assigned to items with descriptions of the associated items

[ISO 19135:2005, 4.1.9]
4.1.14
registry
information system on which a register (4.1.13) is maintained
[ISO 19135:2005, 4.1.13]
4.2 Abbreviations
CEC Commission of the European Communities
© ISO 2012 – All rights reserved 3
---------------------- Page: 9 ----------------------
ISO 19144-2:2012(E)
CORINE Coordination of Information on the Environment, EU
LCCS Land Cover Classification System
LCML Land Cover Meta Language
LC Prefix used to identify classes in the Land Cover Meta Language
TDS Total Dissolved Solids
UML Unified Modelling Language
UNEP United Nations Environment Programme
UNESCO United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
UNFAO United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization
UNFAO LCCS UNFAO Land Cover Classification System
5 Notation

The conceptual schema specified in this part of ISO 19144 is described using the Unified Modelling Language

(UML), following the guidance of ISO/TS 19103.

Several model elements used in this schema are defined in other ISO geographic information standards. By

convention within ISO/TC 211, names of UML classes, with the exception of basic data type classes, include a

two letter prefix that identifies the standard and the UML package in which the class is defined. UML classes

defined in this part of ISO 19144 have the two letter prefix of LC. Examples in this part of ISO 19144 have

the two letter prefix EL. The classes in the meta model in Annex B use the prefix LM. Table 1 lists the other

standards and packages in which UML classes used in this part of ISO 19144 have been defined.

Table 1 — Sources of externally defined UML classes
Prefix Standard Package
CL 19144-1 Classification System Structure
RE 19135 Procedures for registration

In accordance with the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 2, the decimal sign used in the body of the text in this part of

ISO 19144 is a comma. However, in the UML models in figures, and in strings of Object Constraint Language

text taken from the model as quoted in curly brackets ” {} “, the decimal sign used is a period.

6 Context

The purpose of this part of ISO 19144 is to define a common reference structure for the comparison and

integration of data for any generic land cover classification system. The approach has been to define a Land

Cover Meta Language (LCML) expressed as a UML model that allows different land cover classification

systems to be described. This approach provides a rigorous logical framework for the description of any land

cover classification system. This will improve the harmonization and integration of spatial data sets defined

using different land cover classifications and the legends or nomenclatures developed from these systems and

allow them to be compared and integrated.

This part of ISO 19144 defines a LCML for a land cover classification system . It recognizes that there exist

a number of land cover classification systems and nomenclatures in a number of countries and regions, and

that these systems are well established and cannot be easily changed. In fact, portions of these systems are

1) The LCML is derived from the concepts in the land cover classification system (UNFAO LCCS version 3) established

[34], [35]

by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations . The UNFAO LCCS classification system is

one particular classification system for land cover based on plant physiognomy and does not exclude other classification

systems being established for land cover for other purposes.
4 © ISO 2012 – All rights reserved
---------------------- Page: 10 ----------------------
ISO 19144-2:2012(E)

set in law in some nations with respect to land use legislation. For example, the definition of wetland is of great

importance in some nations because there is environmental legislation in many nations to protect wetlands.

Yet the definition of wetland varies between jurisdictions, and there is a need to be able to compare this and

other types of land cover object. A wide acceptance of an approach to handling the description of land cover

depends upon its flexibility to accommodate nomenclatures derived from different systems.

The approach taken in this part of ISO 19144 is to avoid specific limitations such as fixed value ranges for

attributes and the use of specific definitions for classifiers to increase the acceptability to the international

community. The LCML defined in this part of ISO 19144 avoids complex definitions, prefixed ranges of values

and specific detailed classification rules. It acts as a method to bring the land cover community together to

create a common understanding of land cover nomenclatures with the aim to produce global regional and

national data sets able to be reconciled at different scales and detail level and geographic places.

[34]

One example of a land cover classification system is the UNFAO Land Cover Classification System. The

purpose of the UNFAO LCCS, which is standardized by the UNFAO, is to give to the international community

one possible system to classify land cover with a parametric approach that is compliant with the metamodel

defined in this part of ISO 19144. Other land cover classification systems can also be defined by other regional

or national bodies. The UNFAO LCCS is described as a set of classifiers and rules expressed in terms of the

LCML. Any other national or multi-national land cover classification system can also be described in terms of

the LCML. Examples of different national or regional classification systems are given in C.10 to C.15.

The LCML complies with the general structure for classification systems defined in ISO 19144-1 in that a land

cover classification system described in the LCML can be created so as to comply with ISO 19144-1. The

structure used to represent the classified data can be that of a discrete coverage as described in ISO 19123. The

classifiers described in accordance with the LCML can be maintained in a register, compliant with ISO 19135

and with ISO 19144-1; that is, the classes described using the metalanguage defined in this part of ISO 19144

can populate a register for classifiers as described in ISO 19144-1. Registration within this part of ISO 19144 is

used in a very different way. It is used to allow for extension of the LCML.

The LCML provides a general framework of rules from which more exclusive conditions can be derived to

create specific classification systems. It is a language based on physiognomy and stratification of both biotic

and abiotic materials. The system can be used to specify any land cover feature anywhere in the world, using

a set of independent diagnostic criteria that allow correlation with existing classifications and legends.

Land cover metalanguage descriptor objects are defined by a combination of a set of land cover metalanguage-

elements. These land cover metalanguage-elements are divided in two categories: “basic metalanguage-

elements”, the elements that constitute the main physiognomic aspects of biotic and abiotic cover features, e.g.

for biotic features trees, shrubs, herbaceous vegetation, and “metalanguage-element properties” that further

define the physiognomic/structural aspect of the basic objects.

Further definition of the land cover classes can be achieved by adding the metalanguage-element characteristics.

The characteristics are of two types: land cover element characteristics and land cover class characteristics.

“LC_ClassCharacteristics” and “LC_ElementCharacteristics” are defined as optional descriptive elements not

directly related to the physiognomic/structural characterization of the land cover metalanguage-element. “LC_

ElementCharacteristics” can be applied to a single basic metalanguage-element. “LC_ClassCharacteristics”

relate to a whole land cover class, defined as the combination of single or multiple strata of single or multiple

basic meta-elements. The definition of these characteristics in this part of ISO 19144 is informative, not

normative, i.e. other sets of characteristics can be established and used with the LCML basic elements. These

characteristics do not in any way prescribe how a land cover classification system is to be established. When

used they can assist in better defining a land cover class and therefore make it easier to compare classes

between land cover classification systems.

The metalanguage generates mutually exclusive land cover classes, with specific rules to deal with the all

functional elements of the language (basic metalanguage-elements and properties) and the different strata.

All land covers can be accommodated in this highly flexible approach. The metalanguage can be used to

describe different land cover classification systems in terms of the same basic metalanguage-elements, thus

contributing towards data harmonization and standardization. Data defined using different nomenclatures can

be used together with or fused with other data described according to a classification scheme which is also

expressed in the metalanguage. By standardizing the principles and structure of a metalanguage, it is possible

© ISO 2012 – All rights reserved 5
---------------------- Page: 11 ----------------------
ISO 19144-2:2012(E)

to interwork with other application areas or other nomenclatures within an application area. This is similar

to interworking between other geographic information systems that comply to the same feature cataloguing

methodology but use different feature catalogues, although in this case the concept of features are constrained

to that of a
...

SLOVENSKI STANDARD
SIST ISO 19144-2:2015
01-februar-2015

Geografske informacije - Klasifikacijski sistemi - 2. del: Metajezik za pokrovnost

(LCML)

Geographic information - Classification systems - Part 2: Land Cover Meta Language

(LCML)
Information géographique - Systèmes de classification - Partie 2: Métalangage de
couverture végétale (LCML)
Ta slovenski standard je istoveten z: ISO 19144-2:2012
ICS:
07.040 Astronomija. Geodezija. Astronomy. Geodesy.
Geografija Geography
35.240.70 Uporabniške rešitve IT v IT applications in science
znanosti
SIST ISO 19144-2:2015 en

2003-01.Slovenski inštitut za standardizacijo. Razmnoževanje celote ali delov tega standarda ni dovoljeno.

---------------------- Page: 1 ----------------------
SIST ISO 19144-2:2015
---------------------- Page: 2 ----------------------
SIST ISO 19144-2:2015
INTERNATIONAL ISO
STANDARD 19144-2
First edition
2012-07-01
Geographic information —
Classification systems —
Part 2:
Land Cover Meta Language (LCML)
Information géographique — Systèmes de classification —
Partie 2: Métalangage de couverture du sol (LCML)
Reference number
ISO 19144-2:2012(E)
ISO 2012
---------------------- Page: 3 ----------------------
SIST ISO 19144-2:2015
ISO 19144-2:2012(E)
COPYRIGHT PROTECTED DOCUMENT
© ISO 2012

All rights reserved. Unless otherwise specified, no part of this publication may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means,

electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and microfilm, without permission in writing from either ISO at the address below or ISO’s

member body in the country of the requester.
ISO copyright office
Case postale 56 • CH-1211 Geneva 20
Tel. + 41 22 749 01 11
Fax + 41 22 749 09 47
E-mail copyright@iso.org
Web www.iso.org
Published in Switzerland
ii © ISO 2012 – All rights reserved
---------------------- Page: 4 ----------------------
SIST ISO 19144-2:2015
ISO 19144-2:2012(E)
Contents Page

Foreword ............................................................................................................................................................................. v

Introduction .......................................................................................................................................................................vi

1 Scope ...................................................................................................................................................................... 1

2 Conformance ........................................................................................................................................................ 1

2.1 Classes ................................................................................................................................................................... 1

2.2 Conformance of a land cover classification system ................................................................................. 1

2.3 Conformance of a register for the extension of the metalanguage ....................................................... 1

2.4 Conformance of a comparison process of land cover classification systems .................................. 1

3 Normative references ......................................................................................................................................... 1

4 Terms, definitions, and abbreviations ........................................................................................................... 2

4.1 Terms and definitions ......................................................................................................................................... 2

4.2 Abbreviations ....................................................................................................................................................... 3

5 Notation .................................................................................................................................................................. 4

6 Context ................................................................................................................................................................... 4

7 Conceptual basis ................................................................................................................................................. 6

7.1 Definition adopted for land cover ................................................................................................................... 6

7.2 LCML approach to class definition ................................................................................................................. 6

8 LCML objects ........................................................................................................................................................ 8

8.1 Introduction to LCML objects .......................................................................................................................... 8

8.2 Relation to ISO 19144-1 Classification system structure ......................................................................... 8

8.3 Composition of a LC_LandCover object ....................................................................................................... 9

8.4 Elements of the LCML metamodel ................................................................................................................10

8.5 High level structure ...........................................................................................................................................10

8.6 Land Cover Meta Language object structure ............................................................................................ 11

8.7 LC_Element .........................................................................................................................................................17

8.8 LC_VegetationElement .....................................................................................................................................18

8.9 LC_GrowthForm ................................................................................................................................................18

8.10 LC_WoodyGrowthForm ...................................................................................................................................20

8.11 LC_HerbaceousGrowthForm .........................................................................................................................22

8.12 LC_LichenAndMoss .........................................................................................................................................24

8.13 LC_AbioticElement ...........................................................................................................................................25

8.14 LC_ArtificialSurfaceElement ..........................................................................................................................26

8.15 LC_NaturalSurfaceElement ............................................................................................................................26

8.16 LC_WaterBodyAndAssociatedSurfaceElement ........................................................................................27

8.17 LC_BuiltUpSurface ...........................................................................................................................................30

8.18 LC_NonBuiltUpSurface ....................................................................................................................................33

8.19 LC_RocksSurfaceElement ..............................................................................................................................34

8.20 LC_SoilSandDepositsSurfaceElement ........................................................................................................35

8.21 LC_ClassCharacteristic ...................................................................................................................................37

8.22 LC_LandCoverElementCharacteristic .........................................................................................................40

8.23 LC_GrowthFormCharacteristic ......................................................................................................................42

8.24 LC_NameAttributionCriteria ...........................................................................................................................46

8.25 LC_CultivatedAndManagedVegetation ........................................................................................................48

8.26 LC_ArtificialSurfaceCharacteristic ...............................................................................................................52

8.27 LC_WaterAndAssociatedSurfaceCharacteristic .......................................................................................54

8.28 LC_ValueObject permitted numeric values ................................................................................................56

9 Extension of the LCML .....................................................................................................................................60

9.1 Introduction .........................................................................................................................................................60

9.2 Backward compatibility ...................................................................................................................................60

9.3 LCML register structure ...................................................................................................................................61

Annex A (normative) Abstract test suite ....................................................................................................................67

© ISO 2012 – All rights reserved iii
---------------------- Page: 5 ----------------------
SIST ISO 19144-2:2015
ISO 19144-2:2012(E)

Annex B (informative) The relationship of the LCML to the General Feature Model of ISO 19109.............69

Annex C (informative) Examples ..................................................................................................................................71

Annex D (informative) Glossary of land cover meta-elements .............................................................................89

Bibliography ...................................................................................................................................................................106

Alphabetical index to terms in glossary .................................................................................................................108

iv © ISO 2012 – All rights reserved
---------------------- Page: 6 ----------------------
SIST ISO 19144-2:2015
ISO 19144-2:2012(E)
Foreword

ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) is a worldwide federation of national standards bodies

(ISO member bodies). The work of preparing International Standards is normally carried out through ISO

technical committees. Each member body interested in a subject for which a technical committee has been

established has the right to be represented on that committee. International organizations, governmental and

non-governmental, in liaison with ISO, also take part in the work. ISO collaborates closely with the International

Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) on all matters of electrotechnical standardization.

International Standards are drafted in accordance with the rules given in the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 2.

The main task of technical committees is to prepare International Standards. Draft International Standards

adopted by the technical committees are circulated to the member bodies for voting. Publication as an

International Standard requires approval by at least 75 % of the member bodies casting a vote.

Attention is drawn to the possibility that some of the elements of this document may be the subject of patent

rights. ISO shall not be held responsible for identifying any or all such patent rights.

ISO 19144-2 was prepared jointly by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (UNFAO)

and Technical Committee ISO/TC 211, Geographic information/Geomatics under a cooperative agreement

between the two organizations.

ISO 19144 consists of the following parts, under the general title Geographic information — Classification systems:

— Part 1: Classification system structure
— Part 2: Land Cover Meta Language (LCML)
© ISO 2012 – All rights reserved v
---------------------- Page: 7 ----------------------
SIST ISO 19144-2:2015
ISO 19144-2:2012(E)
Introduction

Efficient assessment of land cover and the ability to monitor change are fundamental to sustainable management

of natural resources, environmental protection, food security and successful humanitarian programmes. Such

information is also required to help towards raising levels of nutrition, improving agricultural productivity,

enhancing the lives of rural populations and contributing to sustainable growth of the world economy. However,

in the past, policy-makers and planners have not had access to reliable and comparable land cover data, not

only for lower-income countries but also at the regional and global levels.

Access has been limited by two factors: Lack of mapping activities and lack of commonality between systems.

The solution has been to carry out separate regional mapping projects using national or regional land cover

classification systems. However, it has not been possible to compare or to exchange information between

current systems.

The aim of this part of ISO 19144 is to enable the comparison of information from existing classification systems

in a meaningful way without replacing them. The aim is to complement the development of future classification

systems that can offer more reliable collection methods for particular national or regional purposes by allowing

them to be described in a consistent manner.

A critical factor in implementing such global activities is the availability of a common, umbrella land cover

classification system structure. This then provides a reliable basis for interaction without replacing the

increasing number of national, regional and global land cover mapping and monitoring activities. This enables

comparisons of land cover classes to be made regardless of mapping scale, land cover type, data collection

method or geographic location.

Another critical factor is the availability of a common reference for land cover classification systems. This part of

ISO 19144 provides a metalanguage expressed as a UML model that allows different land cover classification

systems to be described.

This part of ISO 19144 establishes a metalanguage for a set of objects and rules (language) to describe land

cover features based on physiognomy that can be part of different land cover legends (nomenclature). This

provides a framework for comparing different systems and nomenclatures such as Corine, Africover, Anderson

(USGS), Global Map and national systems without replacing them. This is not a description of a nomenclature

nor is it a description of a specific set of classes.
vi © ISO 2012 – All rights reserved
---------------------- Page: 8 ----------------------
SIST ISO 19144-2:2015
INTERNATIONAL STANDARD ISO 19144-2:2012(E)
Geographic information — Classification systems —
Part 2:
Land Cover Meta Language (LCML)
1 Scope

This part of ISO 19144 specifies a Land Cover Meta Language (LCML) expressed as a UML metamodel that

allows different land cover classification systems to be described based on the physiognomic aspects. This part

of ISO 19144 also specifies the detailed structure of a register for the extension of LCML but does not specify

the maintenance of the register. This part of ISO 19144 recognizes that there exist a number of land cover

classification systems. It provides a common reference structure for the comparison and integration of data

for any generic land cover classification system, but does not intend to replace those classification systems.

2 Conformance
2.1 Classes
Three conformance classes are identified in this part of ISO 19144.
2.2 Conformance of a land cover classification system

A land cover classification system, as defined in accordance with the LCML defined in this part of ISO 19144,

shall satisfy the conditions specified in the following abstract test suite:
a) ISO 19144-1 (Annex A) for general conformance of the classification system;
b) A.2.
2.3 Conformance of a register for the extension of the metalanguage

The register defined in this part of ISO 19144 shall satisfy all of the conditions specified in the following

abstract test suites:
a) ISO 19135 for the general register structure;
b) A.3.1 for the minimum register content;
c) A.3.2 for uniqueness of registered metaclass names;
d) A.3.3 for backward compatibility.
2.4 Conformance of a comparison process of land cover classification systems

The process of comparison of two land cover classification systems shall be done by developing descriptions

of the two land cover classification systems, each in accordance with the abstract test suite in A.2, and then

identifying the differences in accordance with the abstract test suite in A.4.
3 Normative references

The following referenced documents are indispensable for the application of this document. For dated

references, only the edition cited applies. For undated references, the latest edition of the referenced document

(including any amendments) applies.
© ISO 2012 – All rights reserved 1
---------------------- Page: 9 ----------------------
SIST ISO 19144-2:2015
ISO 19144-2:2012(E)
ISO 19109:2005, Geographic information — Rules for application schema
ISO/TS 19103:2005, Geographic information — Conceptual schema language

ISO 19144-1:2009 Geographic information — Classification systems — Part 1: Classification system structure

ISO 19135:2005, Geographic information — Procedures for item registration
4 Terms, definitions, and abbreviations
4.1 Terms and definitions
For the purposes of this document, the following terms and definitions apply.

NOTE The technical terms applying to plant physiognomy, and terms from other disciplines used to establish the

classifiers in the classification scheme are not defined in this part of ISO 19144.

4.1.1
abstract test suite

abstract test module specifying all the requirements to be satisfied for conformance

[ISO 19105:2000, 3.4]
4.1.2
classification
abstract representation of real world phenomena using classifiers (4.1.4)
[ISO 19144-1:2009, 4.1.4]
4.1.3
classification system
system for assigning objects to classes
[ISO 19144-1:2009, 4.1.5]
4.1.4
classifier
definition used to assign objects to legend classes (4.1.11)
[ISO 19144-1:2009, 4.1.6]

NOTE Classifiers can be algorithmically defined, or defined according to a set of classification system (4.1.3)

specific rules.
4.1.5
feature
abstraction of real world phenomena
[ISO 19101:2002, 4.11]

EXAMPLE The phenomenon named “Eiffel Tower” can be classified with other similar phenomena into a feature type

named “tower”.
4.1.6
item class
set of items with common properties
[ISO 19135:2005, 4.1.6]

NOTE Class is used in this context to refer to a set of instances, not the concept abstracted from that set of instances.

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4.1.7
land cover
observed (bio)physical cover on the Earth’s surface
[UNFAO LCCS 2:2005]
NOTE Land cover is distinct from land use (4.1.9).
4.1.8
land cover metalanguage

logical general model used to describe land cover (4.1.7) features (4.1.5) from which more specific rules can

be described to create a particular classification system (4.1.3)
4.1.9
land use

arrangements, activities and inputs people undertake in a certain land cover (4.1.7) type to maintain it or

produce change
[UNFAO LCCS 2:2005]

NOTE The definition of land use in this way establishes a direct link between land cover and the actions of people in

their environment. Multiple land uses can coexist at the same location (e.g. forestry and recreation), contrary to land cover

classes that are mutually exclusive.

EXAMPLE “Recreation area” is a land use term that can be applicable to different land cover types, e.g. sandy

surfaces such as a beach; a built-up area such as a pleasure park; woodlands etc.

4.1.10
legend

application of a classification (4.1.2) in a specific area using a defined mapping scale and specific data set

[UNFAO LCCS 2:2005]
4.1.11
legend class
class resultant from the application of a classification (4.1.2) process
[ISO 19144-1:2009, 4.1.16]

NOTE In order to avoid confusion with respect to the term “class”, the result of a classification process will be termed

a “legend class”. This use of the term “class” is distinct from the term “class” as used in UML modelling.

4.1.12
physiognomy

general appearance of an object or terrain, without reference to its underlying or scientific characteristics

4.1.13
register

set of files containing identifiers assigned to items with descriptions of the associated items

[ISO 19135:2005, 4.1.9]
4.1.14
registry
information system on which a register (4.1.13) is maintained
[ISO 19135:2005, 4.1.13]
4.2 Abbreviations
CEC Commission of the European Communities
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CORINE Coordination of Information on the Environment, EU
LCCS Land Cover Classification System
LCML Land Cover Meta Language
LC Prefix used to identify classes in the Land Cover Meta Language
TDS Total Dissolved Solids
UML Unified Modelling Language
UNEP United Nations Environment Programme
UNESCO United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
UNFAO United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization
UNFAO LCCS UNFAO Land Cover Classification System
5 Notation

The conceptual schema specified in this part of ISO 19144 is described using the Unified Modelling Language

(UML), following the guidance of ISO/TS 19103.

Several model elements used in this schema are defined in other ISO geographic information standards. By

convention within ISO/TC 211, names of UML classes, with the exception of basic data type classes, include a

two letter prefix that identifies the standard and the UML package in which the class is defined. UML classes

defined in this part of ISO 19144 have the two letter prefix of LC. Examples in this part of ISO 19144 have

the two letter prefix EL. The classes in the meta model in Annex B use the prefix LM. Table 1 lists the other

standards and packages in which UML classes used in this part of ISO 19144 have been defined.

Table 1 — Sources of externally defined UML classes
Prefix Standard Package
CL 19144-1 Classification System Structure
RE 19135 Procedures for registration

In accordance with the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 2, the decimal sign used in the body of the text in this part of

ISO 19144 is a comma. However, in the UML models in figures, and in strings of Object Constraint Language

text taken from the model as quoted in curly brackets ” {} “, the decimal sign used is a period.

6 Context

The purpose of this part of ISO 19144 is to define a common reference structure for the comparison and

integration of data for any generic land cover classification system. The approach has been to define a Land

Cover Meta Language (LCML) expressed as a UML model that allows different land cover classification

systems to be described. This approach provides a rigorous logical framework for the description of any land

cover classification system. This will improve the harmonization and integration of spatial data sets defined

using different land cover classifications and the legends or nomenclatures developed from these systems and

allow them to be compared and integrated.

This part of ISO 19144 defines a LCML for a land cover classification system . It recognizes that there exist

a number of land cover classification systems and nomenclatures in a number of countries and regions, and

that these systems are well established and cannot be easily changed. In fact, portions of these systems are

1) The LCML is derived from the concepts in the land cover classification system (UNFAO LCCS version 3) established

[34], [35]

by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations . The UNFAO LCCS classification system is

one particular classification system for land cover based on plant physiognomy and does not exclude other classification

systems being established for land cover for other purposes.
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set in law in some nations with respect to land use legislation. For example, the definition of wetland is of great

importance in some nations because there is environmental legislation in many nations to protect wetlands.

Yet the definition of wetland varies between jurisdictions, and there is a need to be able to compare this and

other types of land cover object. A wide acceptance of an approach to handling the description of land cover

depends upon its flexibility to accommodate nomenclatures derived from different systems.

The approach taken in this part of ISO 19144 is to avoid specific limitations such as fixed value ranges for

attributes and the use of specific definitions for classifiers to increase the acceptability to the international

community. The LCML defined in this part of ISO 19144 avoids complex definitions, prefixed ranges of values

and specific detailed classification rules. It acts as a method to bring the land cover community together to

create a common understanding of land cover nomenclatures with the aim to produce global regional and

national data sets able to be reconciled at different scales and detail level and geographic places.

[34]

One example of a land cover classification system is the UNFAO Land Cover Classification System. The

purpose of the UNFAO LCCS, which is standardized by the UNFAO, is to give to the international community

one possible system to classify land cover with a parametric approach that is compliant with the metamodel

defined in this part of ISO 19144. Other land cover classification systems can also be defined by other regional

or national bodies. The UNFAO LCCS is described as a set of classifiers and rules expressed in terms of the

LCML. Any other national or multi-national land cover classification system can also be described in terms of

the LCML. Examples of different national or regional classification systems are given in C.10 to C.15.

The LCML complies with the general structure for classification systems defined in ISO 19144-1 in that a land

cover classification system described in the LCML can be created so as to comply with ISO 19144-1. The

structure used to represent the classified data can be that of a discrete coverage as described in ISO 19123. The

classifiers described in accordance with the LCML can be maintained in a register, compliant with ISO 19135

and with ISO 19144-1; that is, the classes described using the metalanguage defined in this part of ISO 19144

can populate a register for classifiers as described in ISO 19144-1. Registration within this part of ISO 19144 is

used in a very different way. It is used to allow for extension of the LCML.

The LCML provides a general framework of rules from which more exclusive conditions can be derived to

create specific classification systems. It is a language based on physiognomy and stratification of both biotic

and abiotic materials. The system can be used to specify any land cover feature anywhere in the world, using

a set of independent diagnostic criteria that allow correlation with existing classifications and legends.

Land cover metalanguage descriptor objects are defined by a combination of a set of land cover metalanguage-

elements. These land cover metalanguage-elements are divided in two categories: “basic metalanguage-

elements”, the elements that constitute the main physiognomic aspects of biotic and abiotic cover features, e.g.

for biotic features trees, shrubs, herbaceous vegetation, and “metalanguage-element properties” that further

define the physiognomic/structural aspect of the basic objects.

Further definition of the land cover classes can be achieved by adding the metalanguage-element characteristics.

The characteristics are of two types: land cover element characteristics and land cover class characteristics.

“LC_ClassCharacteristics” and “LC_ElementCharacteristics” are defined as optional descriptive elements not

directly related to the physiognomic/structural characterization of the land cover metalanguage-element. “LC_

ElementCharacteristics” can be applied to a single basic metalanguage-element. “LC_ClassCharacteristics”

relate to a whole land cover class, defined as the combination of single or multiple strata of single or multiple

basic meta-elements. The definition of these characteristics in this part of ISO 19144 is informative, not

normative, i.e. other sets of characteristics can be established and used with the LCML basic elements. These

characteristics do not in any way prescribe how a land cover classification system is to be established. When

used they can assist in better defining a land cover class and therefore make it easier to compare classes

between land cover classification systems.

The metalanguage generates mutually exclusive land cover classes, with specific rules to deal with the all

functional ele
...

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